We`ve had two walk outs by unionised legal advisors in the last year. Now their brothers in arms on the northern circuit of the criminal bar have shown in no uncertain terms that their tolerance of the government`s salami slicing of both financial ends and the middle of the justice sausage is just one slice too many. Considering that many (a majority?) of those self employed juniors are currently paid less than plumbers or other skilled tradesmen I offer them total support from one who is in current parlance a Thatcherite but nevertheless is in despair that no senior members of this cabinet seem able to publicly criticise the Secretary of State.
â€œUseful Information for Magistratesâ€ by the Ministry of Justice has been published in its latest edition. One would have thought that it might have given the editorial board an opportunity to re-visit its guidance on blogging but apparently not. Indeed the â€œguidanceâ€ is repeated:-
Guidance on blogging and the use of Twitter was published by the Senior Presiding Judge and Senior President of Tribunals in August 2012. It said: â€œBlogging by members of the judiciary is not prohibited. However, judicial office-holders who blog (or who post comments on other peopleâ€™s blogs) must not identify themselves as members of the judiciary. They must also avoid expressing opinions which, were it to become known that they hold judicial office, could damage public confidence in their own impartiality or in the judiciary in general. â€œThe above guidance also applies to blogs which purport to be anonymous. This is because it is impossible for somebody who blogs anonymously to guarantee that his or her identity cannot be discovered. Judicial office-holders who maintain blogs must adhere to this guidance and should remove any existing content which conflicts with it forthwith. Failure to do so could ultimately result in disciplinary action.â€
On the other hand the Good Lord Leveson has decreed that small blogs such as this will be outside his proposed regulatory scheme.