Co-efficiency of Inefficiency 

A view from the North

I have now been a barrister for twenty-two years. That is a frightening thing to see committed to writing. It is probably in my Top Three Worst Things To See In Writing alongside “Jaime is bald” and “you will never fulfill your dream of playing cricket for England”. The only comfort I have is that one of those things is not true.

Another comfort is that, in my twenty-two years as a bald, non-Test playing lawyer, I have never had to attend a Saturday court. For the uninitiated, the Magistrates’ Court sits on a Saturday morning to deal with those locked up in the previous 24 hours or so. The time limits that apply to the post arrest detention of suspects means the legal system cannot have a full weekend off.

So the courts sit, local justice applies and Bench, lawyers and staff give up their Saturdays to run a…

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You’ve Been Shamed

How depressing is the comment from the anonymous Polruan? I know of many interpreters who will go the extra mile, but also of a few who insist on sticking to the rules, often to the prejudice of complainants as well as defendants. And they are paid for every hearing

If counsel went on any kind of work to rule, we all know what directions to judges would come down from the senior judiciary.

In the meantime, just exactly what are Crown Court Judges and rep organisations doing about this? Let’s have another consultation of the membership, if the MoJ will allow us of course.

A view from the North

From time to time I have shared with you the minor disasters and irritations of my professional life. This has been cheaper than therapy. Probably not as effective, but cheaper. And I hope that my moans and gripes have illustrated to the uninitiated that the Criminal Justice System operates about as effectively as Natalie Bennet when she is full of a cold.

The daily occurrences of incompetence, ineptitude and inadequacy are such features of, well, daily life that I am now letting them pass by without comment. So I have neglected to tell you about the Prison Officer who appeared over the videolink and candidly announced “We will probably run late with the links today, we are short of staff. Don’t blame me, blame the Government.” Which was fair enough.

On the subject of videolinks, I was remiss in not telling you of the videolink which commenced with the clerk…

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A Letter from Dave (and Alan) about Ed and Alex

Jaime treTs his “419” letter from Cameron with the contempt it deserves!

A view from the North

I got a letter from the Prime Minister yesterday. This is not an everyday event in the Hamilton household. This caused a stir of excitement. The Prime Minister! Writing to me!! Whatever could he want? He is a very important man, and here he was, taking the time to write to little me.

When I say take the time to write, the letter was in fact typed. This was no personal “black spider” correspondence type scenario. But it was signed. The personal touch there. Well, I say signed, closer inspection revealed that the signature was what some term a “facsimile” and other people call a “fake”.

Nonetheless the Prime Minister was writing to me, Jaime Hamilton. Which was how the letter started. “Dear Jaime Hamilton.” Using both my names. Not the cosiness of just “Dear Jaime” nor the more formal “Dear Mr Hamilton”. Even the man I spoke to the…

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