Gerard Clarke wrote: Ms Pierce appears from her published writings to have very naive, JCR style views about politics. She seemed to me rather rude and lacking in professional detachment when I acted against Qatada for the Secretary of State in a case about ten years ago (we had stopped his benefits - his challenge to that failed.)
I had dealings with Gareth Pierce on a number of occasions during the 1990's. It is probably not a coincidence that she seems to enjoy representing people, from Irish Republican trouble-makers to Islamic ones, who are at odds with this country. Whilst it probably does provide her with a good living, I suspect that is not her prime motivation. I agree about her unpleasent manner.
Indeed, PW, I doubt that money motivates most of the activist lawyers. I have to deal, wearily, with quite a few of them quite often. They seem to think that, because I am a Fascist Beast representing even worst Fascist Beasts, ordinary professional courtesies, let alone standard procedural rules, don't apply.
The latest legal spat may turn on differences between British legal calculations of time and European ones.
To an English lawyer, a three month period starting on 17 February ends at midnight on 16 April.
The Strasbourg Court may treat the three month period as ending on 17 April.
Notably, Qatada's appeal is made only on the ground that the Court was wrong to accept that he himself (as opposed to witnesses against him) will not be tortured in Jordan. Having read the judgment (which I recommend to ROG and others - it's a clear document written mostly by an English Judge), I think that Qatada's chances of success in the appeal are somewhere between nil and negligible.
Hi Gerard--have read a few books.,as well as the "sun page 3 annual". Dickens must have had some bad experiences with lawyers--he didn"t seem too keen on them. Reminds me of the cleese sketch--people arriving in heaven--"bank robbers, rapists, estate agents and solicitors in this section" Just re-read a couple of Antony Beevor books--fall of berlin/stalingrad. Expect you"ve read them--if not--well written--somewhat knicker gripping. Wonder what the next ABU snag will be---allergic to aviation fuel--terrified of flying--i"m almost a pensioner-take yer ands orf".
Gerard Clarke wrote: I think that Qatada's chances of success in the appeal are somewhere between nil and negligible.
I imagine you're right, however if the appeal was indeed within time, the issue is really about how long it will take the Strasbourg court to get round to hearing the matter. I heard yesterday that the appeals panel which decides whether or not to allow an appeal to proceed (ie, not the appeal proper), only meets every three months. Not sure whether that's imminent or not, nor whether a recent submission would fall to be determined in the next panel or whether there is some sort of queue, but unless the guvmint can get it quashed as out of time, we look likely to be hosting Mr Q for a few months yet.
I realise that the guvmint was keen to be seen to get on with the job, but wouldn't it have been, er, prudent, to allow a couple of days' grace before commencing the process, just to make sure no eleventh hour appeal could somehow be shoehorned in?
The Court might convene a panel to deal with the time point, as I suspect that the Court is just as keen to get shot of the pillock as everyone else is. The Strasbourg Court is a curious body, which operates within a very politicised environment, and it does not always act predictably.
To be fair to the UK Government, painful though that is, this geezer would have bunged in a last minute appeal regardless of what HMG did, as that's all part of the embuggeration strategy. At the end of the day, we shall still win, and he and his lot shall lose, and I am not just talking about this case. Hoorah for us, boo to them.
Gerard Clarke wrote:The Strasbourg Court is a curious body, which operates within a very politicised environment, and it does not always act predictably.
That, I think, is probably the reason that it deserves much of the opprobrium heaped upon it in the UK. It is not a court as we tend to envisage them, and some of the "judges" would never be considered for such a post here. I am no expert on the workings of the Strasbourg Court, but having followed it's progress over the last decade or so, I think it is long overdue for fundamental reform to the way it works, its hopelessly long list with resultant backlog, its scope and, crucially, its apparent supremacy over national legislatures. Because of its political nature, none of that is likely to be accepted willingly.
I agree. I think that we should leave the Court, but not for ill-informed Daily Mail reasons (which PW is not suggesting, of course). We now have a perfectly good Supreme Court of our own. The CJEU is another matter. That is not my favourite court either, but it is at least consistent and a known quantity, and much less political than the ECtHR.
Suede shoes with a suit? Not good. Of course, saying that is assuming that you can call those sacks of cloth that Ken Clarke wears "suits".
Not all of Dickens' lawyers were villains, ROG. He wrote about real life, so some of his characters are goodies, and some are baddies, and some are in between. Mr Jaggers is a character of some moral force and integrity.
There are some interesting fictional lawyers in Trollope. The best of these may be Mr Dove, the Chancery barrister in "The Eustace Diamonds". The description of him could be applied to many people whom I know today:-
Mr. Thomas Dove, familiarly known among club-men, attorneys' clerks, and, perhaps, even among judges when very far from their seats of judgment, as Turtle Dove, was a counsel learned in the law. He was a counsel so learned in the law, that there was no question within the limits of an attorney's capability of putting to him, that he could not answer with the aid of his books. And when he had once given an opinion, all Westminster could not move him from it,—nor could Chancery Lane and Lincoln's Inn and the Temple added to Westminster. When Mr. Dove had once been positive, no man on earth was more positive. It behoved him, therefore, to be right when he was positive; and though whether wrong or right he was equally stubborn, it must be acknowledged that he was seldom proved to be wrong. Consequently the attorneys believed in him, and he prospered. He was a thin man, over fifty years of age, very full of scorn and wrath, impatient of a fool, and thinking most men to be fools; afraid of nothing on earth,—and, so his enemies said, of nothing elsewhere; eaten up by conceit; fond of law, but fonder, perhaps, of dominion; soft as milk to those who acknowledged his power, but a tyrant to all who contested it; conscientious, thoughtful, sarcastic, bright-witted, and laborious. He was a man who never spared himself. If he had a case in hand, though the interest to himself in it was almost nothing, he would rob himself of rest for a week should a point arise which required such labour. It was the theory of Mr. Dove's life that he would never be beaten. Perhaps it was some fear in this respect that had kept him from Parliament and confined him to the courts and the company of attorneys. He was, in truth, a married man with a family; but they who knew him as the terror of opponents and as the divulger of legal opinions, heard nothing of his wife and children. He kept all such matters quite to himself, and was not given to much social intercourse with those among whom his work lay. Out at Streatham, where he lived, Mrs. Dove probably had her circle of acquaintance;—but Mr. Dove's domestic life and his forensic life were kept quite separate.
Of recent (ish) lawyer-related fiction, I do not rate John Grisham, but "Presumed Innocent", "The Lincoln Lawyer", and almost everything written by the great George V Higgins are worth reading. Higgins' Jerry Kennedy sequence, about a downmarket criminal defence attorney, is fun, and "Imposters", arguably Higgins' masterpiece (apart from "The Friends of Eddie Coyle " the greatest American crime novel since Chandler) has some realistic and sleek corporate lawyers as secondary characters.