News in brief

Ill-mannered barristers will have to fork out up to £2000 in fines to their offended clients if new proposals are given the go ahead. The Bar Council plan, to be discussed at a meeting later this month, aims to hit back at poor client service provided by badly behaved barristers outside the court room.

The libel trial of former Tory MP, Neil Hamilton against Mohamed Al Fayed over the “cash for questions” allegations kicks off on Monday (15 November). It will be heard before Mr Justice Morland at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. The hearing is expected to last 15 days. Leading libel barrister, George Carman acts for Al Fayed and Desmond Browne for Hamilton.

Two thirds of people summoned to sit on juries manage to duck out of sitting, new Home Office research reveals. Only a third of the 50,000 called up for jury service over a six-week stretch this summer had to sit, while others had their service deferred, pleading holiday, work and other urgent commitments or medical reasons.