Opponents of Section 28. Those seeking to scrap the controversial clause received a boost from solicitors Belmont Hodgson, which claims that Section 28 will fall foul of the Human Rights Act due to come into force in the autumn.

Anyone worried about the affects of new human rights legislation. Representatives from councils, schools and other public sector bodies who may have feared increased bureaucracy or even litigation received reassuring words from Jack “Human rights? Let me tell you about human rights” Straw when the Home Secretary told a conference not to panic or “run for cover”.

The dignity of the court. News emerged this week that The Royal Courts of Justice is to open its doors to the public in May. The President’s Court will host a production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s observations on the Victorian judicial system, Trial by Jury, with actors singing their parts from the normal positions in court.

Sobriety at the bar. New Bar Council powers granted by the Lord Chancellor enable the council to take immediate action to suspend barristers with alcohol or drug problems because they are a “danger to the public”. Recent research by Solcare, a charity which arranges counselling for lawyers with drug, alcohol or stress problems, showed that dependencies are prevalent in the profession.