Wednesday 17 August 2022

The March 2021 Clapham Common vigil and the Metropolitan Police


On 3 March 2021, Sarah Everard was kidnapped and murdered by Wayne Couzens who, at the time, was a serving Police Officer with the Metropolitan Police. Couzens was sentenced to life imprisonment with a "whole life" order. His appeal against the whole life order was dismissed - see the judgment of the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division).


With a view to highlighting risks to women's safety, an "informal collective" Reclaim These Streets planned a "vigil" to be held at Clapham Common on 13 March 2021. 

Following communication with the Metropolitan Police, the planned vigil was abandoned.


New Parole Board Rules and Guidance ~ Interim Relief

See Update - link at the end

The 2019 Conservative Party manifesto stated -

"We will conduct a root-and-branch review of the parole system to improve accountability and public safety, giving victims the right to attend hearings for the first time, and we will establish a Royal Commission on the criminal justice process."

In March 2022, the government published - Root and Branch Review of the Parole System - GOV.UK (

Probation Board Rules were made in 2019 by the then Secretary of State for Justice - Robert Buckland QC MP. Those Rules

Friday 12 August 2022

Sentencing remarks

It seems a long time ago since the Ministry of Justice issued guidance about the publication of sentencing information - see Ministry of Justice - June 2011 - Publicising Sentencing Outcomes (

The document stated that - "As a general principle, there should be a presumption in favour of publicising outcomes of criminal cases because this would help to: 

reassure the law-abiding public that the CJS is fair and effective, by publicising successes; 

increase public trust and confidence in the CJS; 

improve the effectiveness of criminal justice, e.g. by encouraging victims to  report crimes and witnesses to come forward; and 

discourage potential offenders and reduce re-offending."

It was recognised

Tuesday 9 August 2022

Archie Battersbee - other thoughts ...

The previous post about the tragic Archie Battersbee case offers a basic overview of the legal process and also links to the various judgments and decisions taken - Law and Lawyers: A tragedy of immeasurable dimension - Archie Battersbee (

Barrister Blogger published an analysis of the case - Mr Justice Hayden was right to bring Archie’s futile treatment to an end. – BarristerBlogger and Joshua Rozenberg wrote Unforced errors by Archie’s lawyers - by Joshua Rozenberg.

The Rozenberg article attracted a comment by Edward Devereux QC who was leading counsel for Archie's parents (Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee).  Advice given by lawyers

Friday 5 August 2022

A tragedy of immeasurable dimension - Archie Battersbee

"Unconditional love and dedication to Archie is a golden thread that runs through this case" - Mrs Justice Theis, 5 August 2022

On 7 April 2022 Archie Battersbee, aged 12, suffered a tragic accident at the home where he lived with his mother, Hollie Dance. Archie's father is Paul Battersbee.  The accident resulted in Archie suffering  "catastrophic hypoxic ischaemic brain injury."  This was, rightly, described by Mr Justice Hayden as "a tragedy of immeasurable dimension for Archie and his family."

On the 26th April 2022, the NHS Trust sought a declaration from the High Court that it was lawful to withdraw mechanical ventilation from Archie. Clinical observations revealed that he was entirely unresponsive and did not show any sign at all of being able to sustain breathing independently of the ventilator.

There were proceedings before Mrs Justice Arbuthnot. Details of those, and an appeal relating to her judgment, may be seen below. Archie's case was thereafter handled by Mr Justice Hayden.

On 15 July, Hayden J decided

Tuesday 2 August 2022

Defamation cases and access to justice

Please see updates - at the end:

The media loves a good story:

There are some "stories" that the mainstream media simply cannot resist. That was the situation recently when footballer's wife Rebekah Vardy lost in a High Court libel action against footballer's wife Coleen Rooney - The Guardian 29 July 2022 - Rebekah Vardy loses ‘Wagatha Christie’ libel case against Coleen Rooney

One of the positive sides of a platform such as "Twitter" is that, from time to time, there are informative discussions about aspects of the law with some experienced lawyers offering their viewpoints. The Vardy v Rooney case resulted in exactly such a discussion. At the heart of the exchange was the serious "access to justice" question of whether defamation actions were beyond the financial means of the majority of the population.


"Defamation" is the collective word