UK Blawg Roundup #13

by Laurie Anstis on March 29, 2013

Thanks to Michael Scutt for inviting me to contribute the UK Blawg Roundup for the first quarter of this year – my pick of UK legal blogging so far this year.

January

Being an employment lawyer, my January was dominated by the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights in Ewieda, Chaplin, Ladele and McFarlane v UK. The Ewieda and Chaplin cases dealt with the wearing of religious symbols at work, with Ladele and McFarlane looking at what happens when work duties conflict with religious conscience.

These highly politicised cases brought out the best in legal blogging.

1 Crown Office Row’s UK Human Rights Blog, which must have some claim to being the UK’s most successful legal blog, lead the way, with Rosalind English working through the detail of the judgments. James Wilson was even more thorough, with a series of three posts. Carl Gardner criticised the judgment as “the Strasbourg court micromanaging respect for human rights in the UK”.

Amongst the specialist employment law bloggers, the mysterious Mrs Markleham was quick off the mark, as was Darren Newman.

Michael Reed praised legal bloggers’ reactions and analysis of the cases, saying it marked a “tipping point” for legal blogging, going so far as to predict that there would be a 2035 PhD thesis on: “Eweida: The moment a nascent legal blogosphere came of age“.

February

February saw the first trial of Vicky Price for perverting the course of justice. This prompted much discussion of the obscure defence of “marital coercion”.

The ICLR provided heavyweight analysis of Sweeney J’s ruling on whether the apparent burden on the defendant to prove the defence was compatible with the Human Rights Act, while “Carrefax” considered whether such a ruling could bind lower courts.

The eventual collapse of the first trial, and the questions asked of the judge by the jury, drew criticism from some quarters, but David Allen Green spoke up for the jury in a dialogue which continued with Joshua Rozenberg.

Elsewhere, Anya Palmer asked her own questions about the case on Storify, and Alan Richards looked at the prosecution’s approach to the case.

March

In March, the Royal Charter on Self-Regulation of the Press raised the possibility of bloggers being caught up in the post-Leveson regulatory regime.

Lucy Reed sensed a chill in the air, as did Obiter J, who has written consistently on the topic. Andrew Sharpe wasn’t losing any sleep over it, though felt there was more to think about for commercial bloggers. Paul Bernal recommended keeping vigilant, and blamed the threat of regulation on bad behaviour by the press.

The language used in the proposed Royal Charter, and in particular its attempt to require a two-thirds majority in Parliament for amendments, did not impressA Barrister in London“. This attempt to entrench a two-thirds majority was also considered by Brodies LLP, a firm which maintains a comprehensive set of blogs, and which also looked separately at the implications of the Royal Charter for Scotland.

Final mentions

Finally, three special mentions:

First, Charon QC, without whom no UK Blawg Roundup is complete. The pioneer of UK legal blogging has been laid low by illness recently, but we wish him a swift recovery to full strength.

Second, Kerry Underwood, whose frequent polemics on the Jackson reforms have made his blog required reading for anyone with an interest in justice and the legal system.

And third, Sean Jones QC, whose Social Media Law Project, though still in its infancy,  is a genuinely innovative approach to how law can work online.

2 comments

[…] Thanks to Michael Scutt for inviting me to contribute the UK Blawg Roundup for the first quarter of this year – my pick of UK legal blogging so far this year. January Being an employment lawyer, my January was dominated (…)Read the rest of this entry » […]

by UK Blawg Roundup #13 - Laurie Anstis - Member Blogs - HR Blogs - HR Space from Personnel Today and Xpert HR on 29 March 2013 at 9:56 am. #

[…] Anstis is the latest UK blawger to host this Round Up on his Work/Life/Law blog, which is written as a monthly diary.  Like me, Laurie is an employment lawyer and he […]

by #UKBR13 – Work/Life/Law | UK Blawg Roundup on 29 March 2013 at 6:57 pm. #