The Judgement of Jeremy

2 09 2015
Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn

“Jawad’s case is, I believe, a miscarriage of justice”

A miscarriage of justice; that’s how Jeremy Corbyn described the conviction of Jawad Botmeh, sentenced to 20 years in prison for terrorist offences, in a letter to Botmeh’s employer.

There is a chasm of difference between ‘miscarriage of justice’ and failing to get off on a technicality. That difference seems lost on Corbyn.

Botmeh’s conviction is discussed in a lot more detail in an earlier post – click here – but here are a few salient details: Read the rest of this entry »





Jeremy Corbyn – The Bombers’ friend

31 08 2015
Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn

Samar Alami

Samar Alami

Jawad Botmeh

Jawad Botmeh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Much has been made of Jeremy Corbyn’s associates in recent weeks but no attention has been given so far to his  dedicated support and campaigning inside and outside parliament for, two terrorists convicted in relation to bombings which maimed 20 people in the UK. Read the rest of this entry »





Suzanne and Society

14 08 2011

Category; Criminal Law, Politics

© Getty

Someone I’ll call Suzanne was on my mind recently, while society watched, horrified, as the certainty of order disappeared.

Throughout Britain, smiling as they smashed in shops to take what they felt like or simply burn the place down, I saw lots of Suzannes.

I first met Suzanne because she’d been charged with theft. The childrens’ home she lived in, or rather was based in, had called the police after she had demanded a pound for an ice-cream and, when they had refused because of some rule infraction, she had gone and taken the pound anyway. They called the police because she took a pound. And the police came. And they arrested her. And the CPS charged her. And she was sent to court. Because she stole a pound for an ice-cream. Read the rest of this entry »





Flash Yob

13 08 2011

Category; Politics, Criminal Law

There’s an anguished debate in the UK, and much puzzled scrutiny from abroad, about the nature of the recent civil disturbances in the UK; it’s usually referred to as ‘rioting‘, but they weren’t really riots.

People can’t see past political motivation for such disorder; the Syrian Ambassador to the UN was even crowing that they mirrored what was happening in Syria – see here. Well, he would, woudn’t he…

It’s very simple. They were Flash Mobs with looting and/or destruction;  a Flash Yob.





Rowan Laxton Speaks…

12 12 2010

Category; Rowan Laxton, Criminal Law, Anti-Semitism, Middle East

© Daily Telegraph

Professor Geoffrey Pullum has been speaking up for Rowan Laxton on his blog. It’s interesting to read the views on the subject of a distinguished American academic living in the UK especially as he’s had the benefit of a phone conversation with Laxton himself… Read the rest of this entry »





Legislating without due care and attention

21 08 2010

Category: Law, Criminal Law, Politics

Solicitor Nick “Mr Loophole” Freeman is so proud of his reputation for securing acquittals for road traffic offences that he has a google ad that pops up if you type Mr Loophole. He has also trademarked the name – click here. Read the rest of this entry »





Clean up the mess

20 05 2010

Category: Politics, Law

The British Deputy Prime Minister has announced that some of the thousands of laws created by the last government will be scaled back.

Good thing too. There are plenty that can be got rid of, but in terms of criminal law it’s the absurd complexity that needs to be addressed head on.

I’ve devoted several posts on this blog to someone who was charged with the most minor criminal offence possible. That case was interesting for other reasons, but the procedures highlight what an unwieldy monster the criminal justice system has become.

I’ll try and break down the case so you can see what I mean… Read the rest of this entry »





Race, Class and Prison

31 03 2010

Category: Criminal Law, Politics

Image from Texas Tough

The British Justice Minister was on the radio this morning proudly boasting about how long British prisoners are locked up for.

We sentence people for much longer in this country than in Europe and I am unapologetic about that   – Jack Straw

It’s a policy Britain imported from America.

Between 1965 and 2000, the US prison population went up 600%. The growth in Texas was double that. According to a new book by Robert Perkinson (Texas Tough; the Rise of a Prison Empire) it’s a victory for a penal policy that evolved from slavery.

After the defeat of the South in the Civil War, states began to use law enforcement as a way of retaining slavery by other means. Prisoners were hired out to work; cutting sugarcane, picking cotton, building railroads.

Whites were hired out too but generally for less backbreaking work. There was a Northern model too; based on rehabilitation. The South’s won out… Read the rest of this entry »





Rowan Laxton Retrial

25 03 2010

Category: anti-semitism, criminal law, middle east, rowan laxton


To call Rowan Laxton’s second trial an ‘appeal’ could sound misleading. It was a brand new trial, from scratch. Everyone convicted in the magistrates court has the right to this. The whole case is brought again and decided on again.

I’ve had the chance to read some more about the judgment here. I’m puzzled by it.

The bench held that he either didn’t say ‘f——- Jews’ or if he did say it he didn’t think anyone would have been able to hear him.

That sounds like the sort of judgment Bishop Berkeley or Monty Python might come up with – ‘I didn’t do it, and if I did do it I didn’t think anyone would notice me doing it.’… Read the rest of this entry »





Rowan Laxton – No Conviction

24 03 2010

Category: anti-semitism, criminal law, middle east, ROWAN LAXTON

It’s ironic that minutes after publishing a post noting that Rowan Laxton had the very best legal representation there is, word came through to me that his conviction had been overturned on appeal.

The appeal was heard at Southwark Crown Court on 5th March 2010. Read the rest of this entry »





Accidental Death of a Cyclist and Unenforced Laws

9 01 2010

Category: Law, Criminal Law, Cycling

© Danny McL

Maria Fernandez, 24, was crushed to death in June 2009 when a bin lorry which had driven onto the cyclists advance stop box failed to spot her. (click to see report on her inquest)

It’s always bothered me that there doesn’t seem to be any enforcement of the advanced stop lines and, as a result, very little observance of the rule. In my time as a criminal barrister (including for the Crown Prosecution Service) I never once came across anyone being prosecuted. Read the rest of this entry »





Rowan Laxton and Too Many Laws

21 10 2009

Category: Law, Politics, Criminal Law, Rowan Laxton

The case of Rowan Laxton (see below) highlights how complicated criminal law has become: When I read all the coverage I wasn’t exactly sure what he’d been charged with.


The Press all said it was ‘Racially Aggravated Harassment,’ Isn’t that what he was charged with?

Racially aggravated harassment could actually cover a number of things… Read the rest of this entry »