Category: Justice, Law & Mediation

Sheeran vs Sheeran

Sometimes we think we can spot a liar because of the way they behave. It’s encouraging to think that everyone displays signs, or “tells”, that might give them away when they are not speaking the truth.

In the recent plagiarism case against Ed Sheeran, the judge was faced with deciding the veracity of Sheeran’s evidence by comparing what he said at one time against what he said at another and testing both against other known facts or inferences. The judge’s thought process makes for a fascinating read but, in places, I found it thoroughly unconvincing.

Look what the law made me do

In my previous offering on these pages, I concluded with an example of two judges seeking to assert – quite unconvincingly, I suggested – that their decision in a case was simply the result of legislation enacted by Parliament. The judgment was, I thought, a rather convoluted legal analysis arriving at a result that few, if any, MPs would have contemplated or intended. My attention has since turned to another example of a senior lawyer trying to suggest that responsibility for his own reasoning lies with others.  

Is this what we want from the police?

Reading reports from the BBC, Sky News or the Guardian, one could be forgiven for thinking that the judges had ruled that the police should have allowed the vigil for Sarah Everard to go ahead. They did not.

The judges decided only that, in arriving at their decision, assorted officers at varying levels of seniority messed up in different ways over several days. The court very deliberately stopped short of saying whether a correct analysis would have resulted in a different decision. That would, I think, have required the court to hear expert evidence from doctors, epidemiologists and mathematical modellers before applying its own jurisprudential expertise.

Far better, the court decided, that such matters be left to Scotland Yard on a Thursday afternoon before the Saturday evening vigil.

A Few Good Men – but this one?

Brett Kavanaugh, the current presidential nominee for the US Supreme Court, faces a series of allegations of sexual misconduct dating back to his youth. He denies them all. He denies them emphatically. But he denies them in a manner which raises questions about his suitability for senior judicial office, let alone the highest judicial office in the land.

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It’s lawyers v politicians in the battle for human rights

The Conservative Party has published plans to change Britain’s human rights law. They have been criticised by many lawyers. But, whilst the politicians may have got the law wrong, many lawyers seem to have got the politics wrong. It is an unattractive position for an intelligent society to find itself in and leads to meaningless arguments between those who should know better.

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