New independent legal think-tank launched

7 September 2010 by

This week sees the launch of the Halsbury’s Law Exchange, a new independent legal think-tank funded by LexisNexis.

The new organisation describes itself as “an independent and politically neutral think tank which contributes to the development of law and the legal sector“, aiming to “promote debate through papers, reports, events and media pieces.” The think-tank is chaired by legal journalist Joshua Rozenberg, who is joined by a number of eminent barristers and solicitors.

John Cooper, a human rights barrister and inaugural member, makes the case for the think-tank on today. He argues that “Although the law represents the spine of democratic society and lays down the standards by which we live, the public have little influence upon it, which gives succour to the view that laws are created by the elite and imposed upon the masses.” Moreover, “The only place for debate and analysis was in the newspapers, themselves with political agendas.”

The think-tank’s website contains a blog, although it hasn’t been updated since August 20th so it is not clear how much of a feature this will be.

It can only be a good thing for there to be an additional independent voice in the legal world. The Law Commission does a good job but is limited by the number of projects it can undertake. And, as Mr Cooper rightly says, whilst other think tanks and newspapers comment on the law it is not always clear whether they have a wider political agenda.

No doubt the Law Commission will welcome a new and hopefully intellectually rigorous voice in the legal landscape. Moreover, readers of this blog will know that new technology is finally making inroads into the legal system, and hopefully the new think-tank, which comprises a number of cutting-edge lawyers, will have a good think about how access to justice can be improved and the public can have, if not true influence on the law, then at least a better idea of how it works. It is also to be hoped that the practitioner members, who are at the top of their respective fields, have the time and energy to contribute meaningfully to this project.

On the topic of access to justice, it is quite amazing how many independent voices have arisen in the legal world. A flurry of legal blogs have recently been launched, some of which can be found alongside ourselves at the Guardian Legal Network. Honourable mentions should also go to some new and some more long-standing legal blogs: CharonQC, Jack of Kent, Nearly Legal, Strasbourg Observers, Head of Legal, EJIL: Talk! and PHD studies in human rights. Meanwhile, the eminent US-based SCOTUSblog, which keeps track of the US Supreme Court, has just launched “version 4.0.” of its site, and it is still leading the way with its innovative but simple new layout and features.

Of course, a think-tank will have the time and resources to carry out deeper legal research than bloggers can. So, best of luck to the new think-tank and we look forward to hearing its views and joining in the debate.

Do you have any suggestions for topics which need attention from the new think-tank? If so, please leave a comment.

    Sign up to free human rights updates by email, Facebook, Twitter or RSS


    1. Keith Kilbane says:

      It should be a fundamental of our legal system that the “rights” of an offender should never exceed, or take precedence over, the rights of the victim(s).

      Whilst the principle of innocence until guilt is proven MUST be supported in all cases, the rights claimed by an alleged offender should never be permitted to compromise or diminish those of the victim(s).

    2. Adam Wagner says:

      My apologies – novice error! I have amended the post.

    3. NL says:

      Thank you for the honourable mention. I should point out though that Nearly Legal has been going since 2006 and has a case law archive of all significant housing related cases from late 2006 onwards.

    4. Tara Davison says:

      Debate on the repealing the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 et seq so as to restore the presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial before punishment

      Sir Ivan Lawrence QC calls the POCA “a law more draconian and manifestly unjust than anything ever devised by a State in modern times”
      He continues that this “legally complicated, draconian and unjust system” has come about “mainly because Parliament does not send enough time , or use enough care, in vetting the laws us before it by civil servants and politicians-goaded as they are by the tabloid press with little understanding of the consequences of what they do”

      1) Search warrants under POCA.

      Warrants under the Proceeds of Crime Act can be issued to ‘the Occupant’. Someone who is merely suspected of involvement in a crime, without any evidence or complaint and without anyone having been charged or convicted of a crime, and any person who lives in an adjacent named property in the same building can have all movable assets seized

      The police already have enough power to search and seize property relating to a crime they do not need the wide ranging powers given by the search and seizure warrant under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

      2) Restraint Orders

      Freeze all non movable assets at the beginning of an investigation, before charge and on suspicion alone. By issuing a Restraint Order the suspect is punished before charge and before trial and prevented from paying for legal advice or assistance to overturn or vary the Restraint Order. If not charged or found innocent at trial the innocent victim is prevented from seeking compensation. This is a gross injustice.

      3) Fair Trial

      At trial the defendant, unless on State Benefits, is unable to obtain Legal Aid and because their assets are frozen is unable to pay for legal representation or expert witnesses. Justice for the defendant is impossible in these circumstances.
      Whilst the Crown has virtually unlimited resources, is adversarial and stands to gain financially from a confiscation order if their prosecution succeeds

      4) Confiscation Order

      The prosecuting authority receives a cut of the proceeds seized from people convicted and subjected to confiscation orders and senior staff receives bonuses

      Sir Ivan Lawrence, QC, says the “manifest injustices” in confiscation proceedings that were compounded by the setting of targets. “Once you start setting targets you are saying, ‘Never mind justice.’ Bodies like RCPO have to make a judgment on the cases they pursue — if they make that judgment on the basis that they will receive a lot of money, it calls into question whether justice is going to be done.

    Comments are closed.

    Welcome to the UKHRB

    This blog is run by 1 Crown Office Row barristers' chambers. Subscribe for free updates here. The blog's editorial team is:
    Commissioning Editor: Jonathan Metzer
    Editorial Team: Rosalind English
    Angus McCullough QC David Hart QC
    Martin Downs
    Jim Duffy

    Free email updates

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog for free and receive weekly notifications of new posts by email.




    7/7 Bombings 9/11 A1P1 Aarhus Abortion Abu Qatada Abuse Access to justice adoption AI air pollution air travel ALBA Allergy Al Qaeda Amnesty International animal rights Animals anonymity Article 1 Protocol 1 Article 2 article 3 Article 4 article 5 Article 6 Article 8 Article 9 article 10 Article 11 article 13 Article 14 article 263 TFEU Artificial Intelligence Asbestos Assange assisted suicide asylum asylum seekers Australia autism badgers benefits Bill of Rights biotechnology birds directive blogging Bloody Sunday brexit Bribery British Waterways Board Catholic Church Catholicism Chagos Islanders Charter of Fundamental Rights child protection Children children's rights China christianity circumcision citizenship civil liberties campaigners civil partnerships climate change clinical negligence closed material procedure Coercion Cologne Commission on a Bill of Rights common buzzard common law communications competition confidentiality confiscation order conscientious objection consent conservation constitution contact order contempt of court Control orders Copyright coronavirus costs costs budgets Court of Protection crime criminal law Criminal Legal Aid criminal records Cybersecurity Damages data protection death penalty declaration of incompatibility defamation DEFRA Democracy village deportation deprivation of liberty derogations Detention devolution Dignitas dignity Dignity in Dying diplomacy director of public prosecutions disability Disability-related harassment disciplinary hearing disclosure Discrimination Discrimination law disease divorce DNA doctors does it matter? domestic violence Dominic Grieve don't ask don't ask don't tell don't tell Doogan and Wood double conviction DPP guidelines drones duty of care ECHR economic and social rights economic loss ECtHR Education election Employment Environment environmental information Equality Act Equality Act 2010 ethics Ethiopia EU EU Charter of Fundamental Rights EU costs EU law European Convention on Human Rights European Court of Human Rights European Court of Justice european disability forum European Sanctions Blog Eurozone euthanasia evidence Exclusion extra-jurisdictional reach of ECHR extra-territoriality extradition extradition act extradition procedures extradition review extraordinary rendition Facebook Facebook contempt facial recognition fair procedures Fair Trial faith courts fake news Family family courts family law family legal aid Family life fatal accidents act Fertility fertility treatment FGM fisheries fishing rights foreign criminals foreign office foreign policy France freedom of assembly Freedom of Association Freedom of Expression freedom of information Freedom of Information Act 2000 freedom of movement freedom of speech free speech game birds gangbo gang injunctions Garry Mann gary dobson Gary McFarlane gay discrimination Gay marriage gay rights gay soldiers Gaza Gaza conflict Gender General Dental Council General Election General Medical Council genetic discrimination genetic engineering genetic information genetics genetic testing Google government Grenfell grooming Gun Control gwyneth paltrow gypsies habitats habitats protection Halsbury's Law Exchange hammerton v uk happy new year harassment Hardeep Singh Haringey Council Harkins and Edwards Health healthcare health insurance Heathrow heist heightened scrutiny Henry VII Henry VIII herd immunity hereditary disorder High Court of Justiciary Hirst v UK HIV HJ Iran HM (Iraq) v The Secretary of state for the home department [2010] EWCA Civ 1322 Holder holkham beach holocaust homelessness Home Office Home Office v Tariq homeopathy hooding Hounslow v Powell House of Commons Housing housing benefits Howard League for Penal Reform how judges decide cases hra damages claim Hrant Dink HRLA HS2 hs2 challenge hts Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority human genome human rights Human Rights Act Human Rights Act 1998 human rights advocacy Human rights and the UK constitution human rights commission human rights conventions human rights damages Human Rights Day human rights decisions Human Rights Information Project human rights news Human Rights Watch human right to education human trafficking hunting Huntington's Disease HXA hyper injunctions Igor Sutyagin illegality defence immigration Immigration/Extradition Immigration Act 2014 immigration appeals immigration detention immigration judge immigration rules immunity increase of sanction India Indonesia Infrastructure Planning Committee inherent jurisdiction inherited disease Inhuman and degrading treatment injunction Inquest Inquests insult insurance insurmountable obstacles intelligence services act intercept evidence interception interests of the child interim remedies international international conflict international criminal court international humanitarian law international human rights international human rights law international law international treaty obligations internet internet service providers internment internship inuit investigation investigative duty in vitro fertilisation Iran iranian bank sanctions Iranian nuclear program Iraq Iraqi asylum seeker Iraq War Ireland irrationality islam Israel Italy iTunes IVF ivory ban jackson reforms Janowiec and Others v Russia ( Japan Jason Smith Jeet Singh Jefferies Jeremy Corbyn jeremy hunt job Jogee John Hemming John Terry joint enterprise joint tenancy Jon Guant Joseph v Spiller journalism judaism judges Judges and Juries judging Judicial activism judicial brevity judicial deference judicial review Judicial Review reform judiciary Julian Assange jurisdiction jury trial JUSTICE Justice and Security Act Justice and Security Bill Justice and Security Green Paper Justice Human Rights Awards JUSTICE Human Rights Awards 2010 just satisfaction Katyn Massacre Kay v Lambeth Kay v UK Ken Clarke Ken Pease Kerry McCarthy Kettling Kings College Klimas koran burning Labour Lady Hale lansley NHS reforms LASPO Law Commission Law Pod UK Law Society Law Society of Scotland leave to enter leave to remain legal aid legal aid cuts Legal Aid desert Legal Aid Reforms legal blogs Legal Certainty legal naughty step Legal Ombudsman legal representation legitimate expectation let as a dwelling Leveson Inquiry Levi Bellfield lewisham hospital closure lgbtq liability Libel libel reform Liberal Democrat Conference Liberty libraries closure library closures Libya licence conditions licence to shoot life insurance life sentence life support limestone pavements limitation lisbon treaty Lithuania Litigation litvinenko live exports local authorities locked in syndrome london borough of merton London Legal Walk London Probation Trust Lord Bingham Lord Bingham of Cornhill Lord Blair Lord Goldsmith lord irvine Lord Judge speech Lord Kerr Lord Lester Lord Neuberger Lord Phillips Lord Rodger Lord Sumption Lord Taylor LSC tender luftur rahman machine learning MAGA Magna Carta mail on sunday Majority Verdict Malcolm Kennedy malice Margaret Thatcher Margin of Appreciation margin of discretion Maria Gallastegui marriage material support maternity pay Matthew Woods Mattu v The University Hospitals of Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust [2011] EWHC 2068 (QB) Maya the Cat Mba v London Borough Of Merton McKenzie friend Media and Censorship Medical medical liability medical negligence medical qualifications medical records medicine mental capacity Mental Capacity Act Mental Capacity Act 2005 Mental Health mental health act mental health advocacy mental health awareness Mental Health Courts Mental illness merits review MGN v UK michael gove Midwives migrant crisis Milly Dowler Ministerial Code Ministry of Justice Ministry of Justice cuts misfeasance in public office modern slavery morality morocco mortuaries motherhood Motor Neurone disease Moulton Mousa MP expenses Mr Gul Mr Justice Eady MS (Palestinian Territories) (FC) (Appellant) v Secretary of State for the Home Department murder murder reform Musician's Union Muslim NADA v. SWITZERLAND - 10593/08 - HEJUD [2012] ECHR 1691 naked rambler Naomi Campbell nationality National Pro Bono Week national security Natural England nature conservation naturism Nazi negligence Neuberger neuroscience Newcastle university news News of the World new Supreme Court President NHS NHS Risk Register Nick Clegg Nicklinson Niqaab Noise Regulations 2005 Northern Ireland nuclear challenges nuisance nursing nursing home Obituary Occupy London offensive jokes Offensive Speech offensive t shirt oil spill olympics open justice oppress OPQ v BJM orchestra Osama Bin Laden Oxford University paramountcy principle parental rights parenthood parking spaces parliamentary expenses parliamentary expenses scandal Parliamentary sovereignty Parliament square parole board passive smoking pastor Terry Jones patents Pathway Students Patrick Quinn murder Pensions persecution personal data Personal Injury personality rights perversity Peter and Hazelmary Bull PF and EF v UK Phil Woolas phone hacking phone taps physical and mental disabilities physician assisted death Pinnock Piracy Plagiarism planning planning human rights planning system plebgate POCA podcast points Poland Police police investigations police liability police misconduct police powers police surveillance Policy Exchange report political judges Politics Politics/Public Order poor reporting Pope Pope's visit Pope Benedict portal possession proceedings power of attorney PoW letters to ministers pre-nup pre-nuptial Pre-trial detention predator control pregnancy press press briefing press freedom Prince Charles prince of wales princess caroline of monaco principle of subsidiarity prior restraint prison Prisoners prisoners rights prisoners voting prisoner vote prisoner votes prisoner voting prison numbers Prisons prison vote privacy privacy injunction privacy law through the front door Private life private nuisance private use proceeds of crime Professional Discipline Property proportionality prosecution Protection of Freedoms Act Protection of Freedoms Bill Protest protest camp protest rights Protocol 15 psychiatric hospitals Public/Private public access publication public authorities Public Bodies Bill public inquiries public interest public interest environmental litigation public interest immunity Public Order Public Sector Equality Duty putting the past behind quango quantum quarantine Queen's Speech queer in the 21st century R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department & Ors [2011] EWCA Civ 895 R (on the application of) v The General Medical Council [2013] EWHC 2839 (Admin) R (on the application of EH) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2012] EWHC 2569 (Admin) R (on the application of G) v The Governors of X School Rabone and another v Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust [2012] UKSC 2 race relations Rachel Corrie Radmacher Raed Salah Mahajna Raed Saleh Ramsgate raptors rehabilitation Reith Lectures Religion resuscitation RightsInfo right to die right to family life right to life Right to Privacy right to swim riots Roma Romania Round Up Royals Russia saudi arabia Scotland secrecy secret justice Secret trials security services sexual offence Sikhism Smoking social media social workers South Africa south african constitution Spain special advocates spending cuts Standing starvation statelessness stem cells stop and search Strasbourg super injunctions Supreme Court Supreme Court of Canada surrogacy surveillance swine flu Syria Tax Taxi technology Terrorism terrorism act tort Torture travel treason treaty accession trial by jury TTIP Turkey Twitter UK Ukraine unfair consultation universal jurisdiction unlawful detention USA US Supreme Court vaccination vicarious liability Wales War Crimes Wars Welfare Western Sahara Whistleblowing Wikileaks wildlife wind farms WomenInLaw Worboys wrongful birth YearInReview Zimbabwe


    This blog is maintained for information purposes only. It is not intended to be a source of legal advice and must not be relied upon as such. Blog posts reflect the views and opinions of their individual authors, not of chambers as a whole.

    Our privacy policy can be found on our ‘subscribe’ page or by clicking here.

    %d bloggers like this: