It’s not an ultraconservative decision

This is to misunderstand the Constitution:

Samuel Alito has become the latest US supreme court justice to defend the panel’s political independence, labeling criticism of recent ultra-conservative decisions including a tacit approval of an abortion ban in Texas as attempted intimidation.

The SC rules on whether something meets constitutional tests. The TX law is very carefully crafted to meet such. Roe is that states can’t limit – so, the law says that it’s not officers of the state which do limit. It’s individuals bringing civil (?) suits which do. Very carefully crafted to step inside those constitutional restrictions.

To judge (sorry) the validity or even politics of the decision by the outcome is to miss the point of constitutional law in the first place. This is, by definition, what isn’t politics. It’s neither conservative, ultra or not, nor liberal. It’s the constitution.

What annoys is that they just such damn bad lawyers

This lot:

Many have questioned whether it is possible to agree a clear definition of so-called conversion therapy. We recommend that it is simply referred to as “any practice that seeks to suppress, ‘cure’ or change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity”.

Buying someone that extra gin – heck, a coffee – to see if they’d like to try a shag the other side of the gender division from their regular practice now becomes a crime in international law.

Seduction to be made illegal?

That before we get to the stupidity of the legal idea itself. Some folks ain’t happy with their sexual orientation nor gender identity. Those folks aiding Carrie are changing her gender identity ain’t they? Every trans clinic is now illegal?

It’s the fact that this is just such bad lawyering which is the most annoying thing.

Just a thought here

Asbestos, mesothelioma, legal responsibility, damages – yes, fine. And yet:

Leigh Day are also acting for the family of another member of the orchestra, violinist Edwin Dodd, who died aged 89 of mesothelioma in January.

What damages are due for the death of an 89 year old?

No, not to belittle or anything but the damages are, presumably, some compensation for the life missed…..

Slightly worrying

Speech: Dean Russell MP Proposes Tips Bill To Parliament
During the Presentation of Bills in the House of Commons, Dean proposed a Tips Bill that would prohibit employers retaining tips and gratuities intended for staff, and make provision about the division of tips and gratuities between staff.

There are common law provisions here. A statutory basis over rides those. Get those statutory changes wrong – which we can’t see as there is no published bill as yet – and the tax status of tips could be irretrievably changed.

Currently tips pay no NI nor VAT, they pay only income tax. A service charge – the alternative class or description – pays all three. What’s the betting this does get screwed up?

Well, actually, there can be

But Mr Zan, the MP pushing the bill, said the Vatican’s concerns were unfounded. “The bill does not restrict in any way freedom of expression or religious freedom,” he wrote on Twitter.

“All the concerns and doubts will be listened to, but there cannot be any foreign interference in the workings of a sovereign parliament.”

There’s foreign interference in the workings of a sovereign parliament all the time. You can’t pass laws which breach the European Convention on Human Rights for example. This is a supranational interference in the workings of a sovereign parliament.

True, that parliament did in fact sign up for that interference:

The Vatican argues that the Zan bill violates the Concordat, part of the Lateran Pacts that have since 1929 governed relations Rome and the Holy See.

The proposed law would jeopardise the “liberty” that was guaranteed by the treaty to the Catholic Church in Italy, the diplomatic note said.

And there we have the same thing. That parliament agreed to limit its sovereign powers by signing the Concordat.

Sure, you can reject the concordat, just as you can the ECHR and all that. But perhaps governments and parliaments should hold true to the agreements they’ve already made?

An email to Leigh Day, lawyers

A couple of hints.

1) It is illegal to send to a mailing list without offering an unsubscribe from the list option.

“Every marketing email you send must give the person the ability to opt out of (or ‘unsubscribe from’) further emails.”

We might hope that a law firm knew this, you know, the law.

2) BCC exists for a reason. Find out what it is

Tim Worstall

There are 405 addys in that first line of the original email. I have, of course, just responded to all……

The perfect argument for a Chauvin retrial

Certainly for a vacation of the current verdict:

The George Floyd verdict would not have happened without months of protest
Nesrine Malik
Many politicians who welcomed Chauvin’s conviction were also critical of the BLM marches. But there wouldn’t be one without the other

The Guardian needs to have a word with Ms. Malik. The courts operate on the principle that they, not the baying mob, decide. So, if it was the baying mob which decided then it’s an unsafe conviction……

Now this is interesting

A judge has forced a betting company to pay £1.7 million to a customer after it withheld his jackpot by claiming that he won because of a “defect” in an online game.

Andrew Green, 54, had told the High Court in London that he felt “robbed” when Betfred officials said that they would not pay out after his win.

When did bets and betting winnings etc become justiciable?

I thought the deal was that you couldn’t use the courts to enforce gambling debts and that’s why, also, gambling was income tax free?

Which bit am I missing here?


The practice of Queen’s consent, on which the Guardian has shone a welcome light in recent days, is a constitutional outrage. It gives an unelected person the opportunity to require changes to draft legislation in order to benefit herself financially, or to exempt herself from laws she does not like, and to do so in secret without any public accountability.

If an MP or peer sought to secretly influence a draft bill to advantage themselves in this way, it would be called corruption. It could lead to a criminal charge.

Every Minister does this as a normal part of the process. Because that’s how the constitution works. Given that it’s the Crown in Parliament…….

Free speech

Like religious liberty, freedom of speech and of the
press is required by the freedom of the human mind.
More plainly, it is a requirement for any government in
which the people choose the direction of government
policy. To choose requires public deliberation and
debate. A people that cannot publicly express its
opinions, exchange ideas, or openly argue about the
course of its government is not free.

“No, no!” said the Queen. “Sentence first—verdict afterwards.”


Dozens of the Conservative Party’s most senior MPs have joined a rebellion against the Prime Minister in an attempt to block the Government from signing trade deals with countries accused of genocide.

Given the ease with which such accusations are bandied about – I’m sure there are those insisting we should not have free trade with England under this rubric because England is engaged in a genocide of the culturally diverse – basing it upon the accusation is ludicrous.

Thirty-three Tory MPs supported an amendment to the Government’s Trade Bill, proposed in the House of Lords, which would have prevented the Government from signing a free trade agreement with any country the High Court ruled was committing genocide.

That’s better but still wrong. For the benefit of trade is to the consumer of the imports. Why punish either us or them other consumers for the actions of a government?

Aren’t we ruled so well?

Algorithms used to scan online messages for images of child sexual abuse may become illegal next week, after EU officials failed to agree on legal exemptions for the technology before new privacy protections come into effect.


This at the same time as criminal liability is to be placed upon execs if they don;t catch the same images and activity…..

The tart who was sexually harassed

There’s an absurdity here:

A New Zealand sex worker has won a six-figure payout as part of a settlement after filing a sexual harassment complaint against a business owner, the country’s human rights commission has said.

The settlement was an important reminder that all workers, regardless of the type of work they did, have the right to freedom from sexual harassment in the workplace, said Michael Timmins, director of the office of human rights proceedings.

No, the absurdity isn’t the one you’re thinking of. Whores gain the same protection of the law as everyone else. Rape of a prostitute is rape etc.

So, yes, it’s entirely feasible that someone working in a brothel could be sexually harassed by their boss. And if they were then they should be protected etc.

No, the absurdity is here:

“Context is everything. Even in a brothel, language with a sexual dimension can be used inappropriately in suggestive, oppressive or abusive circumstances,” the tribunal said.

“It follows that it is not possible to ask whether a ‘reasonable sex worker’ would find the behaviour unwelcome or offensive.

“If in a brothel language or behaviour of a sexual nature could never be considered unwelcome or offensive, sex workers would be denied the protection of the act.”

Precisely because context is everything then the test has to be that of the reasonable sex worker. Certain questions that would be sexual harassment in another context (“How trimmed are you?”) would be entirely reasonable employment related queries.


Thus the only reasonable test is the reaction of the reasonable person in that situation. You know, like we use in so many other areas of law.

M’Learned Friends

The Duke of Sussex has launched a libel action against Associated Newspapers, publisher of the Mail on Sunday, the sixth lawsuit filed by either him or his wife in little more than a year.

Documents were lodged with the High Court by the Sussex’s legal team at Schillings on November 27. The claim relates to a story published by the Sunday newspaper in October, which alleged that the Duke had failed to maintain contact with the Royal Marines after formally stepping away from his role as a working royal in March, the Telegraph understands.

We know that he certainly – and she by reputation – has some cash lying around. As Jarndyce v Jarndyce tells us, this isn’t necessarily the end state of affairs after calling on m’learned friends.

Criminal responsibility

Not sure about this:

The age of criminal responsibility in England and Wales should be reviewed because of mounting evidence that 10 is too young and puts the UK out of kilter with most other countries, the all-party justice committee has said.

The MPs said the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) should carry out an immediate review into the implications of raising the age to 12 – the same as in Scotland – or to 14, as in Germany, Italy and Spain.

The move follows evidence from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the Youth Justice Board and the chief inspector of probation, all of whom argued that 10 was too young and that children’s brains were not mature enough for them to fully understand the consequences of their actions.

The current situation is that 10 year olds can be held criminally responsible but mostly are not. The change suggested is to where they cannot be held so responsible.

I don’t see any gain from the change so why make it?

This sounds a bit dodgy

A British whistleblower is being prevented from handing over a new dossier on oil industry bribery to the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in London after being trapped in Croatia by a Kafkaesque extradition battle.

Jonathan Taylor has spent three months in Croatia fighting what his lawyers claim is a “politically motivated” extradition request by Monaco after he lifted the lid on alleged bribery by oil executives based in the principality.

The former oil industry lawyer, who was arrested on an Interpol warrant issued by Monaco when he arrived in Croatia for a family holiday, has used the time to compile a dossier on new allegations of bribery which the SFO and FBI want to study.

Well, yes, OK, don’t travel internationally when peeps might throw an Interpol warrant out there. It’a also amusing to think that Monaco actually has a legal system but still. It’s this bit that startles:

He had expected to hand the dossier over to the SFO in London this week after winning his supreme court appeal in Croatia against his extradition, but the judges placed a condition on their verdict which has thrown his return to Britain into serious doubt.

Mr Taylor said: “I am in touch with the SFO whom I am very eager to assist in relation to new evidence of an eight-figure bribe involving at least five British nationals. The SFO are literally awaiting my arrival so I can hand over the evidence.

“I am a whistleblower. I am a protected witness. If there was ever a time for the Government to get involved, it has to be now.”

Well, OK, yes. Government get involved. But how?

The question being, that dossier, where is it? On holiday with him? So, give it to a consular official who can send it to London in the diplomatic bag. It’s in London? The give the SFO a ring and ask them to go ’round and pick it up.

That is, the question of him being on remand in Croatia and the file being in the hands of the SFO are two different things, two different points, one not being reliant upon the other.


The husband of a nurse killed by her policeman lover has said he is disappointed with the verdict, after the killer was sentenced to 10 and a half years in jail for manslaughter having previously been cleared of her murder.

The sentence isn’t far off what would be served for murder. For I’m pretty sure I’ve seen that the average served – the sentence is life by release on licence usually happens – is 7 years for murder. 10 and a half for manslaughter, half off as is usual, 5 and a quarter.

Sure, that 1 3/4 of a year will seem very long when serving it but the sentences aren’t hugely different, are they?

Perhaps Mr. Ludd QC could give us more detail?

Well, yes, clearly

In a statement read to the inquiry yesterday, Mr Blair said: In 1997 I would have known of the allegations made in 1991 in respect of Lord Janner by Frank Beck during his trial.
As regards the nomination, I would expect such allegations to be considered (by the Political Honours Scrutiny Committee) as part of that process.
In the circumstances of Lord Janner’s vigorous public denial, a police investigation, and charges not being brought, I do not believe the allegations would have been investigated further beyond confirming those facts, nor that I would have considered them a bar to the nomination.

Allegations made, investigation done, evidence of allegation not found – at that point, certainly.

So, should the allegations be a bar to the continuation of life as normal? And a peerage for a long serving back bencher isn’t unusual.

Well, no, because to make the allegation the judge and jury is to make the allegation the punishment, isn’t it?