Socialist Lawyer celebrates its very own diamond jubilee with this the 60th edition of the magazine. In anticipation of the upcoming Defending Human Rights Defenders conference on 24th February 2012 this edition is full of reports of those working in defence of human rights in the UK and across the globe.
There are accounts from East Jerusalem to Mexico. The regular column from Young Legal Aid Lawyers provides a reminder that the struggle to save legal aid continues as the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill takes its passage through Parliament. The South African lawyer and peace facilitator Brian Currin provides his analysis of the ceasefire announced by Eta in October 2011.
Also featured is artwork by the artist Ruth Ewan whose work brings political activism both into the gallery and out into the public space.
In this issue we cast a considered look back at the tempestuous events of August 2011. Camila Batmanghelidjh, the founder and director of Kids Company, offers her insight into the root causes of the riots. Connor Johnston of Young Legal Aid Lawyers gives his take on these events from what he witnessed in Hackney.
The riots are also an issue discussed with Len McCluskey, the new Unite General Secretary, in one of two engaging interviews in this edition. Geoffrey Bindman is our other interviewee. He will be the key guest speaker at the next of The Haldane Society's upcoming Autumn lectures on 8th November 2011.
Within the print issue there is analysis of recent legal developments in Colombia, the educational benefits of law clinics at British universities, and the judgments handed down by the European Court of Human rights in the cases of Al-Skeini and Al-Jedda.
Last but not least, the late, great Haldane Vice-President Kader Asmal is remembered for his career as a radical lawyer, academic and one of the architects of post-apartheid South Africa.
We call on lawyers to support the possible public sector strikes on 30 June. Kat Craig, Anna Morris and Russell Fraser report on their fact-finding delegation to Tunisia, shortly after the revolution. Rights of Women on why cuts to legal aid will hit women hardest. “Ricin: the inside story of the terror plot that never was”, including an account by the jury's foreman, is reviewed.
In the print issue, the current legal status of kettling is analysed along with our usual features: Young Legal Aid Lawyers column, news and reviews
In this issue our editorial condemns the cuts to tuition fees, legal aid and other public services. We call on lawyers and law students to join the TUC Day of Action to Stop the Cuts on Saturday 26 March. Professor Conor Gearty looks at the Coalition government's record on civil liberties. The Lib Dems promised during the general election to "scrap controls", to reduce the maximum pre-charge detention in terrorist cases from 28 days to 14 days, and to allow intercept evidence in criminal trials becuase "the best way to combat terrorism" was "to prosecute terrorists". In government, they have been tamed by the Tories and possibly by the security services.
Connor Johnston, from Young Legal Aid Lawyers, analyses the Green Paper on Legal Aid and reminds us that the availability of legal aid is a necessary part for the rule of law. "There can be no semblance of equality before the law when only the rich can defend their rights". We also report on an international lawyers' delegation to Colombia, on trade unionists blacklisted and victimised by their employers and on the UN Investigation into who assassinated Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri.
Socialist Lawyer No 56 is packed with informative articles. We are stepping our campaign to save legal aid, along with other public services.Tony Gifford QC analyses the Saville Inquiry report into Bloody Sunday and concloudes "it was worth every pound and day spent on it". But did it bring justice for the victims and their families?
Richard Harvey discusses the wrongful conviction of the "Tokyo Two", Greenpeace anti-whaling activists in Japan. Marina Sergides and Marcela Navarrette interview Frances Webber, Haldane Society Vice-President and Peter Kandler, founder of North Kensington Law Centre the very first law centre to be established, reflects on 40 years of the law centre movement.
Socialist Lawyer No 55 asks why no justice in Gaza? Haldane President Mike Mansfield QC reports on the deliberations of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine and its call for universal jurisdiction to be applied. Marina Sergides explains the concept and why members of Israel's government can face prosecution in Britain for war crimes. Socialist Lawyer also interviews our new Vice-President, John Hendy QC, who believes that calling himself a left-wing barrister is an "absurdity". And Haldane Vice-Chair Anna Morris explains the legal arguments that led to a jury acquitting Claire Finch of brothel-keeping, in a victory for the health and safety of sex workers.
Socialist Lawyer No 54 is on the theme of climate change and environmental struggle. The articles excerpted on the web are an analysis of the failure of the Copenhagan summit, by Polly Higgins, barrister, and Richard Harvey on “climate change in the courtroom”. Other articles, available in the magazine and not yet on the website, include James Thornton on the threat of legal costs deterring environmental litigation, a discussion of the Sierra Leone War Crimes Tribunal and analysis by Professor Keith Ewing of the BA-Unite litigation.
Justice for Jean Charles?
Killing fields of Gaza
Stockwell inquest verdict - Harriet Wistrich
Israel's war criminals - Daniel Machover & Adri Nieuwhof
Eye-witness on the West Bank- from our correspondent