Thursday, 23 December 2010

Greetings of the Season

The Michaelmas Law Term drew to its close on 21st December.  The next Law Term will be Hilary commencing on 11th January.  Little or nothing will now be heard from our senior courts though a Judge of the High Court is available during vacation should matters of sufficient urgency arise.

Looking around the various blogs has been very enlightening during 2010 and it is interesting to see some good Christmas posts.  Halsbury's Law Exchange came on line during 2010 and has made an excellent start.  It's post "Tears before Christmas" urges government to defend the rule of law and not to open debates about matters such as legal aid with a stacked deck.  The Marilyn Stow Blog is a particular favourite and is written by a family lawyer of great expertise and experience.  It feels very much as if we have Mr Scrooge in government saying: "Legal Aid?  Bah humbug."  The author would like to show Mr Scrooge what happens to families, especially children, when couples whose marriages have ended are forced to stay together, forced to witness fight after fight and think it is all normal; when vulnerable spouses are forced to settle for pitiful amounts because they can no longer afford – and are no longer permitted – to fight for justice."  Read the excellent post here.  The CharonQC blog - always entertaining and informative - has run an "Advent Calendar" but has somehow slipped a day!!  The blog is publishing a very good series of Podcasts about the future of legal education.  These are well worth listening to.  Law Students trying to catch up on their work during the break - ("as if") - would do well to take a look at Insite Law's FREE materials on subjects such as contract law, criminal law, evidence.  Clearly written, suitably detailed and FREE.

Winter Sunset - Thomas Watts

"Call the Law It's Christmas" by song-writer Tony Williams can be heard on Youtube.   It is an amusing if somewhat cynical
take on modern Christmas time and the associated expense which many seem to incur.  Of course, Christmas is associated with our many ancient Christmas Carols and with the music of great composers.  Two of my favourites at this time of year are Saint-Saens Christmas Oratorio - (here is the beautiful Prelude) - and Handel's passionate Messiah - (here is the Hallelujah Chorus).   However, for me, perhaps the most simple and beautiful of all is Gustav Holst's setting to music of Christina Rossetti's poem "In the Bleak Midwinter."   Here it is sung by the Choir of King's College, Cambridge.

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.

To all readers - many thanks for reading this blog and for your comments.  To other bloggers, many thanks for your support during the year.  Here's wishing all readers a Peaceful and Happy Season.


  1. Thank you very much for the compliment, which I reciprocate because I enjoy reading your blog and wondering who you are!
    I wrote the last two posts of this year on my blog very much with you in mind. I think this year as a family practitioner and writer for me has certainly been one where the chasm between those in power, whether sitting in judgement or formulating law, has never seemed more removed from the needs of those who resort to the law including those without means to access it at all.
    Some decisions seem harsher, some concern for 'ordinary people' seems to have flown out of the window, and this year may sadly bring about much more.
    I wish you a very happy, healthy and peaceful New Year, and like Brucie might say...Keeeeeeep Blogging!
    Best wishes

  2. Marilyn - Thank you and here's to a good 2011. Let's hope that it turns out better than many fear. Your passion for family law is evident through your blog. In fact, family law has been - (and still is) - lucky to have practitioners who always seem to be up-to-date with the law and who are keen to get the best for their clients and especially for the children involved. Of course, it is often the children who suffer the most long-term harm as parents "move on" to new partners etc. - a point strongly made in a striking recent speech by Mr Justice Coleridge.

    I certainly hope to keep blogging and I hope that your much-needed work does not suffer too much as a result of the government's activities.