On Tuesday Birmingham law school giants BPP Law School and the College of Law were forced to close early as a precaution to avoid the trouble (see story).
As ugly scenes of violence, rioting and looting spread across the length and breadth of the capital over the course of four days legal bloggers had plenty of legal fodder on which to opine.
Among the most prolific was David Allen Green, author of Jack of Kent blog, lawyer and The New Statesman’s legal correspondent. He vetoed the extreme measure of bringing in the army to restore calm and why we should just keep calm and carry on. But, by far the most popular item in the current affairs magazine this week was his reporting on a riot that never took place.
Legal blogger Obiter J asked who will pay for the damages under the 19th century Riot (Damages) Act while a saddening eyewitness account is offered by a third sector lawyer working in Hackney.
Blogging under the moniker Inspector Winter, a law enforcement officer gives a graphic online account of the powerlessness and terror he and other officers felt as the looting took place around them.
Irish blogger Deirdre Duffy argues that the removal and lack of youth clubs lies at the heart of the rioting in her human rights blog and One Crown Office Row pupil Matthew Flinn questions whether publishing photos of alleged rioters infringes their human rights.
Barrister and writer Rupert Myers equated England’s cities to a ’Lord of the Flies’ nightmare in this week’s opinion piece arguing that ’without power, organization and authority the law is merely a taboo’.
A magistrate - by his blogname of ’Bystander’ - reminds us that defendants are entitled to be dealt with properly and self-confessed caffeine-fuelled technology. Media and telecoms lawyer Andrew Sharpe asks whether the UK Government could order an internet blackout and mobile phone network shutdown in future cases of disruption which depend on social media to rally masses.
Twenty-something in-house lawyer Matthew Taylor hails the e-petition calling for rioters to be stripped of benefits ’everything that’s wrong with democracy encapsulated in one neat package’ and, lastly, we have the ever-brilliant ’Without Prejudice’ podcast chaired by Charon QC, barrister Carl Gardner and David Allen Green plus guests. This weeks topics cove the Riot (Damages) Act 1886, what criminal offences rioters and looters are being charged with and why and whether rioters and looters should be denied social housing. Listen to the podcast.