Manchester firm Hamilton Ward & Co, which has been found liable to pay £6,176 compensation to former office junior Sarah Skinner, who lost her job after telling her employers she was pregnant. An employment tribunal in Manchester ruled the firm's action of issuing her with a letter complaining about her work and threatening to sack her amounted to constructive dismissal. The experience has not put Skinner off the legal profession and she now hopes to go to university to study law and become a solicitor.
The elite. Their time is up, says Lord Irvine, who is determined to stop the bar turning into an exclusive club open only to those rich enough to raise the cash to become barristers in the first place. Irvine told the Bar Council conference that graduates need at least £22,000 for fees and living costs to qualify for the bar. He wants the Bar Council to levy funds from barristers to pay for pupillages and BVC courses. He says: "The public will not tolerate a situation of privilege and exclusivity."
Asylum-seekers. Home Secretary Jack Straw is angry at "over-liberal" interpretations of asylum laws, such as a recent Court of Appeal ruling protecting female victims of domestic violence in Pakistan. Straw wants a common European Union interpretation on asylum. He was aiming to convince the rest of the EU of his plans at the European Justice and Home Affairs summit in Finland.
Short-sighted flashers. It's no excuse, even in your own home. Fife resident Enrico Usai – charged with shameless indecency, after neighbours filmed him standing naked at his window – pleaded not guilty on the grounds he could not tell if anyone was watching as he did not have his contact lenses in. This did not wash with Cupar Sheriff Court where the sheriff said "Usai was clearly indifferent to the possibility of their presence and was deliberately exposing his person in a reckless and sexually explicit manner". On appeal Lord McCluskey in the High Court upheld the conviction saying that otherwise "a person who donned a blindfold and put thick wax into his ears would be able to claim that he was ignorant as to whether or not there were any to witness his sexual displays".
The Community Legal Service, to be publicised by That's Life presenter Esther Rantzen. Prestigious legal watchdog the Civil Justice Council has severely criticised the Lord Chancellor's plans for the service. The council claims the service is inadequate, requires further consultation and is likely to rely on "no win, no fee" deals to cover up gaps in legal aid provision.