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Showing posts from May, 2016

John Hemming's Statement following Supreme Court upholding injunction

"I am surprised that the Supreme Court have upheld this injunction. The logical conclusion of this is that gossip about anyone with children will become a criminal offence subject to a potential penalty of 2 years's imprisonment.

"It is important to note that the injunction covers people talking in pubs, gossiping over the garden fence, or twittering on the internet. All of these could potentially see an application for committal for contempt of court. That comes with large amounts of legal costs and up to 2 years imprisonment. One would assume that it would not be assumed that this would only apply to claimants who have a large amount of money, but also everyone else. Such a constraint on freedom of speech is something that the House of Lords Judicial Committee of the last millennium would not have supported. I am surprised that the Supreme Court does.

"It is to be recognised that injunctions are still being used to cover up malpractice by public officials…

Barristers, Conflicts of Interests and the Family Courts

I have been having a debate with various Family Court barristers as to what the rules are in respect of a barrister taking on a case for a parent when they previously have taken on a case for the local authority the parent is facing in the court.

The rules on the Bar Standards Board website are difficult to link to clearly. The basic rules can be found from here.

The relevant rule is:
rC21 You must not accept instructions to act in a particular matter if:

-3. there is a conflict of interest between the prospective client and one or more of your former or existing clients in respect of the particular matter unless all of the clients who have an interest in the particular matter give their informed consent to your acting in such circumstances; or

If, therefore, we consider the case of a barrister considering whether they should accept instructions to act for a parent Mr Smith against the Huntingdonshire County Council. This particular barrister had earlier acted for Huntingdonshire…