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Blogs written by Barristers

This web page highlight blogs written by barristers. A page of all law blogs (not just barrister blogs) is available here.

What is a blog? A blog is an online journal or series of opinions published in a particular way: the home page presents the most recent items (called “posts”) and archive pages present past posts, typically organized by month and category. Viewers can comment on the posts and a series of comments can build up relating to a particular post which itself becomes an interesting exchange of views – sometimes an impassioned one.

The key thing about a blog is that very little technical expertise is required; there is software available (in most cases, for free) on the web which enables a new blog to be set up just by selecting options from a menu of styles, themes and archiving options. The blog is then (usually) hosted on the web site associated with the software. The best known of these “hosted blogging services” are Googles’s Blogger, Six Apart’s TypePad and WordPress.

There are lots of legal blogs (sometimes called blawgs) in the USA and now they are arriving at a good rate in the UK as well. Most legal blogs in the UK are written by solicitors - perhaps this is just because there are more solicitors than barristers or perhaps there are particular personality traits required to be a blogger! However, there is still a good variety of blogs from barristers available, described on this web page, and probably there will be quite a few more in the months to come.

  • Current Awareness from the Inner Temple Library provides a blog of up-to-date information regarding new case law, changes in legislation, and legal news, which Library Staff think will be of interest to lawyers practising in the UK. The content is selected and updated daily by information professionals from the Inner Temple Library in London with full links to the original source of the information. There are usually many entries on any one day. This is a major current awareness resource. It is also noteworthy that the blog makes full use of the powers built into blogging software with the archive of past posts; e.g. (for just "A"!) abortion, adoption, advertising, advocacy, age discrimination, agency, agricultural holdings, air passenger duty, airlines, alcohol abuse, animals, anonymity, appeals, arbitration, armed forces, artificial insemination, ASBOs, assault, assets recovery, assisted suicide, asylum and attorney general.

    Other blogs associated with barristers are all (so far) set up by individual barristers, rather than chambers as such. Perhaps, chambers are still considering whether this is a good idea!

    Here they are, in alphabetical order...

  • Andrew Hogan's blog on legal costs provides information and posts on this topic. Andrew has advised upon and argued costs cases in the county court, High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, as well as other tribunals including the Lands Tribunal. He is based at Ropewalk Chambers in Nottingham but travels widely. He also provides a blog on disability discrimination and other areas of law affecting disabled people.

  • BabyBarista has now moved to this new site having spent 3 years on the Times and then another year on the Guardian Law section. A new feature is a series of excellent cartoons by Hollywood animator Alex Williams (see Queen's Counsel, his cartoon satire on law and lawyers for the Times, with more than 750 cartoons going back over fifteen years). Now we know what OldRuin, OldSmoothie, BusyBody and TheVamp actually look like! This new series will be published in due course if you miss the blog (or even if you have not missed the blog). The first series of blog entries has now been published as BabyBarista and The Art of War (Bloomsbury).

  • The Barrister Bard comes from David Osborne, a successful and experienced barrister. His fields of expertise range from crime, prison law and personal injury, to family and matrimonial law. He is also an acknowledged authority on human rights. He is also a bestselling author and public speaker. His aim in writing the blog to comment on topical legal issues - sometimes humorously, but usually with a serious message.

  • Bloody relations is a blog from barrister Jacqui Gilliatt about UK family law. The description of the blog is "Where there's a relative there's a bloody good argument to be had". The blog is associated with Jacqui's chambers website 4 Brick Court where there are a large number of articles on family law and a monthly "update" on family law with summaries of recent cases, articles etc.

  • BriefBlog describes itself as "the travails of an English intellectual property IT and e-commerce barrister". The author is David Harris, an Intellectual Property barrister doing IP IT and e-commerce law as well as some general commercial and civil law. He covers current issues in these areas in a straightforward manner.

  • Deaf Lawyers UK covers issues relating to Deaf lawyers, as well as Deaf issues within the legal system. The website was set up by a group of Deaf solicitors, barristers, law students and people trying to qualify as lawyers. It aims to respond to access issues, publicise specialised information and raise awareness of issues Deaf people face within the legal system. The site also aims to bring Deaf lawyers together, and to reach out to others who may not be aware of their rights. There is a strong international element to the site with links to similar groups in the USA and elsewhere. The site includes a Deaf Blawg. This is updated frequently and includes contributions from a number of people. Prime topics appearing so far are immigration, citizenship and asylum, and special problems for deaf people in these contexts, covered generally, but not entirely, from a legal point of view.

  • D'Souza. THE criminal barrister is "the trials and tribulations of Dominic D'Souza. THE not so serious musings of a criminal barrister instructed to defend in the most serious and complex cases." He muses on the nature of the Bar, the nature of a "calling" to the Bar, the nature of crime and why he is not thinking kind and generous thoughts about the burglar who stole his car.

  • Employment Law Blog is written by Charles Price, an employment law specialist and barrister with No5 Chambers. He covers topics relating to cases in employment law, such as how harassment is being used in claims against employers.

  • Eutopia law comes from members of Matrix Chambers' EU law group. It comments selectively on interesting developments in EU law, particularly as they affect lawyers’ practice areas, and at contributing to the debate on topical issues. It is not intended to promote any particular party line or view-point. The name is a pun on Thomas More's Utopia (published in 1516). "Utopia" is already a pun in Greek: it can be understood as meaning both no-place (ou-topia) and good-place (eu-topia). Eutopia is a further extension of the pun! Current posts look at the apparent suspension of the rule of law in the EU as countries seek to remedy the eurozone crisis.

  • Family Property is a blog for family lawyers dealing with property and money written by barrister Sheila Hamilton Macdonald of KCH Barristers, Nottingham. It deals with all aspects of family money, including cohabitee problems, ancillary relief where it includes third party interests or insolvency, trusts, wills and family provision.

  • Free Movement is a blog from Colin Yeo, a specialist immigration law barrister based at Renaissance Chambers in London. He has been practising in immigration law for thirteen years and previously worked for the Immigration Advisory Service and Refugee Legal Centre. The blog provides updates and commentary on immigration and asylum law and draws on the experience of several specialist immigration barristers in Renaissance Chambers.

  • GeekLawyer is written by an intellectual property barrister in private practice who acts primarily for clients in the electronic technology arena, but who does all IP/IT work in the UK/EU/US jurisdiction. "A barrister gossips & rants on intellectual property law, the legal system and civil liberties." It is written anonymously "to avoid embarrassment" but contains some good solid comment on legal issues.

  • Life and Death and Taxes is a new blog from barrister Leigh Sagar, of New Square Chambers. Leigh is also an attorney, admitted in New York. The blog includes substantial case reports, features, news and discussions on topics in taxation and family law.

  • Marc Beaumont's blog: A senior, progressive barrister discusses topical issues. His interests include the Bar, the legal profession, Barristers, direct access to the Bar, property litigation, commercial litigation, defending Barristers, defending solicitors, defending professionals, Mediation, Education Law, Judicial Review, the Bar Council.

  • Neil Cadwallader Property Law draws together useful legal and other information of interest to property professionals of all kinds, especially those based in the North West: lawyers, surveyors, property managers, developers, and landowners. Neil is a commercial barrister specialising in property law from Exchange Chambers in Manchester and he updates the blog every dya or two. There will apparently also be material relating to ADR, mediation and arbitration soon.

  • NIPCLAW is written by barristers Toni Wilson and John Lambert and contains news and comment on English, European and overseas intellectual property,technology, media and entertainment and competition law. John Lambert is the founder and head of NIPC (Northern Intellectual Property Chambers) the first and so far only specialist intellectual property and technology chambers outside London. The blog is intended to update and supplement the chambers site www.nipclaw.com.

  • piBlawg is a collaboration between piCalculator, a site to calculate damages ("Making Ogden Easy") and leading chambers 1 Chancery Lane. The blog provides an up to date commentary on all legal aspects of personal injury and clinical negligence case law and has frequent (and lively) posts from quite a few contributing barristers.

  • PI Brief Update Blog contains news and views in the personal injury world, led by barrister Tim Kevan. The blog is designed to complement the free email newsletter PI Brief Update.

  • Pink Tape is a blog on Family Law from barrister Lucy Reed. She says "I'd like to think the blog can be a useful resource and / or an interesting diversion for other family lawyers and litigants in person and that more generally it might help to put forward a more human face of the bar in general and in particular the family bar. Small aims then!"

  • Pupilblog is written by a pupil in a straightforward manner - not going for the big laughs but just describing daily life and issues to be faced.

  • The Barrister Blog (Law, Surfing and Politics) comes from barrister and writer Tim Kevan. Tim is also founder of PI Brief Update and Law Brief Update, two free email newsletters coming from a group of mostly barristers to provide brief case reports, free of charge, to solicitors and other interested parties.

  • Scots law and legal practice is a blog from Jonathan Mitchell, a Scottish QC from the Murray Stable. Although nominally about Scottish law, his blog does stray into the English system and even the rest of the world!

  • UK Criminal Law blog was apparently set up by 3 barristers from 2 Dr. Johnson’s Buildings after a discussion on Twitter concerning inaccurate reports of criminal cases in the press, the lack of public understanding of the criminal justice system and the number of unlawful sentences handed out by the courts. It was noted that many news reports, and consequently discussions had by the public concerning cases of interest, are based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the law (and on numerous occasions, inaccurate facts). In addition, it appeared that many solicitors, barristers and even judges, make fundamental errors of law. The site contains a major source of information about the court system and the legal system generally, particularly with respect to criminal law. There are also headnotes from important Court of Appeal and Supreme Court explaining the impact of the decision. Where possible, they also provide the sentencing remarks from the Magistrates’ and Crown Courts, together with a short report stating the facts and the outcome.

  • UK Human Rights Blog is associated with One Crown Office Row's Human Rights Update, a database of over 1000 reports and commentaries on human rights dating back to 1998 with a weekly update co-ordinated by Chambers Academic Rosalind English. The cases are taken from domestic courts and the Strasbourg court involving human rights points that demonstrate the impact of the European Convention on domestic law and also explores the practical impact of these cases for practitioners. This resource is made available free for all to use (you have to register on site but it is not too intrusive). The blog is written by members of 1 Crown Office Row, for more immediate comment and news. This has grown very rapidly and contains over 1000 posts, has 8000 followers through email and social media and is expected to hit 1 million total “hits” by March 2012. The editorial team consists of Angus McCullough QC, Rosalind English and Adam Wagner and there are frequent sharp-edged postings which are often picked up on by the national press.

  • UK Supreme Court comes from Matrix Chambers and the Litigation Department of Olswang LLP. The authors are solicitors and barristers specialising in litigation and with a particular interest in the work of the House of Lords and the UK Supreme Court. Both Matrix and Olswang were instructed in cases decided by the historic final sitting of the Judicial Committee of the House of Lords in July, and members of Matrix also presented the first case in the Supreme Court when it commenced sitting in October 2009, concerning the legality of UN sanctions regimes which freeze the property and funds of suspected terrorists. The introduction to the blog says "This blog is dedicated to the UK Supreme Court. The UK Supreme Court is the UK's highest court; its judgments bind lower courts and thus shape the development of English Law. Since 1399, the Law Lords, the judges of the most senior court in the country, have sat within Parliament. From October 2009, however, they have moved to an independent court in the Middlesex Guildhall. To mark this historic development, this blog has been set up to provide commentary on the UK Supreme Court and its judgments."

  • White Rabbit is a blog from criminal lawyer Andrew Keogh. The blog is not mainly about the law however - more a look at some of the idiocies of life (hence the title and the web address). However, Andrew says that the law will doubtless feature soon.

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