Friday, April 19, 2013


This  looks like good news for the humble blogger. We had already decided to ignore the proposed regulatory structure, but it looks as if we may be beneath the notice of the Whitehall heavies. So be it.

The recently-updated guidance on judicial conduct includes last summer's guidance on 'blogging' pretty much word for word. So while it looks as if we are unlikely to be stuffed for two million quid in legal costs, we might still face bell book and candle for dissing the senior wigs. Which is something we have never done.

Let's see how it goes.


  1. 1. You do "publish ‘news-related’ material"
    2. You do apparently have some commercial interest, as evidenced by the sale of 'subscriptions' through Amazon, and could thus be said to "publish in the course of a business"
    3. You openly proclaim that the blog is "written by different authors"
    4. You certainly claim to exercise editorial control and the blog is thus "subject to editorial controls".

    All four primary conditions being met, it's hard to see how you can possibly escape regulation.

    1. I have never received a penny from anyone for use of this material, and I have so far resisted the temptation to carry advertising or sponsorship.

    2. Anon: "All four primary conditions being met, it's hard to see how you can possibly escape regulation." Firstly, this blog is not a 'commercial activity' by any reasonable definition (at least from how I access it, and pending not adding advertising). Secondly, why ignore the 10 employees and £2 million turnover criteria ? That makes it actually 3 out of 5 conditions, or 3 out of 6 (depending how you count them), I should think. Interestingly, but for the relatively recent expansion into a team, it would be down to 2 out of 5 conditions. So why the pessimistic slavish attitude ?

  2. You wouldn't maybe consider that the Senior Presiding Judge has a point, would you? Judges (including JPs) shouldn't blog about judicial maters, period. Why do you think you're not subject to that guidance?

    1. You leave my wife out of this.

      The SPJ has a very good point when he says that Judicial Blogging should not bring the system into disrepute.

      His mistake is to then issue blanket bans with very little evidence that such blogging has ever occurred. IT's not a very, er, judicial judgement.

    2. The guidance says (inter alia)

      "They must also
      avoid expressing opinions which, were it to
      become known that they hold judicial office,
      could damage public confidence in their
      own impartiality or in the judiciary in general".

      If anyone can find a single one of the 2000-plus posts on here that suggests the judiciary to be other than impartial, let me know.

    3. Of course, the catch here is that somebody has to form a view as to whether a particular blog "could damage......". On what basis does that somebody make that judgement? There's the rub.

  3. Were one a judicial office holder one would be bound by the guidance and not be blogging here to advise you not to blog as you are a self proclaimed blogger. Joseph Heller wrote a good book about this dilemma. Catch 22 and all that.

  4. It's testament to this blog that even though the powers that be are trying to rid the world of legal eagle bloggers, this one still survives.

    Most others worth reading such as Inspector Gadget, Tom Reynolds, Coppersblog have all been scattered to the wind.


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