Wednesday, July 27, 2011

RIP Rev Dr John Stott CBE

I was so very sad to hear about the death of The Rev Dr John Stott CBE earlier today. I had the great privilege of getting to know him in his later years and he was truly an inspirational man. A prodigious theologian and an incredible evangelical both here and abroad, on a personal level he was gentle, kind and above all humble.  He had a great love of nature whose beauty he described as 'a manifestation of the glory of God'. In particular he was an avid bird-watcher and through this communicated the gospel in 'The Birds Our Teachers' in what he light-heartedly called 'orni-theology'. He was a great man who shepherded many people into the fold of the church. He was known to his friends simply as Uncle John. I will miss him very much. There is an early obituary in Christianity Today.

Book recommendation: 'Billy Budd' by Herman Melville

Melville's short stories are masterpieces. The best are to be appreciated on more than one level and those presented here are rich with symbolism and spiritual depth. Set in 1797, "Billy Budd", Foretopman exploits the tension of this period during the war between England and France to create a tale of satanic treachery, tragedy and great pathos that explores human relationships and the inherently ambiguous nature of man-made justice. Tales such as "Bartleby", "Benito Cereno", "The Lightning Rod Man", "The Tartarus of Maids or I" and "My Chimney", show the timeless poetic power of Melville's writing as he consciously uses the disguise of allegory in various ways and to various ends.

Available from

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A very sad day for English justice

I see that The Guardian law section have reported that for the first time in English legal history a judge delivered her own verdict on a serious criminal case after having dismissed the jury. This followed an allegation of jury tampering having been brought to her attention. As I argued in an article for the same section of The Guardian last year the provision which allows such judge-only trials should be abolished. It is sad to see that not only hasn't this happened but that it has now been used. Perhaps almost as sad is quite how little coverage this received in the press.

Review of 'Law and Peace' in Daily Mail

Many thanks to Wendy Holden of the Daily Mail for the following review of my book Law and Peace, which is available from
More slimy clerks crop up in Law & Peace, the second novel to emerge from The Guardian’s BabyBarista blog. Written from the male barrister’s perspective (again by a real-life wig-wearer), this funny, sharp account of backstabbing Bar life makes a great companion volume to Ophelia and comes highly recommended

Weekend video: 'Rumpole V Bullingham'

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

New surf blog from Mikey Corker

Heads up for a great new surf blog called Fish Eye Focus: Observations through the lens of Mikey Corker. You can read the first blog post and see a new video about Andrew Cotton here.

Book recommendation: 'Legal Fictions' by A Laurence Polak

"Well-known characters from Shakespeare here appear in the modern courts. The judgments are ingenious, the parodying of the modern judicial idiom is most successful. No reviewer can do them justice - they have to be read; enjoyment and instruction are guaranteed." - Cambridge Law Journal

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Monday, July 11, 2011

Legal journalist Alex Aldridge’s new blog

 Great to see that top legal journalist Alex Aldridge how has his own blog and website at Alex writes a weekly column for The Guardian’s law section and contributes regularly to various legal publications. Previously he was Associate Editor of Legal Week, having begun my career with The Times. You can read his first piece on dress down Fridays here.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Court jesting - judges spicing up their judgments

Great article in the Wall Street Journal about judges increasingly peppering their judgments with modern cultural references to make them more interesting and readable.

Book recommendation: 'Old Filth' by Jane Gardam

Beautiful, vivid and defiantly funny' The Times. 'This novel is surely Gardam's masterpiece. On the human level, it is one of the most moving fictions I have read for years.' Guardian. 'Another triumph ... a magnificent, deeply moving and compassionate portrait of an era and a sentimental education. Please read it' Daily Mail 'Magnificent' Sunday Times. 'Beautifully written and strangely moving' John Mortimer, Spectator

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Monday, July 4, 2011

Sponsored blog post: Motorbike accidents in Sussex prompt safety film

The high percentage of motorcyclists being injured in accidents on roads in Sussex has prompted road safety campaigners to create a film showing bikers as role models.  It is hoped the film will reduce the number of motorbike accident claims in the area. In the film, titled Stay a Hero, Stay Safe, a young boy is shown turning his own pedal bike into a motorcycle so that he can be more like his father.  To do this he uses a variety of household objects including skittles, an umbrella and torches.

The film has been made by the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership.  SSRP Manager, Ken Seymour, spoke to the BBC about his hopes that the film would help to reduce the number of motorcyclists being killed in accidents on Sussex roads.  Mr Seymour said, "Despite motorcyclists being a small proportion of road users, they make up a large percentage of casualties across Sussex.  Stay a Hero deliberately avoids laying blame of any sort and isn't your usual shocking public service film.  We hope that it will connect with our biker community, generate discussion and help to save lives on our roads."

The new film comes after road accident figures in Sussex over recent years revealed a rise in the number of fatal accidents involving motorcyclists.  According to figures from 2010, 56% of people killed in a road accident in the county were riding a motorbike at the time of their death.  The number of motorcyclists killed rose despite the overall number of road deaths falling. For more news and information relating to motorbike accidents visit the motorbike accident solicitors at Motorbike Accident Law.

Author: Neil Worrall