08 Jul

Sitting Down To Thrash Out A Settlement

There are always plenty of cases going through the courts at any one time in this country.   There are many stages in a case before it comes before a judge.  Often in the early stages, it will be suggestd that some negotiation between the parties might bring about a sensible outcome without the need to go as far as the court room.  Dispute Resolution is a fast moving system that tries to bring the parties together.  In fact there is just such a system in place within employment law.  All claims have to be sent via the  arbitration and conciliation service as a matter of cource;  any that are found not to have gone that route are discharged as inellible to proceed.  The conciliation service get all parties to the case round the table and try thrashing out the bones of the problem.  Once a settlement of matters is found, each party is encouraged to follow it through.  Anything is better than having to use up expensive and valuable court days.

08 May

How Busy Clerks to Chambers Still Entertains

There are so many careers that can be adopted in the UK legal system.  Not everyone in a courtroom or tribunal room will have had legal training, in fact a surprising few of the officials will have.  Some of the barristers are very  well to do and have fleets of minions to do their running about.  Watching Rumpole of the Bailey was a true favourite for me.  Seeing their clerk to the chambers rushing about trying to fairly distribute the briefs (outline cases) to the right barrister was always amusing.  In real life it is just as hectic in the chambers office but with less shouting and argy bargy!  Its done electronically now.  But in the good old days you would have lead barrister and a junior – not always a trainee, but another barrister not as well up in the pecking order.   There are clear demarkation lines too, some folk dealt only with criminal cases, i.e. Rumpole.  His head of chambers wanted them to branch out and take on some posher cases not dealing with criminals at all.  Oh it was a joy to watch.

21 Mar

Court-Martial Streamlined Within Service Law

There are many fascinating areas of the law in the UK – all clearly defined within it’s own jurisdictional code and yet essential as a whole to provide a law for every circumstance.  Take Military law – the history behing the current system is that English soldiers for hundreds of years were governed by High Constable and Earl Marshal which eventuaslly in 1521 became known at Court of te Marshal and gradually that, in Cromwell’s time in 1666the Judge Advocate General position was created to supervise “Courts-Martial”.   This area of the law has remained in continuity since, expanding to cover the whole of Britain, and the other military forces, not just army.  From a historical point of view the Judge Advocate General duties were extremely wide and handled both prosecution and defence arrangements as well as the actual court hearing.  Since 1948 the role has concentrated on the Court-martial and various Acts have now gradually subsumed into JAG.  The Armed Forces Act of 2006 swept away the separate service discipline acts of 1955/57, establishing a single Service law thus creating Court-Marial as a standing court, taking effect 31 October 2009

07 Jan

Adding Arbitrator To Careers With Law Degree

When we go through upper or senior school, we are asked many times, ‘what do you want to do when you leave school. . . ‘ It’s a really difficult question to pose to a teenager – many have absolutely no idea what they might fancy doing in ten years time.  Unless a youngster comes from a family that has long connetions with a particular career, then they may not necessarily think of taking up medicine or law for example.  But taking a law degree could open up so many career options.   You can break this down further by looking at jobs directly related to a law degree such as becoming an arbitrator – this is a relatively new career.  Arbitration is one of several ways legal disputes can be resolved without going hrough the courts or involving international boundaries.  It’s a voluntary means of all sides in a dispute agreeing to follow any final deciion made.  The arbitrator is the neutral middle person who makes decisions on the evidence present by all the parties.  Their decision is not always legally binding but in cases where it is, any party feeling the other/s have dfaulted on that agreement has recourse through the courts.

22 Nov

Being Sure Of Claim Before Starting A Case

There has been quite a bit of excitement in the courts of appeal lately.  Not something the average uk resident cares too much about in their usual daily business.  However there are interesting repercussions afoot for one particularly errant member of the royal family, or rather his wife’s behaviour.   The trouble with taking a case out against a massive body like the press in UK is that there clout is often very heavy and very well researched before they respond to any claim.    You have to be absolutely water tight sure of your case before entering any claim.  They will have a bevy of researchers weedling out evidence that the claimant has made errors in their claim.  They will also ensure they engage the very top barristers to present their usually impeccable response in court.   If they settle with the parties, that denies trouble makers their day in court which of course is the last thing the trouble making claimant wants!


07 Jan

All Change In The world Of UK Law & Justice

With the finalising of the brexit agreements at the end of 2020 which covered trade deals for goods going out and coming in to UK, it sounded as if the whole of the breit business was doen and dusted.  Of course, this is very far from reality.   Ther is the meaty matter of justice and the law.  The UK has one of the most famous and well regared legal systems in the entire world and in fact we have been at the forefront of developing countries basing heir legal systems on the UK model.  It is based on fairness and no corruption.  That’s not something you can say about many countries these days.  Jobs in our legal system vary greatly.  Not everyone wishes to be a solicitor or barrister.  Certainly not many reach the greatness of a court judge.  There are thousands of other posts in the world of legal offices and the provision of justice.  Whatever happens post brexit, these will still be needed.

10 Nov

Paralegal Role Can Count Towards Solicitor Training

There are so many careers within the legal framework in this country.  Not everyone wants to or can  be a solicitor or barrister.  An alternative, requiring much less qualification but of course, not offering the solid life time career, is perhaps paralegal.  These are law profesisonals who have a clearly defined supportive role.  They are the folk that do rather a lot of running about and background legal tasks.   Paralegals work in all kinds of legal organisations or departments.  These would include law firms in chambers and private.  They also work alongside professionals in the public sector and for not-for-profit organisations.    This role is important within a legal team with tasks quite often mirroring work of a trainee and sometimes that of a newly qualified solicitor and in fact can sometimes count as preparation towards qualifying as a solicitor.   Job or tole titles often vary – this depends on the legal make up of the department, and could be described as legal executuives, legal assistants, caseworkers and even just legal clerk.

23 Sep

Barristers’ Clerk – A Worthy Service Provider

These days it is much easier to get information about particular careers.  Take the legal profession fir example, we know there are solicitors, lawyers and barristers.  Then above these are the judges.  Many layers of these exist too. But there are lots of other careers for those with less lofty ambitions.  A barristers’ clerk for example is a very busy and much respected role.  In fact they do still rule the roost in Chambers, dealing with the essential administration and organisatin of barristers’ workloads.  There are fee paid and employed (partners) within chambers and their cases come to them via the barristers’ clerk.  Who, of a certain age, can forget ‘Enry, the affable and much lamented barristers’ clerk from Rumpole Of The Bailey tv series! But jesting aside, you can get into this line of work via university or college or through working towards the role in the industry and of course, an apprenticeship can be obtained.   A diploma Level 3 in Providing Legal Services would be an excellent preparatory route.

15 Jul

A Little Legal History Helps Career Hopes

There are many good reasons fior deciding on the law as a career.  There are so many facets to it for one thing.  Not everyone needs to be a solicitor, barrister or judge.  The number of other roles is lengthy and all are very absorbing and lifetime career worthy.  Knowing a little about the system and how it came about will be useful for the would be trainee . . .  The legal system in our country is one of the oldest, having evolved over the last 1000 years.   It still continues to change and develop according the the needs of society and although it throws up some eye watering contradictions and oddities in places, is generally regarded as one of the safest and most independent in the world.   Whereas for the anglo saxons, justice was a metered out in a combination of local courts presided over by the local lord or his steward.  Sometimes the king presided himself, these were called the curia regis, i.e. kings court.  Some of the punishments were too terrible to contemplate here.  We are thankful that things definitely moved on!

14 May

Supreme Knowledge Is Appealing For Careers

For anyone who has set their mind to a legal career, kowing the various layers of the judicial system is critical.  There are several layers of courts and tribunal services providing what we call ‘the law’ in UK.  There are Circuits, High Court, appeal Court and eventually the very top of the tree is the Supreme Court.  This was formed in 2009, creating complete separation between the senior judges and the Lords – the upper house of parliament.  This makes an absolute emphasis of the independence of the ‘Law Lords’, ensuring the utter transparancy between parliament and the courts.  These full time, highly qualified  judges carried out judicial work of the House of Lords until July 2009 when they left parliament to become Justices of the new UK Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court is the final court of appeal in UK and hears appeals on arguable points of law of the greatest public importance for the whole of the UK, including Scotland for civil cases  but only England, Wales & NI for criminal cases. Scotland has their own  High Court Of Judiciary to which appeals can be made from lower courts in criminal cases.     A many faceted system offering thousands of good careers!