Judges who want to surf. New rules issued by the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine ban judges from using the internet for online shopping or general surfing. One thousand laptops will be issued to judges to provide regular updates on cases.
Tony Blair. The world’s leading internet watchdog warned the Prime Minister last week that his plans to give police special powers to intercept private emails would turn the UK into a police state. Esther Dyson, who heads the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann), urged ministers to abandon the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Bill.
Barristers who handle criminal defence and family cases on legal aid. The Lord Chancellor has outlined plans to slash barristers’ fees, even though the rates are paid under a scheme agreed years ago between the bar and the LCD. Fees covered by the graduated fees scheme, which covers cases lasting up to 10 days in the Crown Court, are to be cut by 10 per cent from December this year. Expected savings may total £7m out of an annual bill of some £71m.
Hooligans. Jack Straw is to rush through a package of emergency powers to tackle football thugs. This includes a 10-year ban on suspected hooligans from travelling to matches overseas, bans imposed on those convicted of any offence and not just football-related crimes, and new efforts by football authorities to tackle displays of racism.
Psychiatric nurse David Chell, who threatened to go on a hunger strike after a Malaysian court found him guilty of attempting to smuggle heroin and sentenced him to death by hanging. Chell’s chief defence lawyer told the court that there were numerous inconsistencies in the evidence. Chell, 59, maintained throughout the trial that the drugs were planted on him.