It has been a bad week for:

The two British families who won just £55 compensation from a travel company following their holiday in a Malta hotel which they described as a "hell-hole". District Judge Anthony Cleary awarded the meagre compensation after taking the unprecedented step of flying out to the three-star Palm Court hotel to check up on the conditions there. He ruled that the families' complaints were "largely unjustified". Among other things, he was "mystified" at complaints that the toast was cold since the guests made the toast themselves.

London-based criminal lawyers who can think of nothing better than getting their teeth stuck into a juicy murder case. A comparison of the murder rates in European capital cities and large US cities which was released by the Home Office last week indicated that London was one of the the five cities in the world where you are least likely to be murdered. Washington DC was the most likely.

This Friday, French Minister of Justice Elisabeth Guigou will open the 42nd International Association of Lawyers in Nice. The 3,000 members will be looking at the principle of presumption of innocence, the lawyer's role in emerging markets and the implications of the Euro. But it is not all hard work – a gala dinner at the Sporting Club of Monte Carlo on Sunday sounds hard to resist.