It's been a bad week for…

Lord Archer. Just when he thought the worst was over, the famous author and disgraced politician may well face a claim for £40,000 for winning the contest to be the Conservative candidate for mayor of London. London Tories are considering suing Archer for the money it cost to stage the first contest against Stephen Norris. With Archer likely to be thrown out of the Conservative party, officials believe the only way they will retrieve the money is through the courts. As if that wasn't enough, Archer is facing another bill, this time from Barnet Council which wants the return of the £2,000 plus interest the peer received in an out of court settlement after a councillor said he was an unfit person to give out awards at a school.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Still under attack following the Paddington rail disaster, the Executive now faces calls for it to prosecute more companies for corporate manslaughter. Open University research shows there was evidence for up to 55 cases to be taken to court but the HSE used a range of lesser charges.

Access to justice. The number of firms authorised to offer advice in civil legal aid cases has been cut from 11,000 to 5,000.

The criminal courts, which are accused by The National Audit Office report of wasting £85m a year through aborted trials, needless adjournments and lawyers' mistakes.