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The Court of the Future: HMCTS Change Event at MOJ

On 2 November 2017 the Ministry of Justice hosted an HMCTS Public Community Change Event to showcase some of the work being done in the course of its current £1bn overhaul of the court system. Paul Magrath was there. [Post updated 17/11/17.] The Ministry of Justice in St James is an imposing and somewhat dystopian Continue reading

Judges on Twitter: lowering the bar or shattering the mystique?

Paul Magrath wonders how seriously we should take the prospect of judges and court staff engaging with the public on social media The traditional and until recently the official view was that, in order to maintain public respect for their office, judges should not engage in public discourse outside the courtroom. They could write legal articles Continue reading

Ways into law: Dining in hall — tradition or torment?

A debate has been raging on Twitter about dining in hall in the Inns of Court. It’s a tradition that goes back centuries, but in recent years the requirement to complete a certain number of dinners to qualify as a barrister has grown less and less significant. The question is, should they be abandoned altogether Continue reading

A sad farewell to Solicitors’ Journal

When ICLR was founded in 1865, the Solicitors Journal was already almost a decade old. For many years, the two publishers have been associated, principally through the legal case summaries which ICLR’s reporters have contributed to the magazine. Earlier this month, the journal’s current owners made the no doubt agonising decision to close it down. Continue reading

The legacy of LASPO

It is four years since the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 came into effect, on April Fool’s day 2013. The Act itself was passed five years ago. Its effects, as we predicted at the time, have been seismic. Image: The Manifesto of Justice (from UK General Election 2015) The policy behind the Continue reading

McKenzie Friendly fire?

The controversy over so-called ‘professional’ or paid McKenzie Friends  flared up again last week. Paul Magrath reports on what is often a regulatory minefield. Image from McKenzie Friends Marketplace website A new outfit, called McKenzie Friends Marketplace (MFM) has been set up by Fraser Matcham, a second year law student in London, as a sort of Continue reading

Justice down the rabbit-hole: Fulford LJ on the Rise of the Cyber Judge

With the creation of the online court, the principle of open justice must not be overlooked, said Lord Justice Fulford, giving the annual University of Sussex Draper Lecture 2016 at the Law Society on Tuesday, 8 November. Justice, he said, must not “disappear down an Alice-style rabbit-hole”. But it soon became clear to many in Continue reading

Regulation roundabout: legal services at a critical turning – where to now?

A number of stories about legal services regulation have surfaced over the last few months, some of them calling into question the future of legal regulation, if not the professions they regulate, and most of them pointing back in some way to the regulators’ regulator, the Legal Services Board (LSB). This roundup covers the most interesting or Continue reading

Pupillage advice: words of wisdom for pupils

As she settles into her training for life at the Bar, Sophia Stapleton, winner of the inaugural ICLR Pupillage Award, has been collecting nuggets of advice from barristers and judges on what to expect and how to deal with it. In this post she shares some of those words of wisdom.   Like many other pupils across the Continue reading