Colombian Caravana 2014 Report Launch

Concerned as we are about the erosion of access to justice here in the UK, we should not forget the plight of those in other parts of the world; and the very real dangers faced by those working to enable access to justice.

Colombia is recognised as the most dangerous place in the world for lawyers and the risks they face is the focus of the work of the Colombian Caravana which visited Colombia for the third time in August last year.

The delegation’s report will be launched on 29 April and the launch event promises to be a lively and interesting discussion around the challenges facing Colombian human rights lawyers and defenders as the Peace Process progresses, and ways in which we can raise awareness and support them at the international level.

The impressive line up of speakers comprises Ed Vulliamy (Guardian and Observer journalist), Adam Wagner (barrister and human rights blogger), Patricia Ayodeji (Barcelona-based British lawyer and Caravana delegate), and Caravana directors Sue Willman and Professor Sara Chandler.

There are more details below about the event which takes place on Wednesday 29 April from 6.30-8.30pm at The Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, London W2 1QJ. If you’d like to come along please email to ensure a place.

Caravana Report Launch Event


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Still Not Working

Image of Radiohead single No Surprises

“No alarms and no surprises”, Radiohead (2003)

I’ve been pretty sceptical about the merit of the new stalking offences introduced earlier this year. As discussed in previous posts (here and here) they struck me as superfluous and did not address the real problem. It comes as no surprise then they do not appear to be working. Not yet at any rate.

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Causation Matters 2

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Don’t break the chain of causation

It is a point often overlooked by putative Claimants that no matter how badly a Defendant may have behaved, in civil and employment claims, damages may usually (there are some exceptions) only be recovered if the conduct has actually caused some loss or damage.

This fundamental point can cause difficulties where either there are several different contributory factors to an aspect of loss or where something happens after the cause of the claim which means the loss would have occurred anyway.

The case of Osei-Adjei v RM Education Ltd UKEAT/0461/12/JOJ provides a stark illustration of both these principles at work at the same time. Continue reading

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Harassment Warning Notices

Picture of keyboard with harassment buttonI reported some time ago about a decision involving the retention of what are referred to as Prevention of Harassment Letters or Police Information Notices and a recent case has again shone the spotlight on how records of these are retained.

In R (on the application of T) v Metropolitan Police Commissioner [2013] EWCA Civ 192, the applicant T had been served with a ‘Prevention of Harassment Letter’ by the police after an allegation made by a neighbour of a single incident of insulting behaviour. Continue reading

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Gordon Exall has linked to this very useful guide. As his post rather wryly suggests, lawyers risk learning quite a lot from it too!

Civil Litigation Brief

The Judiciary have published a Handbook for Litigants in Person. It can be found here.


I suggest every litigator has a look at it.

1.  You should ensure it is sent to every litigant in person you are against (it will save your client time, money and anguish in the long run).

2. Give it to every paralegal or newly qualified lawyer in the firm.  It provides invaluable advice in relation to disclosure, drafting witness statements and every element of the litigation process.  It is drafted by working judges and there is a wealth of experience behind it.

3. If you don’t read it the litigant in person may well be better informed than you are.


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