Episode IV: A New Hope

[Password protection now removed and comments closed]

You might know that over the last year I’ve been compiling a list of all the blogs related to the Transforming Legal Aid consultation and the justice cuts. If you’ve been given the password to read this page then at least one of your blog posts are included too and I’d be grateful if you’d keep what I have to say here to yourself for the time being – professional trust and all that

What’s this about

I’m asking for your permission to reproduce your blog post(s) concerning the Transforming Legal Aid consultation/justice cuts (those you published prior to the 27th Feb this year)

Who has agreed so far and invites status (edit: now final list)

For the last two months I’ve been compiling all the blogs written during the consultation period, formatting, optimising and turning them into a book – or more precisely, an ebook (though it wouldn’t be difficult for me to produce a print ready manuscript now too). Its working title is ‘Saving Justice’

I’ve cross-platform and can be viewed on whatever smartphone or gadget you have: Kindle (all types, including Paperwhite, Fire and DX), iPhones and iPad (through the Kindle app (.mobi version) or iBooks (.epub version), other tablets and Android smart-phones and so on. It can also be read on computers and Macs through ebook reader apps

With your permission I intend to finish sorting it out and publish it within the next two months – I think it will take me that long getting everyone’s permission – but I want it ready in advance of the anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta on 15th June (my birthday too). I want to make it available as a free download [NB: see update #5 below in comments - issues with Amazon not allowing 'free forever' - will be using Apple iBooks as they do. A cheap paid version on Amazon is also possible]

We’ll need to agree the wording of the copyright statement at some point – something like ‘remains with the authors’ perhaps. We can revisit this later or feel free to give your views in the comments below

Why bother

It raises awareness and I think opens up a potential new avenue of interest in the Save UK Justice story, the Justice Alliance and what’s going on with legal aid and in our justice system right now. Personally, I think through all your perspectives it gives incredible insight and is likely to attract many new people to look at the issues. It’s also just incredible to read – it’s fascinating, really moving and makes you want to find out more. I can’t emphasise enough just how powerful it comes across when you start going through all the individual blogs coordinated into book format

It’s also worth mentioning that using whatever gadget you happen to be reading the book on you can use the inbuilt features to do things like search the book for keywords, particular authors, mentions, people, topics etc. You can count frequencies, create statistics pulled from the accumulation of all your work from all over the web but in one place. It’s a historian/researcher’s dream

A bit of detail on content and layout

Each of your posts in the book links back to the original on your blog so it will be useful for your own traffic and raising awareness of what you write about. Any links you included have been reformatted and work so readers can access whatever other content you originally included or referred to in their browser whilst reading the book. The book also includes all your pictures, image links to the videos you created, podcasts and so on. In other words, it is what you wrote as is but presented in rich ebook format (currently .mobi and .epub). Each article throughout is sequential, date order, broken down by month, running from April 2013 when the consultation was first announced through to February 2014 when the government gave its decision

It’s just the blogs. Other than a short introduction explaining what the book is there’s no narrative from me or anyone else

It’s the biggest piece of techie/legal hybrid work I’ve ever undertaken and has, to be honest, been a major ball-breaker

What next

For now I’m just floating this to a few of you whose work is included who I know on Twitter or elsewhere. I’d like some feedback really – what do you reckon? Most importantly, would you be happy letting me include your blog posts? Basically, are you in? I guess the next stage, if people are up for it, will be to let people check their posts in the draft, just in case they don’t want certain ones included or would like me to fine tune them. Anyway, that’s not for now

Example section

Here’s a little example as a PDF. It’s only a very basic PDF but you should get the rough idea – beginning bits, a chunk of the articles and the end bit. I’ve not bothered formatting it for PDF so it’s not perfect eg articles don’t start on their own pages as in the ebook for one. I’ve taken the full .mobi manuscript I linked to last night down as it could get messy with lots of versions kicking around and this page was also getting a bit technical with my stuff on Kindle Previewer etc. If the two people I gave the link to this page to last night have the copy please don’t circulate it

However, happy to send the whole thing to anyone if they do want to see it, just let me know

Can you reply below with what you think so others can see where we’re going with this?

Or let me know via Twitter @ilegal or email theteam@ilegal.org.uk

Thanks for reading

UPDATE #2 (Sunday 7.52am)

I’ve started keeping tabs on who has been asked and who has replied. You can view the spreadsheet online (edit: now final list). If anyone knows any of those who haven’t been contacted yet by all means invite them as I invited you (don’t forget the password). Just let me know so I can update the spreadsheet (email or DM me: theteam@ilegal.org.uk or @ilegal). Otherwise, I’ll start trying to contact them directly through their blogs/emails during the week

I was communicating with a couple of you last night and I confirm that I will make a complete draft available prior to publication so you have a final opportunity to be reassured (that this isn’t a cunning Grayling-esque scheme) and pull out if you’re not happy with the final book. I’m confident you won’t so happy to be fully transparent throughout

Thanks again everyone, especially those who’ve commented below. It makes it all the more worthwhile that you can see where I’m going with this!

I’ll leave all future updates as ‘comments’ below. You can subscribe to the comments to this post to keep up with what’s going on

UPDATE #6: THE COVER (scroll down through the comments for previous updates)

Feel free to comment – it’s only a screen grab, the actual one used will be high res. It’s not your traditional legalish type cover – I don’t like them, they’re only attractive to legalish type people. I think this has broad appeal and given it’s about getting people to look who might not usually bother, I reckon it’s the way to go. That said, I have a terrible habit of changing my mind so don’t be surprised if you see an entirely different cover in a week or so!


Save UK Justice: The Blogs [an update]

I’ve taken the original piece offline whilst I overhaul it. It’s been a massive bit of work over the course of the last year trying to keep on top of all the fine and very moving writing of the respective blog authors. Given the MoJ statement on the final outcome of the consultation today, and its consequences for the future of our justice system, it seemed fitting that Save UK Justice: The Blogs turn up its collar against the cold, hat against the rain and retire from the public eye for a time. I hope to have it back online in the very near future

Vaping, not smoking

A blog about a different type of technology this time. One that’s had a very profound impact on me: the electronic cigarette


I stopped smoking and began vaping on Saturday 6th April 2013, when a good quality electronic cigarette (‘ecig’ or ‘ecigarette’) I had ordered arrived in the post. I haven’t looked back. I am much fitter, healthier and feel considerably better all round compared to when I was smoking. It was relatively easy to do I’d say. Yes, it required a desire and conviction, but nothing like the level I thought it might. It has also saved me a significant amount of money and I am no longer a creature of ritualised habit – a cigarette at the bus stop, outside the shop, immediately after a meal (and before) or when in any kind of stressful situation or when needing to concentrate

After smoking fairly heavily for over 20 years, I am now something I thought I would never be: a non-smoker. Statistically speaking at least, my likely lifespan increased significantly on the 6th April this year

There are approximately 1.3 million vapers in the UK (compared to 9 million tobacco smokers) and this number has been growing exponentially. The vaping sphere is a bit of an unknown to outsiders and comments such as “It’s still smoking though isn’t it, you’re still blowing smoke out” are understandably common (and wrong). Here’s my take:

  • there is no tar in ecigarettes, which clogs up your lungs and kills you
  • e-cigarettes do not contain the thousands of toxic chemicals present when inhaling tobacco smoke, which will kill you
  • nicotine (usually present in ecigarettes) is a stimulant, much the same as coffee or tea and has comparable effects
  • you can vary the nicotine strength of your ecigarette to suit or you can leave it out entirely
  • you can reduce the strength over time to wean yourself off nicotine altogether (which is what I am doing)
  • you are not blowing out smoke – it’s vaporised liquid, a steam/vapour
  • it doesn’t smell unpleasant, in fact quite the opposite
  • there is no known secondary inhalation risk from vaping as there is in passive tobacco smoking
  • my worst case scenario is that I will be vaping for the rest of my life as opposed to dying from smoking tobacco

What is vaping?

Vaping is a physical alternative to smoking that provides you with comparable effects to smoking tobacco but with vastly reduced risks to your own health and the health of those around you. The vapour you inhale is the product of combusting liquid commonly referred to as ‘juice’ or ‘e-liquid’ within an ecigarette device. The inhaled vapour contains the following, in varying degrees:

  • nicotine solution in varying strengths
  • flavouring
  • diluents: this makes up the bulk of the juice – propylene glycol (PG) and/or vegetable glycerin (VG). The higher the concentration of PG the stronger the throat hit, the more VG the more vapour produced
  • distilled water may occasionally be present too

You would usually buy e-liquid already made up but you can easily make your own by buying the constituent parts and mixing it up yourself if you want to save money and/or enjoy experimenting. It’s worth stressing however, that nicotine is poisonous and should be treated with care, especially in its highly concentrated – before diluting it – form

Why is it so effective at stopping people smoking?

My view is that common nicotine replacement products such as gum and patches do not address the behavioural aspects of addiction to smoking. Note I said addiction “to smoking” there and not “to nicotine”. The act of vaping is physically similar to smoking, even to producing smoke-like vapour. Vapers are still free to follow the same routines as smokers as and when they choose eg going outside for a vape along with smoker friends who are going for a cigarette. In this sense it provides an effective substitute for both the behavioural and social act of smoking whilst also addressing the underlying physiological nicotine addiction

My personal experience was that when I first began vaping I continued to follow the same routines eg vaping on a morning with a cup of tea before I did anything, vaping after meals and so on. As the days and weeks went by what I found was that I just got out of the habit of following these routines. They became irrelevant, even to the extent that now if I forget to take my e-cigarette with me when I go out it’s just no big deal

I also very much enjoy vaping in a way I never experienced when smoking tobacco! It’s totally different to smoking and very pleasant, especially when you have a nice set up and are vaping a particularly nice juice

Are there health risks?

There isn’t much research available on the health risks of vaping given it is a relatively new phenomena. However, contrary to what various regulators and the big pharma and tobacco industry lobbyists would have you believe there is some, and what there is is both robust and particularly striking. If you are interested, watch the whole of the video at the end of this post, especially from this point here (YouTube video opens in a separate browser window). The video is an abridged announcement of the results (published June 25th this year) of the ECLAT Electronic Cigarette Study (“Efficiency and Safety of an Electronic Cigarette as a Tobacco Subsitute”) headed by Dr. Riccardo Pelosa from the University of Catania in Italy. Dr. Michael Siegel from the Boston University School of Public Health also discusses the implications of the study from the perspective of public health

I’m a smoker and want to give it a go, where should I start?

Good on you. The first thing I would say is don’t spend tons of money at the outset; there are countless options and things to choose from – work out what you like and what suits  you gradually – experiment. Start with a kit, something that gives you everything you need from the get go. Spending anywhere between £20 to £40 will get you a very good ecigarette kit, including USB charger, a bottle of juice and other peripherals. For reference, the first 10ml included in the kit I bought lasted me just over 10 days. Assuming a cost of £4 per 10ml, that equates to a cost to vaping of 40 pence a day, or £2.80 a full week. Compare that with what  you spend on cigarettes if you are a smoker

Where should I buy from?

It’s up to you, but after experiencing both good and bad online sellers, you could follow my personal recommendation of starting your journey with ecigwizard. They’re very reputable, deliver exceptionally quickly, have good priced products and an excellent customer service team. They are by far my favourite vape shop at the moment. I’d suggest you register first as this attracts special discounts and makes shopping with them much easier. They also run a decent loyalty programme which means you earn points as you spend (and also for registering) that can be set off against your first or future purchases

If this blog got you thinking or, even better, got you to give it a go then when registering put my email address in the ‘referred by’ box – copy and paste: patricktorsney@btopenworld.com – then I will get a few points to go towards my next bottle of juice too! You can do this even if you want to buy something but don’t want to register. Thanks, that’s very thoughtful of you!

Psst! Special tip: when I registered I received an email a short time after giving me 20% off my first purchase with them so, after registering just wait a short while before actually buying anything (check your junk mail). You can’t sniff at 20% off, especially if you decide to spend a decent amount

In terms of kit to buy, here are the best contenders in my book

The Bundle, which is exceptionally good value at £19.99. I paid about £48.38 (!) elsewhere on a similar kit when I started. You can also scroll down for video tutorials on how to set up and use the device:


The Premium version of this bundle is also decent at £39.99. It includes two of the devices so you can either have a spare for yourself or two of you can both kick the habit together

You could also have a look at the Olympian Imist, which again gives you two devices. It’s a more powerful battery so will last you longer in-between charges but is also way more expensive at £51.59 (and you need to buy juice on top). Personally, I think this is one to avoid and if I was going to spend this kind of money I would buy a mod and all the things I’d need to go with it (see below). So, I think one of the two I’ve already mentioned would be a better way to go. I myself also prefer the cartomisers the bundles above use too (the bit that takes the liquid), as I think they would be easier to maintain than those in the Imist. I’ve never tried the Imist type though so, if you do decide to go for this one make sure you watch the video at the bottom of the page so you know how to put it together and maintain it

If you wanted to jump straight in at the deep end (you risk drowning!) then have a look at the mods like the Lavatube variable voltage, or the Zmax (even better) or the Tesla.  If you have money to spend, you could always buy a Provari, the highest and most consistently rated ecigarette device there is, coming in at around £175! Bear in mind though, assuming you don’t already have them and were starting out at the top so to speak, you would also need to buy appropriate batteries, a charger and a cartomiser or tank or whatever you wanted to screw on the top to hold your juice + eliquid to go with your mod

Good luck! I may do some follow up blogs at some point and talk in more detail about the various paraphernalia in a bit more detail, especially the mods and repairable atomisers, the vape shops (good and bad) and so on. OK, I appreciate the vast majority of my readers work in the legal profession but, it might be an interesting diversion from what we normally talk about!


I would like to dedicate this post to my beautiful five-year-old daughter, Ruby. On the 17th March this year as we were walking home together Ruby said to me that she didn’t really like me smoking and thought I should stop as it might make me “poorly” one day. I ordered my first ecigarette online the next day. Love you angel x

Press Conference: Announcement of ECLAT Study Results, June 25th 2013


BAILII RSS Search is now a site feature

Those who follow this blog will know that I have been ‘stalking’ BAILII for about a year now, ever since creating the @BAILII Twitter account and then taking over and automating the Support BAILII Facebook Page. More recently, you will also know about me doing a little unofficial collaboration with them in respect of getting RSS feeds from searches conducted on the BAILII site. The purpose being to offer a way of not only being able to access BAILII content through existing RSS feeds differentiated by court type, but also by term eg a feed of cases involving “defamation” or “environmental information regulations”, for example. In fact, an RSS feed of cases specific to absolutely any search term you care to search for

I am now pleased to announce that after an ongoing testing phase that was exclusive to readers of this blog and a few other Twitter compadres, and since I wrote the last blog post, the feature has now been formalised and incorporated into the main BAILII website on its home page. From now on any search you undertake on BAILII will offer you the opportunity to generate an RSS feed directly from that search. Feeds can then be included in your feed reader of choice, or used in whatever other way you see fit eg to update your blog or website

Personally, I think this is an excellent addition by the great BAILII – and great work by Roger Bell_West, their Systems Administrator/Developer – who I liaised with. It can only be of benefit to those who use BAILII already and is another small step towards making the law accessible and useable in a modern practical sense (think RSS feeds on smart-phones, for example – there’s an app for that)

BAILII has asked me to pass on its thanks to those of you who gave feedback so, I think that deserves a special shout out – with my own personal thanks added – to Lucy Series, Judith Townend, Jonathan Baines, Nick Holmes, Paul Skowron and Colin Yeo for their valuable input. Apologies if I missed anyone who also contacted me with feedback

And for the record, despite setting up and running the unofficial BAILII branded social media accounts I don’t work for BAILII and nor have I ever been paid by BAILII. It’s simply that BAILII’s work and my own interests coincide from time to time and something especially useful came of this particular link up

Thanks again to those that helped out and I hope you find the new BAILII feature useful. Well done BAILII

Save UK Justice… The Soundtrack


I wrote about embedding objects into WP.com posts the other day whilst embedding an interactive jigsaw as an example. The same principle can be used for games and other interactive objects. This time round I’ve incorporated a Grooveshark playlist. I don’t presume to set the soundtrack to the Save UK Justice campaign but, even though this is a thrown together playlist for the purposes of this blog, there might be the odd track that might make your list!

If you think there’s a glaring omission let me know in the comments and I’ll add it in!

And, for the ‘non-legal’ people reading this please do me a big favour and sign this petition. It’s important! If you want to know why then have a read through some of the excellent (and amusing in some cases) blogs about what the government is up to


1. Open a Grooveshark account and create a playlist. Alternatively, you can just embed a single song by making a little tweak – see below

2. When you’ve finished with your playlist (ordering it and what-have-you), click on the Share button and select the Embed option

3. This gives you the embed code you need – copy and paste it into a text editor

4. You need this bit of the code, the bit between these two parameters: “flashvars” value=“YOU NEED THIS BIT” /><span>. Delete all the rest of the code, both before and after it

5. Copy and paste the code below into a text editor and then paste in what you were left with in step 4, where indicated:

6. Then paste the whole thing into your post and you should be good to go

You can adjust the size of the player by playing around with the size height/width variables in the code. Also, if all you want in your blog post is a song, not a playlist, then follow the instructions above to get your embed code from Grooveshark, dig out the piece of code you need in just the same as if it were a playlist but then, when at Step 5 above, in the final code where it says widget.swf change this to songWidget.swf. This should also work for embedding a music player into a widget in your blog sidebar – I might give it a go later tonight

Thanks to Panos, who worked all this out!

Don’t forget to sign the petition!

Save UK Justice… the jigsaw!

Well, there’s the save UK justice ‘blogs’ so, we may as well have… the jigsaw!

Have a go, it’s interactive, just use your mouse

Online jigsaw puzzles from JigsawSite.com

I’ve not totally lost it, by the way – I’m working out how to embed certain interactive objects into a WordPress.com site. Main reason being I wanted to see if it was possible because when you look through the WP help forums they say you can’t do it – the standard reply to questions about embedding interactive or more exotic objects is that you can’t add them due to WP.com (as opposed to self-hosted WP.org) being a shared (with other users) platform and things like flash and javascript in posts would present security risks. Pah

Anyway, they’re wrong, it can be done. You just need to transform the embed code that you would pick up from elsewhere – by re-forming the ‘embed this into your website’ code – into an appropriate shortcode. I did a bit of digging and found this excellent workthrough. Basically, it’s just about pulling the bits you don’t need out of the embed code and reforming the bit of code you’re left with into a shortcode that works in WP

I’ll use the jigsaw I did above as an example

An example

First off, find what you want to embed. I used http://jigsawsite.com/ (credit to Panos who wrote the blog I’ve linked to above) and selected the option to make a jigsaw from a URL – providing it with the URL to the image I used in the earlier Save UK Justice post I did

Once you’re happy with how many pieces you want in your jigsaw, select the code from the “Embed puzzle directly on your blog or website” and stick it in a text editor. I just used TextEdit on my Mac, but anything you can edit text in will do

This is what you get (using my example – the jigsaw at the top of this post):


However, all we want from this is this bit beginning with “FlashVars” and including the ‘.swf’ link – highlighted:


So, just get rid of absolutely everything else so all you have left is that bit of code. Then, paste it where indicated in this little downloadable PDF – you’ll have to pull it out of the PDF and paste it into your text editor to play with it. I had to do this as I can’t paste source code directly into a post on WP! That’ll have to be another post I guess…

Once done, paste what you’re left with onto a line of its own in your blog draft, but make sure you are viewing/writing your draft in “Text”, not “Visual” when you paste it – look to the top right of your drafting area and you’ll see the two little tabs (or top right if you’re writing in Distraction Free mode). You can switch between them mid-draft so don’t worry, just click the “Text” tab, paste the code, and click back to “Visual” if you like

And that’s it. Voila!

You can use this same method in your sidebars too, not just in posts. When I get a minute I’ll insert a flash chess game into my sidebar so when you get bored reading my blogs you can have a quick game of chess against the computer instead :)

One final thing!

Please sign the petition to save UK justice. As I write this blog, it stands at over 83,000 signatures but needs 100,000 to be considered for a debate in Parliament. We need to see what they do when they’re put in this position and have to make a decision on whether to hold a debate. My personal feeling is that the government will try to avoid it at all costs. However, let’s put it on the line regardless and see just how interested in ‘transparency’ and ‘justice’ this government really is. Let’s see if they’ll allow the wider public to be able to put all the pieces together for themselves

Video: Save UK Justice demonstration 22 May 2013

Video footage of speeches at the demonstration outside Parliament on 22 May 2013 for the Save UK Justice campaign. Full credit goes to Glenn McMahon who shot the videos and kindly made them available to me. You can see more of Glenn’s videos here and learn more about Glenn’s work on his blog, The Meddler

Clive Stafford-Smith warns of move towards US style legal system. The founder of Reprieve says a good defence lawyer will become the preserve of the rich:

Please sign the petition

Black defendants will lost trusted high street solicitors from legal aid reforms, warns QC. Courtenay Griffiths QC warns that small & trusted high street solicitor firms that represent ethnic minorities will be first to disappear after changes to legal aid:

Please sign the petition

Government Ministers to keep legal aid while cutting it for the poor. Helena Kennedy asks how much legal aid was spent on representing Tony Blair at the Hutton inquiry:

Please sign the petition

Legal aid proposals led to the Birmingham Six and Guildford Four. Breda Power, daughter of Billy who spent 16-years in prison for the Birmingham bombings, speaks out for the first time in 20-years. It was not being able to choose their solicitor that led to poor defence & being wrongly imprisoned:

Please sign the petition

Alfie Meadows needed specialist legal team just as he needed a specialist neuro-surgeon. Susan Matthews, mother of Alfie who was nearly killed by a police baton strike before being charged with violent disorder says just like he needed a specialist surgeon to save his life he needed a specialist legal team to keep him from prison:

Please sign the petition

Former Tory MP lambasts Tory legal aid reforms. Jerry Hayes says Grayling’s proposals to reform legal aid will put ‘poisoned dagger’ through law and should be ‘strangled at birth’:

Please sign the petition

Alistair Webster QC: It’s a disgrace! It has to be stopped now!

Please sign the petition

Tom Wainright, who successfully defended student Zak King against charges of violent disorder, explains how the proposed legal aid reforms will affect cases such as his:

Please sign the petition

She’s Alive! BAILII Search RSS


Me and Roger at BAILII working stuff out, except he did all the work and it was by email

Are you interested in any of the following?

  • Getting a working RSS feed for any search term(s) on BAILII, including when using Advanced Search?
  • Utilising this feed in your current RSS feed reader?
  • Incorporating it into your blog eg a feed of a certain type of case, such as those involving “defamation”?
  • Linking the feed to a Twitter account so that it tweets these particular cases as they appear on BAILII?
  • Receiving an email every time a new case appears on BAILII which corresponds with your particular search term(s)?
  • Providing feedback so that BAILII can improve the services if provides?

If the answer to any of these is “yes”, then please read on

I wrote last week about efforts to produce an RSS feed from search terms on BAILII. There were a couple of potential issues identified, however. One being the potential to put too much server load on BAILII, but also further headaches in terms of having to use a third party to create and maintain a functioning RSS feed before you even get to using a feed reader. Oh, and it also appears to be something BAILII considers a prohibited use, but let’s just move on quickly, shall we

Since posting that piece I’ve been in contact with BAILII. As it turns out, BAILII had been looking at potential developments itself and had already ruled out at least one of my suggestions, for understandable reasons

To cut a long story short, after some great work by BAILII’s Systems Administrator/Developer, Roger Bell_West, we are now in a position to let you know about a new experimental method of pulling valid RSS feeds from BAILII search terms

I say experimental because whilst the method itself is valid and works well, it may not be able to be maintained by BAILII for a number of reasons, the most important one being server load

As such, I have agreed with BAILII that in flagging up the method I would stress that this is not currently an officially supported service and so may be pulled at any time without notice

That said, I’m optimistic (but that could be just me)

How to get your RSS feed

Visit BAILII and perform whatever search it is you are interested in. There are a number of search options available, including the Advanced Search facility. It might be a search for a particular type of legal issue (eg “libel”), proceedings (eg “judicial review”) – whatever you like

Once done, your search results will be displayed and in your browser’s address bar you will see the URL specific to that search. You’re going to need to amend this URL, which you can do either directly in the address bar or by copying and pasting it to a text editor or similar and doing it there

Here’s an example:

Let’s say I’m interested in cases involving aircraft noise. Typing “aircraft noise” into the search field gives me the following URL in my browser address bar:


Bear in mind that you can change the way the search results display by sorting results by title, jurisdiction, relevance (default) or date (either oldest or newest first)

Back to the URL – look for this section within the URL string:


and replace the number “1″ with “RSS” (it’s not case sensitive). Then hit enter to navigate your browser to the amended URL

Using Safari (5.1.9) with its inbuilt feed reader this is what we get – your search, now transformed into an RSS feed (most recent case first):


Safari switches automatically to the feed in the browser window, which is handy, but other browsers will be different. If you’re not on Safari you’ll need to add your amended URL to your feed reader and create the RSS there

I tried it in Google Chrome for Mac, using a free RSS toolbar widget from the Chrome App Store, and it converted it into a full RSS with no problems. The final RSS also parses correctly in Twitterfeed too. I’m going to try some tests on more exotic searches this week and see what comes out

Where does this leave us?

BAILII has indicated to me that it is prepared to listen to what people have to say about this. Assuming it’s something they can handle their end – server load, covering development/maintenance time etc – then if people find it useful it just might become a standard feature of the site and be incorporated into the home page. I stress the might, no promises

Personally, I think it’s a great idea and could be incredibly useful for people and it’s something that’s worth pursuing

We need feedback!

I’ve agreed with BAILII that I’ll collate any feedback we can pull together on the new search RSS and pass it on to them – it doesn’t matter if it’s technical feedback or just whether you think it’s useful and something you would like to see BAILII formalise (or not) – any feedback is valuable!

So, I’d be very grateful if you could let me know what you think or, how it panned out if you tried it. I’ve embedded a feedback form below for you to reply to me if you can help out. I’d be especially interested in feedback from people using Windows/other browsers. Also, BAILII will be monitoring its server load so if anyone is using it it would be good to get an idea so BAILII can evaluate impact


Save UK justice: The Blogs


I think the personal – blogger – response to the current legal aid reform proposals is particularly informative and powerful so, I’ve begun compiling the reactions I’ve been able to track down. When finished (and whilst throughout) this should be a useful resource, reference and record. All the pieces below follow the publication of the ‘Transforming Legal Aid‘ proposals on 9 April 2013 and were written by individuals on blogs or published via other new media (eg podcasts, Storify) as opposed to articles published in mainstream and other online media and news outlets. I am not aware of any other list but if there is one could someone please share it so I can link to it/update this piece

Grayling that, please feel free to use the contact form below the list to let me know about any blog post(s) I’ve missed or new ones that need adding as we go along. You can also tweet me at @ilegal. Please bear in mind that this post lists pieces from individuals written since the publication of the proposals on 9 April. As such, it does not contain links to the considerable number of excellent articles written by and for professional bodies, organisations, firms and corporate websites (including individual websites that exist primarily to advertise or offer services), lobby groups, online media or news outlets and the like. What I am trying to capture is the personal response – and the passion – of the individual blogger

Where you have had something published by the media or on your business/work website but it is also on your personal blog, please just send me the link to the blog – if you don’t have a blog, start one! Copy your post over and send me that link. If that doesn’t work for you and you think the piece is just too good to miss, then send it to me anyway and I’ll include it regardless in a recommended reading list further on in this post

This is a crowd-sourced list and I am relying on you to help me keep it up-to-date. If you become aware of a new blog post that is not on the list below please let me know. Thank you


10 April: Legal Aid – death by a thousand cuts (ObiterJ)

12 April: Mr Grayling’s Attack on The Criminal Bar (Barrister Blogger)

12 April: A comment on the MoJ’s consultation paper (Gemma’s Blog)

13 April: Chris Grayling: The Compulsive Liar at the Heart of Government (Johnny Void)

15 April: How much should criminal barristers be paid? (Barrister Blogger)

15 April: Legal aid reform – the justification (airlawdotme)

16 April: Legal Aid – some thoughts (Barrister 999)

17 April: Why you need Legal Aid (Barrister 999)

18 April: Football Fans – Actually, someday it might happen to you or your family. (Alison Gurden)

18 April: An open email to the Law Society (Barrister 999)

18 April: Just a quick one… (Barrister 999)

21 April: High Street solicitors could be forced to close by Government legal aid changes (Rachel Broughton)

22 April: Ever been arrested or ended up in court? We need your help to save legal aid.. (Alison Gurden)

22 April: A bit more on the figures (Barrister 999)

23 April: The price of everything, the value of nothing… (Crim Solicitor)

23 April: The law students’ perspective on changes to criminal legal aid and the end of the high street solicitor (alecs rees)

24 April: Save UK Justice (ilegality)

24 April: Legal Aid Cuts: Some Thoughts (Lawyer Watch)

24 April: Legal aid: the cuts, the context and the challenge (Roger Smith)

25 April: Keeping the truth hidden (Barrister 999)

25 April: Going the extra mile (ilegality)

25 April: The right to choose… (Crim Solicitor)

25 April: The Concerns of a Caseworker (Gemma’s Blog)

25 April: So you’re a football fan and think the legal aid cuts won’t affect you (Propping Up The Bar)

26 April: The hidden danger to victims of crime of the proposed Legal Aid cuts. (Alison Gurden)

26 April: Don’t Let Justice Go (Gemma’s Blog)

26 April: Sex, Women and the Law. Why it matters. (The Barrister’s Tale.)

28 April: Groundhog Day (Guy Gozem)

29 April: A letter to Ed Miliband (Barrister 999)

29 April: A bit about me (A Barrister’s Wife)

30 April: The person behind the file (Crim Solicitor)

30 April: Myth #1 The Fatcat Lawyer (A Barrister’s Wife)

30 April: Podcast with Michael Turner QC, Chairman of the CBA, on the legal aid reforms (Charon QC)

1 May: Chris Grayling, The Daily Mail and more nonsense about prisons (all that’s left)

1 May: Myth #2 The Scumbag Criminals (A Barrister’s Wife)

2 May: Dismantling Justice for Ordinary People (2) (The Virtual Lawyer)

3 May: Open Letter to the NUS on the damage the proposed Legal Aid cuts will have on students (Alison Gurden)

4 May: To Kill A Mockingbird (ilegality)

4 May: Any Questions? Plenty, but they won’t be asked. (Barrister 999)

4 May: Let’s look at the finances (richstone59′s blog)

5 May: Exhibit A – “The Child Pornographer” (A Barrister’s Wife)

5 May: Exhibit B – “The Murderer” (A Barrister’s Wife)

6 May: The Public Vote (alecs rees)

8 May: Sex, self promotion and Stobart: a note for lawyers  (A Barrister’s Wife)

9 May: Should have gone to… (Crim Solicitor)

10 May: Jerry Hayes could have said: Grayling’s reforms bode ill for rape victims (A Barrister’s Wife)

10 May: Chris Grayling hands probation service over to a bunch of crooks (Johnny Void)

12 May: Keep Calm, Stay United (Guy Gozem)

12 May: Prisons: Factories of Hate (325.nostate)

12 May: Transforming Justice: why it matters to everyone, what it means, why it’s wrong and what you can do (CliveBaker1)

13 May: The Gateway return to unfunded pupillages (Legal Air Strip One)

14 May: Exhibit C – “The Paedophile” (A Barrister’s Wife)

14 May: Time to listen… (Crim Solicitor)

14 May: Legal Aid Reform: Let’s be Civil (Lawyer Watch)

15 May: When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you. (Crim Solicitor)

16 May: A Letter to the Lord Chancellor of Great Britain, The Secretary of State for Justice (the intrigant)

16 May: My letter to my MP (Barrister 999)

17 May: How Chris Grayling Brutally did in Criminal Work With Some Aphabeti Spaghetti Bullshit Acronyms (Kavanomics)

18 May: Can our justice system cheat death? Meet the SE Circuit (Kavanomics)

19 May: Monkeys, peanuts and quality (Crim Solicitor)

19 May: The real ‘scumbag criminal’ is still free – A matter at democracy’s heart (ObiterJ)

19 May: Positioning and How to Win a Bar Fight With The Lord Chancellor (Kavanomics)

20 May: Meetings with the Lord Chancellor (Barrister 999)

20 May: What price do we put on justice? (The Virtual Lawyer)

20 May: Is Mr Grayling’s Legal Aid Consultation Genuine Or A Sham? Ask An Interpreter (Barrister Blogger)

20 May: Justice Grayling Style (A View From The North)

21 May: Save UK justice: the blogs (ilegality)

21 May: Grayling comments re PCT at House of Commons, Justice Questions 21st May 2013 (Gemma’s Blog)

21 May: Turning Points: Brain Injury & The Justice System (The Life In The Law)

21 May: Legal Aid (On Probation Blog)

21 May: Second letter to the Lord Chancellor (theintrigant)

21 May: Exhibit D – “The Fraudster” (A Barristers Wife)

21 May: Potato Justice (Frontline Hackney)

22 May: The verdict is in: FailingGrayling LC guilty of attempted murder of Legal Aid (Charon QC)

22 May: Storify: Save UK Justice! (Shoaib M Khan)

22 May: Legal Aid Demo at Parliament – 22nd May 2013 (Gemma’s Blog)

23 May: Standing up for Justice – Rally outside Parliament (A Life in the Bus Lane)

23 May: Tipping the Scales (The Virtual Lawyer)

23 May: Day of protest! Lawyers get (more) stroppy! (Kavanomics)

23 May: It Could Be You – The Diary of an Ordinary Man (A view from the North)

24 May: Storify: This is why you should sign the petition (Hilly Foz)

24 May: Do Right, Fear No-one! Or why I say no to QASA (c0unse1)

24 May: No to PCT! (Don’t Always Believe What You Read)

24 May: You’ve got to have the money to buy it (The Gaping Silence)

25 May: Jerry Hayes on the Lord Chancellor’s Legal Aid reforms – a sardonic commentary (Charon QC)

25 May: Liberal Democrats Need a Big Nudge (Guy Gozem)

26 May: Earning a Client’s Trust – or why I say no to PCT (c0unse1)

27 May: Somewhere… In a bunker deep beneath the Ministry of Justice… (c0unse1) This video is available to watch below

27 May: Video: Save UK Justice demonstration 22 May 2013 (ilegality)

27 May: Ministry of Jesters (A Barristers’s Wife)

27 May: Life at the Thin Edge of the Wedge – The Grim Reality of the Independent Junior Criminal Bar (50 Shades of Affray)

28 May: Never Say Never (crimsolicitor)

28 May: No to PCT: Effect on YOUR career (Don’t Always Believe What You Read)

28 May: UK Courts to be Privatised, This Is Not Satire (Scriptonite Daily)

28 May: What could possibly go wrong? (fleet street fox)

28 May: Ministry Of Justice To Treat Dogs Better Than Lawyers (Barrister Blogger)

28 May: Third letter to the Lord Chancellor (theintrigant)

28 May: Divide and Conquer? It’s time to “Unite and Fight”! (Propping Up The Bar)

28 May: Selling justice by the pound (Alex’s Archives)

29 May: No To PCT: My Interpretation (Don’t Always Believe What You Read)

29 May: In praise of lawyers – just for a change! (The Virtual Lawyer)

29 May: Transforming Legal Aid part II (c0unse1) This video is available to watch below

29 May: Now let me point a finger, not at the Lord Chancellor, but at the legal profession (legaltwo)

29 May: Why propriety matters (A dragon’s best friend)

30 May: Common Law: Dead End Street? (The Virtual Lawyer)

30 May: No to PCT: my letter to Chris Grayling (Don’t Always Believe What You Read)

30 May: A view of and from law blogs (Charon QC) Main image is reproduced below

31 May: What Mr Grayling doesn’t want you to know (crimsolicitor)

31 May: No to PCT: my response to their response (Don’t Always Believe What You Read)

1 June: No to PCT: lots of links and a few words (Don’t Always Believe What You Read)

1 June: My Foreword to my response to the Consultation Paper (utterbarrister)

1 June: When they come for you (I Am Called Nick)

1 June: Tim the Solicitor (I Am Called Nick)

1 June: We Must Stop the Murder of Probation by the Minister Intent on Breaking Justice! (Save Probation)

2 June: Legal Walk 2013: this one is for Chris Grayling (Jon Harman) This video is available to watch below

2 June: All Piss and Spin – the Dork Lord or Poison Ogre? (utterbarrister)

3 June: The Value of Justice – 2.2 drops in the ocean!! (The Virtual Lawyer)

3 June: What’s Abu got to do, got to do with it? (A Barrister’s Wife)

4 June: True Crime (The Gaping Silence)

4 June: A Barrister Rants; aka The (Real) Summary of my Response (A view from the North)

4 June: Debating Legal Aid Proposals. Why Are Ministers Frit? (Barrister Blogger)

4 June: Some responses to MoJ consultation on Transforming legal aid (Law and Lawyers)

4 June: Denying defendants a choice of lawyers is wrong (Head of Legal)

4 June: Dinah Rose QC: a declaration of lack of interest (Head of Legal)

4 June: Michael Fordham QC: the avocado of justice (Head of Legal)

4 June: Geoffrey Robertson QC: there is a hidden agenda (Head of Legal)

4 June: My response to the Ministry of Justice’s damnable consultation. (Counsel of Perfection)

5 June: #SaveUKJustice – A few observations…some sardonic (Charon QC)

5 June: Fourth letter to the Lord Chancellor (theintrigant)

5 June: Legal aid cuts? Fuck em! (Chris Spivey The World Put Right)

5 June: Legal Aid Cuts risk eroding Access to Justice (Tom Scholes-Fogg)

6 June: Ministry of Justice shows signs of desperation (The Virtual Lawyer)

6 June: Andy Slaughter MP: this is going to be a long struggle (Head of Legal)

8 June: Save UK Justice… the jigsaw (ilegality)

8 June: Choice? Choose Justice (Gemma’s Blog)

8 June: Legal aid reforms: making ‘One law for the rich’ official government policy (Forget What Did.)

9 June: What justice means to me (SaveUKJustice) (Don’t Always Believe What You Read)

9 June: The Daily Mail has the legal reform story……The new face of British Justice (Charon QC)

9 June: The Probation Thing (Ben’s Prison Blog – Lifer On The Loose)

9 June: The Case for the Defence (A view from the North)

9 June: Spin (Guy Gozem)

9 June: Shape of things to come in Grayling’s Brave New World (utterbarrister)

10 June: Save UK Justice… The Soundtrack (ilegality)

10 June: Marx on Monday: destruction of our criminal justice system (Bogpaper.com)

10 June: That awesome triumph of austerity applied to UK legal aid (An Onymous Lefty)

10 June: Is Grayling Right? (Is Grayling Right?)

11 June: Transforming Legal Aid part III (c0unse1) This video is available to watch below

11 June: Fifth letter to the Lord Chancellor (theintrigant)

11 June: A Letter to Lord McNally (A view from the North)

11 June: Justice Select Committee: one-off evidence session: ‘Transforming Legal Aid Consultation’ (Gemma’s Blog)

12 June: Cuts to Legal Aid present serious threat to democratic protections (It’s me fuming rights init!)

12 June: Austerity is the Controlled Demolition of The Welfare State – Part II – Law and Justice (Scriptonite Daily)

13 June: Justice: Slight Rant From a 12YO’s Perspective… (SaveUKJustice) (Little Girl With The Big Mouth)

13 June: Save UK Justice – Part One – The Assumptions (Harriet Stack)

13 June: This is what is happening to honest hard working legal aid lawyers and why (A Barristers Wife)

14 June: An Inconvenient Truth part 2 (A view from the North)

14 June: Save UK Justice – Part Two – Fat Cats (Harriet Stack)

15 June: Lord McNally’s balloons (Guy Gozem)

16 June: About Me WHO AM I (Supporting UK Justice: for the defence! by a layman)

18 June: Legal Aid Question Time – 18 June 2013 (Gemma’s Blog)

18 June: Legal Aid Question Time – 18 June 2013 (Dan Bunting – A Life In The Bus Lane)

18 June: Legal Aid Question Time: highlights (JonMack)

18 June: Interview #John Cooper 15 (Artist Taxi Driver) This video is available to view below

19 June: An Hysterical Question Time (c0unse1)

19 June: Life at “the lower end of the legal profession” (chrispyes)

19 June: Legal Aid: what’s going on? (Gemma’s Blog)

19 June: Hors D’oeuvre (Fatcat Lawyer)

20 June: The Blogs Illegal’s Work compiling the individual blogs for the Save UK Justice campaign (Supporting UK Justice: for the defence! by a layman)

20 June: Grayling thinks you are too thick to pick? (Supporting UK Justice: for the defence! by a Layman)

20 June: Music for Criminal Defence Lawyers and their Fans (Supporting UK Justice: for the defence! by a layman)

20 June: Songs for Criminal Justice System Lawyers Probation Scene (Supporting UK Justice: for the defence! by a layman)

20 June: The impact of legal aid cuts in Thanet and East Kent (Gemma’s Blog)

20 June: McNally: If you live in a bubble, you’re not going to persuade people (Head Of Legal)

20 June: The Attorney-General’s Remarkable Letter (Jack of Kent)

20 June: How Much Should I Be Paid? (Fatcat Lawyer)

21 June: The Ministry of Silly Talks (Guy Gozem)

21 June: The Unfair Taper (A view from the North)

22 June: Save UK Justice – fighting against Government control of the justice system (chrispyes)

22 June: Jackie’s Story: Legal representation is crucial (Gemma’s Blog)

22 June: A Second Letter to Lord McNally (A view from The North)

23 June: Legal Aid Reforms: Residency test to save government money and embarrassment (The Meddler)

23 June: Legal Aid Reforms: prisoners to lose legal aid, prisons to lose scrutiny (The Meddler)

23 June: Legal Aid Reforms: judicial reviews of state behaviour essentially axed (The Meddler)

23 June: Legal Aid Reforms: Solicitor fee cuts to encourage guilty pleas (The Meddler)

23 June: Legal Aid Reforms: vulnerable and abused women heavily impacted by reforms (The Meddler)

23 June: Legal Aid Reforms: Not just the marginalised to miss out on justice; it could be you (The Meddler)

23 June: A poem: “The nightmare” #saveukjustice (paulsprior)

23 June: The Bigger The Lie… (Fatcat Lawyer)

25 June: Chapter 1: Number One (CriminalDefenceBarrister)

26 June: Lord McNally spins the wheel – where will it land (chrispyes)

26 June: Save UK Justice (Honesty of the Young)

26 June: Grays Inn Standing Orders re Honorary Benchers (utterbarrister)

27 June: Lord Beecham attacks Chris Grayling – Lord McNally responds (Guy Gozem)

27 June: Sixth letter to the Lord Chancellor (theintrigant)

27 June: Backbench Business Committee – Legal Aid Debate – 27th June 2013 (Gemma’s Blog)

27 June: We’ve Got Your Number, Grayling (CriminalDefenceBarrister)

27 June: The Lord’s Finger (A view from the North)

28 June: 100,00 up – carry on signing! (The Virtual Lawyer)

29 June: Save UK Justice: One Hundred Thousand (Gemma’s Blog)

29 June: Iolanthe Part 1 (A view from the North)

30 June: The Matter Before You (Another Grumpy Old Man)

1 July: To bid or not to bid? – Game Theory for lawyers I (A Life in the Bus Lane)

1 July: Time to exercise caution? (Honesty of the Young)

1 July: Ideological Differences (Fatcat Lawyer)

1 July: Iolanthe Part 2 (A view from the North)

2 July: The MoJ and Jajo, the intepreting rabbit (Guy Gozem)

2 July: Pay Peanuts, Get Monkeys? (Honesty of the Young)

2 July: Cost Budgeting and Non-Compliance (Honesty of the Young)

2 July: Chapter 1.2: The Volcano Erupts (or The Bitch is Back!) (CriminalDefenceBarrister)

2 July: Seventh letter to the Lord Chancellor (theintrigant)

3 July: Justice Select Committee: ‘Transforming Legal Aid Consultation’ – Chris Grayling gives evidence (Gemma’s Blog)

3 July: He’s at it again… (Honesty of the Young)

3 July: Iolanthe Part 3 (A view from the North)

3 July: An Open Letter to the Law Society (A Life in the Bus Lane)

3 July: Anything that might embarrass the Lord Chancellor (Guy Gozem)

4 July: Why the Law Society proposed alternatives (Gemma’s Blog)

4 July: Where now? (Barrister 999)

4 July: Ideological Differences (Fatcat Lawyer)

6 July: A quick review of the last 3 months (No To PCT)

6 July: Credit where credit’s due (No To PCT)

7 July: A Third Letter to Lord McNally (A view from the North)

9 July: Roundtable Meeting with Shadow Justice Team (Gemma’s Blog)

12 July: Legal Aid Debate in House of Lords 11th July (ObiterJ)

12 July: Open Letter to The President of The Law Society (Criminal Law Hack)

16 July: Transforming Legal Aid: Meeting with Laura Sandys MP for Thanet South (Gemma’s Blog)

16 July: Kent Defence in the news (Gemma’s Blog)

17 July: A Fourth Letter to Lord McNally (A view from the North)

17 July: Chapter Two: A New King Amongst Men (CriminalDefenceBarrister)

20 July: What price justice? (Rants Of A Hopeless Idealist)

21 July: A Plea In Aggravation (CriminalDefenceBarrister)

22 July: Question and Answer: ‘Transforming Legal Aid’ (Gemma’s Blog)

22 July: A Note of a Meeting with the Lord Chancellor (A view from the North)

23 July: Rally for Legal Aid – 30th July 2013 (Gemma’s Blog)

26 July: A Brief Encounter (Rants Of A Hopeless Idealist)

29 July: Perverting the course of justice: Once a crime now government policy (Vox Political)

30 July: Report and Pictures: Legal Aid Rally to celebrate 64 years – 30th July 2013 (Gemma’s Blog)

31 July: Shami Chakrabarti: the place where I grew up (Head of Legal)

31 July: Sadiq Khan: we probably have the most legally illiterate Lord Chancellor in the history of our country (Head of Legal)

31 July: Raphael Rowe: news coverage of legal aid “a travesty” (Head of Legal)

31 July: “Sally”: legal aid meant my daughter could get some form of justice (Head of Legal)

31 July: Shauneen Lambe: defend the children of the poor (Head of Legal)

31 July: Josie Long: I can’t believe A.C. Grayling is doing this (Head of Legal)

31 July: Tom Robinson: there’s one law for the rich, and another one for the poor (Head of Legal)

2 Aug: Letter from Chris Grayling re Criminal Legal Aid Reform (Gemma’s Blog)

6 Aug: In Which I Talk About Franklin Sinclair, Maturity, Respect and Coffee. (Little Girl With The Big Mouth)

6 Aug: Dangerous Scaremongering (Fatcat Lawyer)

9 Aug: Leeroy Skeete: hope came in the form of Legal Aid (Gemma’s Blog)

9 Aug: Minister tries to Defend the indefensible (The Virtual Lawyer)

10 Aug: Legal Aid Earners 2011/2012 (A Life in the Bus Lane)

14 Aug: Mr Grayling’s Holiday and Government’s Stupidity (Little Girl With The Big Mouth)

18 Aug: Dear Damian (A view from the North)

21 Aug: Chapter 3: Lest We Should Forget…(Number One Strikes Back) (CriminalDefenceBarrister)

23 Aug: The Novelty of Going Into Law (Little Girl With The Big Mouth)

4 Sept: Legal Aid: Parliament Debate in Westminster Hall – 4th September 2013 (Gemma’s Blog)

4 Sept: The Weakest Link (A view from the North)

5 Sept: Open letter to the Bar Standards Board (paulsprior)

5 Sept: Legal Aid – Westminster Hall debate – Inefficiency and waste (ObiterJ)

5 Sept: Transforming legal aid: Next steps – A new consultation – the fight for fairness is not over (ObiterJ)

5 Sept: Complaint to BBC re Legal Correspondent perpetuating “Most Expensive Legal System” Lie (utterbarrister)

6 Sept: Transforming legal aid – Reaction – A few of the Tweets (ObiterJ)

6 Sept: Progress on Legal Aid – but much to do! (The Virtual Lawyer)

6 Sept: Chapter 4: Number One Gets Serious (CriminalDefenceBarrister)

10 Sept: The Terryifying Prospect of the Future for British Justice (Another Grumpy Old Man)

20 Sept: Join the FailingGrayling Fanclub? No Thanks. (CriminalDefenceBarrister)

24 Sept: The First Cut is the Deepest. And the Second. And the Third. (CriminalDefenceBarrister)

2 Oct: Insomnia (Barrister 999)

3 Oct: A Bleak Future for Justice (Another Grumpy Old Man)

7 Oct: Direct Action (Barrister 999)

24 Oct: British Summer Time (Gemma’s Blog)

1 Nov: Response to “Transforming Legal Aid: The Next Steps” (CriminalDefenceBarrister)

1 Nov: Guest Post: Times are bleak but there is a fight to be had (Gemma’s Blog)

1 Nov: Second Consultation Response – Transforming Legal Aid: Next Steps (Gemma’s Blog)

1 Nov: My personal response to the Legal Aid consultation (A view from the North)

1 Nov: Next Steps consultation response of Max Hardy (Counsel of Perfection)

1 Nov: Chris Grayling – liar or incompetent? (c0unse1)

1 Nov: My response to the Next Steps “Consultation” – for what it’s worth. (utterbarrister)

4 Nov: The Ballad of Legal Aid (S Pepp). This video is available to watch below

6 Nov: How much are criminal briefs paid? (JonMack)

8 Nov: The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth……Mr Grayling (Lassooftruthdc)

9 Nov: Eighth Letter to the Lord Chancellor (theintrigant)

17 Nov: 16/11 The Day the Worm Turned (A view from the North)

17 Nov: The morning after the CBA rally (counse1) This video is available to watch below

26 Nov: Delays, Fees and Redtape (A view from the North)

27 Nov: Mr Jinks Joins the Real World (A view from the North)

28 Nov: Can the Bar afford NOT to strike? (utterbarrister)

5 Dec: £148m cut from Justice Ministry budget (JonMack)

6 Dec: 10 Reasons Why Criminal Barristers Are Right To Strike Today (Barrister Blogger)

8 Dec: A Christmas Carol – Stave One (A view from the North)

8 Dec: MoJ Memo – the hidden dangers in the office (A Life in the Bus Lane)

9 Dec: The Price of Honesty (c0unse1)

10 Dec: A Christmas Carol – Stave Three (A view from the North)

10 Dec: A Christmas Carol – Stave Two (A view from the North)

11 Dec: Ebeneezer Grayling – All the Staves (A view from the North)

12 Dec: A Christmas Carol – Stave Four (A view from the North)

14 Dec: A Christmas Carol – Stave Five (A view from the North)

19 Dec: A cheery Round Robin from the Ministry of Justice Christmas Card (Barrister Blogger)

18 Dec: Lord McNally leaves govt (JonMack)

18 Dec: The Winds of Change (c0unse1)

19 Dec: Ninth Letter to the Lord Chancellor (theintrigant)

23 Dec: A Cunning Plan (A view from the North)

31 Dec: Why criminal barristers are striking (JonMack)


1 Jan: An Act of Madness (A view from the North)

2 Jan: So Much For Enterprise and Ambition Then (Another Grumpy Old Man)

3 Jan: Bigmouth Strikes Again (A view from the North)

3 Jan: Justice’s blindfold slips (Counsel of Perfection)

6 Jan: The Day of Action (c0unse1)

6 Jan: The criminal bar is revolting (JonMack)

6 Jan: And We All Stand Together (A view from the North)

6 Jan: 7 things we learned from the strike (Dan Bunting – A Life In The Bus Lane)

7 Jan: Handbags and Gladrags (A view from the North)

7 Jan: Handbags and Gladrags: How Very Dare We? (CriminalDefenceBarrister)

8 Jan: Criminal justice statistics and politicians talking rubbish (JohMack)

8 Jan: Average criminal trial costs £549 in Legal Aid (JonMack)

8 Jan: MoJ’s misuse of stats helps dismiss barristers as fat-cats despite many struggling to get by (The Meddler)

10 Jan: What criminal barristers do and what they don’t (Counsel of Perfection)

17 Jan: The Teddy Bears’ Picnic (A view from the North)

21 Jan: Oh Yes! I am the Public Defender (A view from the North)

22 Jan: Tenth Letter to the Lord Chancellor (theintrigant)

22 Jan: Plan B (A view from the North)

22 Jan: Here is the News (A view from the North)

24 Jan: “I’m only 12… Why Should I Know What’s Going On?” (Little Girl With The Big Mouth)

4 Feb: The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth… (crimsolicitor)

10 Feb: Hannah Evans – Legal Aid Heroine (A view from the North)

11 Feb: By the light of a dying star (crimsolicitor)

A few other pieces of recommended reading:

Legal aid: no justice, no peace. (UK Uncut)

Judicial satire is deadly serious (Catherine Baksi, The Gazette)

This is what is happening to honest hard working legal aid lawyers, and why (CBA)

A Personal Response to the Transforming Legal Aid Consultation Paper (Nick Cockrell)

Save UK Justice (Merseyside Family Justice Council)

Justice: the preserve of the rich? (the f word blog)

Short Cuts (Francis FitzGibbon – London Review of Books)

It’s Time To Wake Up – UK Legal Aid Cuts (Oxford Human Rights Hub)

Transforming Legal Aid… a dash of sarcasm (Criminal Defence Associates)

Will the new criminal legal aid reforms breach the right to a fair trial (UK Human Rights Blog)

If legal aid ‘reform’ goes ahead, we will be failing the victims of sexual violence and abuse (Mumsnet)

United we stand, divided we fall, save UK justice (The Justice Gap)

Justice for All? (The Chamberlain Files)

A Letter to Philip Hammond, MP for Runnymede (Just Counsel)

Transforming Legal Aid in The UK (Human Rights in Ireland)

Price Competitive Tendering: a solicitors view from the high street (CBA)

Oliver Kirk’s letter to Keith Vaz on the disastrous consequences of PCT (CBA)

The freedoms we all take for granted will disappear (DTRTP)

Access to Justice (Urban Lawyers)

The race to the bottom… Justice will be the loser (JFH Law)

Spoof Your Geolocation on Twitter

I’ve been looking at location services in Twitter – the ability to include your location as part of a tweet so that people can click on it and see where you actually are on a map

First off, check out the picture below so you can see what I mean – when I tweeted this, I was apparently at Buckingham Palace, Westminster. If you follow this link to the tweet and click on the bit highlighted below it will bring it up on a map


Now, do the same thing and have a look at the location of these tweets, all sent within a few mins of each other:

From the Post Office on O’Connell Street, Dublin:


From The White House:


From the Kremlin:


The long and the short of it: location services on Twitter can be easily spoofed. You can pretend to be somewhere you aren’t

I used a site called Please Don’t Stalk Me. Before you use it you need to turn on location services in your Twitter account (it’s in Settings). Find where you want to be in PDSM and enter your text in the pop-up box. Hit ‘tweet’ and you’re done. Just make sure your text is less than 140 characters or it won’t work at all

Why do it? Well, because you can. You never know, it might even come in useful one day ;)

Once you’ve finished don’t forget to go back into your Twitter settings and turn location services off. If you’ve any sense of privacy at all, always keep location services turned off – you would be amazed what information can be acquired about your personal life when it’s left on. You might also want to revoke access to the app too if you’re extra cautious – you can always re-authorise it if you want to use it again