This is the key paragraph
The Defendant does not have any burden of proof in the issue I have to decide. She does not have to offer an alternative explanation of why a peer, whose name and career is known to few members of the public today, might have been trending on 4 November 2012 without her knowing why he was trending. But where the Defendant is telling her followers that she does not know why he is trending, and there is no alternative explanation for why this particular peer was being named in the tweets which produce the Trend, then it is reasonable to infer that he is trending because he fits the description of the unnamed abuser. I find the reader would infer that. The reader would reasonably infer that the Defendant had provided the last piece in the jigsaw.
This was a clear example of jigsaw identification.
The Tweet reads:
"Why is Lord McAlpine trending? *Innocent face*"
However, we should welcome the progress that has been made even though more progress on this is needed.
Mike Whitby and I were both lobbying the government to be flexible on this issue. I have already called for the funding to be extended into future years in a debate in Westminster Hall.
The court decides on issues affecting mentally incapable people.
The claims, reported in the Daily Mail, suggest the woman disobeyed orders relating to care for her 80-year-old father, who was suffering from dementia.
It is a bit odd that the BBC report this as if there isn't a court judgment that has been published which already indicated that Wanda Maddocks' imprisonment was subject to reporting restrictions.
Interestingly a BBC journalist actually turned down the story on the basis of the anonymous judgment. It demonstrates the BBC's general complacency about criticisms of the establishment. This is a big problem in Jersey.
b) particularly is the key element although a) is important. b) is what was in my private members bill Section 8 (2).
This is a clear victory for the Justice for Families - secret prisoners campaign - where with the assistance of the Daily Mail the rules have been made workable and more accountable. It remains important, however, that we keep an eye on the system to make sure it is following the rules. (which it wasn't in the past)
There are, of course, the issues of a single social worker being able to imprison someone through the court of protection. That I will come to later. I will also keep an eye on the court to make sure that the rules are followed. What is important about this practice direction is that it makes it clear that this includes suspended sentences.
What is also important is to see the judgments being published for recent commitals (say in the past 5 years).
There is also a question as to where the National Council for Civil Liberties (Liberty) were on this. I have asked them for support, but they refused to support my criticism of secret jailings.
The problems in the Family Division (and I include the Court of Protection in this) have arisen because individual judges have been left to just get on with it. Some do a good job and others do a dreadful job (and of course there are those in between). The Rule of Law is supposed to mean that it should not matter which judge a case is heard by. However, things don't work like that in practise.
The biggest issue for the court of protection is actually the question as to how reliable the assessments of capacity are. It is driven by this.
Alistair Pitblado (the Official Solicitor) has also managed to escape scrutiny. His office have a responsibility of protecting the interests of contemnors. He won't answer any questions I ask him about individual cases, but I wonder what his office did about the jailing of Wanda Maddocks.
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