Thursday, 12 May 2011

Lunch with the Judges

We have always supported the Sheriffs' and Recorders' Fund and their fund raising events and I was invited last week by Alderman and Sheriff Fiona Woolf to have lunch with the judges at the Old Bailey. Whilst I have ben in, and around, the Old Bailey before (purely as a visitor you understand) as have many, it was quite different to go into the judges' private quarters.

I was in elevated company since the guests in addition to me were Cherie Blair, Lord Goldsmith the Attorney General, Henry Bellingham the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Colonial Office and Shadow Minister for Constitutional Affairs/Justice and Professor Jeffrey Golden former Chairman of the American Bar Association and visiting professor of law at the LSE. The conversation was animated and interesting and ranged widely. One of the things I learned in answer to my question ''what determines which cases come to the Old Bailey for trial'' is that at the Old Bailey they concentrate on cases against the person, e.g. knife crime; GBH, rape, murder, within the M25 in normal circumstances, outside in exceptional circumstances. Whilst my knowledge of the judiciary has now improved I hope in return that they now have in some small measure a better understanding of what marketing is.

I had to decline the invitation to stay on after lunch and watch a case in court as I had business commitments. Oh, and finally, in answer to the question several people have asked me : do the judges drink at lunch time? The answer is yes but only a very little.

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