A Monday Miscellany

Hats off to the judges present and past (four retired judges) of the Prince Edward Island Court of Appeal who are giving up evenings in November to provide educational sessions for islanders on PEI’s courts, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, public law, criminal law, civil law and family law. It will also include a tour of the Sir Louis Henry Davies Law Courts building where participants can see the courtrooms, holding cells, law library and public areas.

The free sessions will take place November 8, 15 and 22 starting at 6:45 p.m. and registration is limited to 50 people. Registration starts Oct. 26 and anyone interested in taking part can call Sheila Gallant at 902-368-6024 or send an e-mail to sfgallant@gov.pe.ca.

PEI

Curious that the website for the courts hyperlinks to the Federal Courts Administration website – whoever did the linking needs to attend in November to understand the court system.

Next to the Guardian where George Monbiot’s argument on the expense of scientific information is applied to legal information – the piece is by Judith Townend under the lede The law that wants to be free – Reams of legal information are still squirrelled behind paywalls. Yet more and more lawyers are sharing their knowledge for free.

It is encouraging to see an increasing growing move towards online publication: the Ministry of Justice’s proactive digital engagement; the release of judgment summaries by the supreme court; an emphasis on openness by the Master of the Rolls; and an increasing number of published judgments made available. Initiatives such as a recent MoJ family courts pilot are to be welcomed. It tested out publishing more magistrate and county court judgments, with the aim of increasing transparency and improving “public understanding of the family justice system”.

“It strikes me that if anything it is a good thing for the press to be able to have access to the court’s raw judgment, rather than relying on the account of a select few parties to the case,” wrote legal blogger and researcher Lucy Series.

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David Allen Green will publish a weekly round-up of UK legal blogging for The Lawyer. Should be worth following: here are three pieces I had missed:

A complaint from in-house counsel about the casual attitude lawyers take to the confidentiality of client matters, when working on public transit – the message is just as relevant this side of the Atlantic.

The General Counsel of the Financial Times on why legal costs are outrageously unjustifiable

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Lest you think that this is all based on Jonathan Sumption’s rumoured £10 million plus retainer in the Roman Abramovich Battle of the Oligarchs case – Slaw readers will be encouraged to learn that the soon-to-be Lord Sumption owns 7,000 volumes on the Hundred Years War – here is a piece on why GCs feel the same way here.

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