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Wednesday, February 23, 2011 a new six-part BBC drama about life at the Bar starring Maxine Peak and Rupert-Penry-Jones. First episode here. Doubtless full of useful stimulus material for teaching the legal profession.

The series’ author, Peter Moffatt talks about it here.

Leave a comment - did you rate it or not, and why? Any useful bits for students?

Judicial Review and abuse of power

Friday, February 11, 2011

Great article here on a successful challenge by Councils to the Government’s plans to scrap the Building Schools for the Future scheme - labelled by the judge as an “abuse of power”. The root cause seems to have been a failure to consult - procedural ultra vires. There’s another report here.

Although this may not mean an ultimate change to the decision, it looks set to lead to some heft compensation payouts to the schools and Councils left in the lurch to the tune of millions spent on preparation of projects when the plug was abruptly pulled. There’s a video detailing the impact of the decision in one local area here.

Cuts and judicial independence

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Lord Phillips, the Lord Chief Justice, has gone on the record in order to express his concerns at the impact of funding cuts on the independence of the Supreme Court, and has commented that the Court is dependent on monies that it can persuade the Ministry of Justice to give it.
Much to discuss with students here around issues of judicial independence and separation of powers.

Meanwhile, the government insists it remain committed to the concept of judicial independence.

There is a good Q&A on the Supreme Court for students here.

Criminal Courts - Free interactive resource

Friday, February 04, 2011

Auction House is a really good activity that will get your students’ competitive juices flowing.

Click here to download Auction House on Criminal Courts.

The Straw That Broke The Camel’s Back

Thursday, February 03, 2011 the view of Tory MP and Legal Aid solicitor Helen Grant (pictured above) on the coalition’s plans for the funding of legal cases. In this excellent article , Grant discusses the implications for access to justice of the £350 million pounds’ worth of cuts coming to the Legal Aid budget. The Green Paper under discussion in Parliament today will make this happen by 2014.  A good starting point to debate the importance of legal aid with your AS students - and the Green Paper being debated today may be a helpful example for those of you studying the legislative process.

The two-year LLB

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Providers including the College of Law and Queen Mary’s are set to offer a two-year LLB degree in the latest shake-up to legal education. As tuition fees rise and economic growth continues to look uncertain, this seems an understandable move. However, concerns over quality will doubtless be raised, Fees (in the region of £9,000 from some providers) have traditionally discouraged domestic students from enrolling on such courses in the past, but as fees go up across the board, this may no longer be the case.

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