Too little too late as Daily Mail “corrects” bogus human rights splash

Adam Wagner exposes the rank dishonesty of the MoJ’s “newspaper” of choice.

UK Human Rights Blog

screen-shot-2013-10-12-at-21-11-11The Daily Mail has belatedly “corrected” its front page story on human rights damages, over a month after it appeared on 7 October 2013. Early last month I blogged on  the original bogus article, which was so poor it generated a response from the ordinarily placid Council of Europe.

I have quote-pincered “corrected” as despite the newspaper’s actions, the damage is already done. A month has passed, which in social media time might as well be million years. People have moved on. Another human rights myth is implanted in the collective consciousness, and no sad little correction is going to dislodge a front page headline.

And to make things worse, the story was amplified by a whole host of other newspapers which picked it up without bothering to check the facts, including the Telegraph (corrected) and Daily Star (as yet uncorrected).

What really rankles about this story is how…

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Eighth Letter to the Lord Chancellor

Once again, The Intrigant scores a very palpable hit with his razor sharp wit. Will the rest be silence yet again from the MoJ?


Eighth letter to the Lord Chancellor,

Lord Chancellor, Secretary of State for Justice,
Mr Chris Grayling,

10th November 2013,

Dear Lord Chancellor,

Well, I’m back. I have just returned to the UK after, as you know, a few weeks travelling on your fact finding mission to Zimbabwe, Somalia and North Korea. I will provide you with my full report into the benefits of their criminal justice systems in due course. But in summary I can inform you that no legal aid need be provided at all for a criminal justice system to function very satisfactorily indeed.

However I am concerned to find on my return home that your splendid legal aid reforms are still being opposed by intelligent and well-informed people who are not remunerated by legal aid, and so are entirely impartial. On a more positive note I see that able and experienced criminal barristers are leaving the profession…

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The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth……Mr Grayling

Will the salaried, pensioned Civil Servants and Ministers at the MoJ “engage” with this?


Everyone at the Bar knows this simple truth : criminal legal aid will not pay the bills.  But perhaps the extent of the “shortfall” is not widely known outside the criminal Bar itself.

I will not go on about the year on year pay cuts criminal barristers have had to endure, nor the further devastation Mr Grayling and this Government seem intent on imposing….I will, instead, simply give you a glimpse of what the financial realties of criminal legal aid are.

My husband …let’s call him Mr X……is 20 years call.  He is well respected.  He is an exceptional advocate.  He does heavy weight crime – has been against silks, done murders and manslaughters without a leader, regularly acts in serious sex cases involving young children, gang crimes etc.  So not a “baby barrister” just starting out.

Despite my pleas to “do something ..anything…else” he continues to “be true” to…

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MoJese – A Guide to Newspeak

A view from the North

Some handy translations of pronouncements coming out of our beloved ministry…..

We have quadrupled fees and tightened time limits to stop JR being used as a cheap delaying tactic in immigration cases


The proposals include a residency test so that immigrants who have barely stepped over the border, or who may even be here illegally, will not qualify for civil legal aid.


There are now only a tiny handful of cases each day when an interpreter job is unfilled.


Very often attempts to deport foreign prisoners run into problems with the Human Rights Act, which is another reason why human rights laws need to change.

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Transforming Legal Aid: Next Steps Online Survey not very User-Friendly to us Non Lawyers unless you are in the know or are aware

Supporting UK Justice: For the Defence! by a layman

  1. DO  YOU AGREE WITH THIS MODIFIED MODEL Y/N     NOReducing the number of Suppliers will drastically slash the ability of people to access Legal Representation which goes against The Rule of Law.
    MOJ 40% Fee Slashing means that the Legal Profession has enormous difficulties in retaining/attracting Talent. It also has adversely affected the Profession in that they are unable to enjoy the normal Work-Pay dynamic as the LAA and Sols firms are so bad at paying The Bar.
  2. DO YOU AGREE WITH THE METHOD OF PROCUREMENT UNDER MODIFIED MODEL Y/N REASONS  Procurement  Areas are too large and reduce access to the Public this is against the Rule of Law where the richest and poorest have access to Justice.
  3. DO YOU AGREE WITH THE METHODOLOGY FOR DUTY PROVIDER WORK Y/N NOThe Methodology is flawed. The MOJ has not consulted with the Legal Profession despite repeated attempts by The Criminal Bar Association  by…

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Transforming Legal Aid: Next Steps – Consultation Response by Garden Court Chambers

Garden Court’s response to @mojgovuk. “Do,right, fear no-one” as the man once said.

Do right, fear no-one!

Garden Court Chambers have formulated the below response to the Ministry of Justice consultation document ‘Transforming Legal Aid: Next Steps.” The response reiterates Chambers’ strong opposition to the cuts to legal aid.


Garden Court Chambers is one of the largest barristers’ chambers in England and Wales.  We have recently welcomed to Chambers a number of barristers from Tooks Chambers and, considering that Tooks closed as direct result of the existing cuts to legal aid, we have direct experience of the profound effect that the cuts have already had on barristers carrying out publicly funded work.

Legal Aid is one of the cornerstones of a civilised society as rights are worthless if they cannot be enforced.  The law is our system for doing this and it is universally recognised that, where the state intervenes in our lives, we must be able to assert our rights and this almost always requires…

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Gemma Blythe hits the nail on the head yet again. The Criminal Justice system works because it can call upon skilled and dedicated people at every level. Gemma provides the invaluable perspective of a hardworking caseworker. Yet another example of what the taxpayer stands to lose, not gain, if the MoJ proposals are railroaded through.

Thoughts on the Criminal Justice System

The Ministry of Justice held an initial consultation period which began in April 2013, which I consider to be rushed and ill-thought through. This consultation resulted in around 16,000 responses. These responses forced a u-turn on client choice and PCT. However, there was a query over whether these responses were actually read as many legal professionals who had emailed their responses were receiving negative read receipts. We are now at the end of the second consultation period for ‘Transforming Legal Aid: Next Steps’, and I truly hope that you receive as many responses as the first, as the second consultation is as damning.

The cuts to legal aid (, allocation of numbers in each procurement area and the way firms obtain own client and duty contracts are abominable. This will lead to a financial catastrophe for most law firms. For the ‘lucky’ ones who survive, they will be dying a…

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