Gavels to be used in English courts

Thanks to a controversial amendment to the Prisons and Courts Bill 2017, judges in England and Wales may soon be using gavels just like their American counterparts. The amendment has been put forward by the cross party Legal Heritage Committee of the House of Lords. It is said to be supported by a 2015 academic research paper* which concluded:

“Litigants in civil cases overwhelmingly reported that the decisive …

Continue Reading

#barristerpoetry – a blossoming of talent in the timeline

Over the last couple of weeks a Twitter hashtag started by an employment law barrister has taken flight and prompted a stream of witty contributions. As the gardens of the Inns of Court bloomed in the glorious sunshine outside, barristers chafing indoors at their desks in chambers or waiting for their case to come on at court idled away the time by giving a legal twist to their favourite lines of verse. In this post we collect some of …

Continue Reading

Current awareness – legislation

As a new development, to complement the fact that ICLR Online now includes search and retrieval of all legislation currently in force, both as enacted and as updated, via the official government legislation service (www.legislation.gov.uk), we will be publishing periodical updates on some of the new enactments which you may not be able to find there.

New statutes The following statutes have recently received the Royal Assent. Please note that they are awaiting commencement orders and …

Continue Reading

Manifesto promises – party political pledges on law and justice

What do the politicians promise on law and justice? Or to ask a more pertinent question, what promises on law and justice can we expect to see the various parties break on coming to, or sharing in, power? This post covers three main parties: Conservative, Liberal Democrat, and Labour, plus two emergent players, UKIP and Green.

The manifestoes have been presented in the order in which these relevant parties may be held, currently, to exert power or …

Continue Reading

Essential Legal Kit

As pupillage and training contracts get harder and harder to come by, many young would-be lawyers have been asking: “What am I missing? What has he or she got that I haven’t?” The answer is probably “brains, talent and charm”, but even if you can’t compete on those, there are other ways of making sure you’re fully equipped to enter the legal profession.


Cherry, for second biting at

It’s a common enough feature of adversarial banter these days. …

Continue Reading

Privatised civil justice – how it might look

Privatised civil justice – how it might look

Artist’s impressions

A shadowy and mysterious legal think tank known as the Seven Stars Symposium has recently announced proposals for the privatisation of the litigation services currently provided by the High Court of England and Wales and the County Courts.

In a press release issued on 1 April, it outlined the following key features of the plan:

All private civil law claims to be determined by one of …

Continue Reading