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Hitting the wrong note

13 September 2010

It is September, and a new academic year. Are we all chirpy and refreshed? Have we got shiny new pencil cases, sharp HB pencils and a bag of novelty rubbers shaped like hippos and penguins? New shoes, new notebooks, and, if we are lucky enough and grew more than expected, a school skirt to hitch up into a proper mini...

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to feel that level of excitement about the new legal year? Not that behind bars was away for long; foolishly forgetting to remind the clerks that We Do Not Work in August we got loaded up with trials in misbegotten towns with the sort of judges who can’t pull enough rank to get a decent holiday either.

If anything demonstrates that criminal law is the ill-favoured, bleak-faced poor relation of fancy-dancy civil litigation, then working through August is it. Juries are cross because they didn’t have the wit to get out of the summons when all their friends are getting drunk around the barbie or sunning themselves at ...

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