Legal webbery 2007

By Nick Holmes on May 18, 2007
Comments Off on Legal webbery 2007
Filed under Justice, Miscellany

It being the start of Blawg 2007 Conference day, I had better post something lest I be castigated there for not doing my homework.

A good place to go when you are short of immmediate legal web stimulation is your fave blogs’ blogrolls. So it was that I recently examined Charon QC’s, finding two new links:

Reactionary Snob is a Scottish advocate, but he defines himself politically rather than by his profession. Apart from the self-applied tags Reactionary and Snob, he describes himself as a Libertarian and an Atlanticist.

prisonlawinsideout is an ex-con who spent 35 years in prison, reformed and rehabilitated himself and was transformed from a law breaker into a law-maker. He is firmly committed to prisoners rights and is a campaigner for penal reform.

The no news last week was that MoJu had set up shop. I visited the new site – a rather boring affair utilising some standard eGov template, and consequently devoid of character. I shall revisit of course once they’ve found their bearings and actually achieved something.

One thing they could do is brief the judiciary in the ways of the webby world. This follows from the disturbing news that Judge Peter Openshaw, 59, brought a terror trial to a halt when he admitted he did not really know what a website was. Here’s the original Reuters newswire:

A British judge admitted on Wednesday he was struggling to cope with basic terms like ‘Web site’ in the trial of three men accused of inciting terrorism via the Internet.

Judge Peter Openshaw broke into the questioning of a witness about a Web forum used by alleged Islamist radicals.

‘The trouble is I don’t understand the language. I don’t really understand what a Web site is,’ he told a London court during the trial of three men charged under anti-terrorism laws.

Prosecutor Mark Ellison briefly set aside his questioning to explain the terms ‘Web site’ and ‘forum’. An exchange followed in which the 59-year-old judge acknowledged: ‘I haven’t quite grasped the concepts.’

Violent Islamist material posted on the Internet, including beheadings of Western hostages, is central to the case.

Concluding Wednesday’s session and looking ahead to testimony on Thursday by a computer expert, the judge told Ellison: ‘Will you ask him to keep it simple, we’ve got to start from basics.’