Now that I am retired having been many years a magistrate with a long awareness of the declining freedoms enjoyed by the ordinary citizen and a corresponding fear of the big brother state`s ever increasing encroachment on civil liberties I hope that my personal observations within these general parameters will be of interest to those with an open mind. Having been blogging with this title for many years against the rules of the Ministry of Justice my new found freedom should allow me to be less inhibited in these observations.

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Friday, 1 November 2013


Centre of excellence refers to a team, a shared facility or an entity that provides leadership, evangelization, best practices, research, support and/or training for a focus area. “Harley Street”  would be considered such a centre; indeed “London” by extrapolation could be considered a centre of excellence in medicine, associated technology and treatment. Thousands of foreigners annually certainly consider it so. In a similar fashion the term “Silicone Valley” has but one connotation built up over many years.  Add “Hollywood” or “Bollywood” and the meaning is clear.  And for legal expertise all one has to say is Inns of Court.

In this age of instant visual anywhere communication, a facility available only in science fiction when I was a student, face to face inter actions can be reduced, avoided or valued as the case might be.  Internet dating sites are arguably better introductory media than any previously devised but only as a prelude to two people actually being in such proximity to each other than true interchange of personality etc can be made.  The same can be said of any intimate conversation whether between individuals and  family members, friends, medical advisors or let it be said; lawyers.  In all these examples one`s soul is bared to another person and in my humble opinion that cannot be best undertaken on Skype.  The Lord Chief Justice thinks otherwise.

There are many excellent legal firms and chambers north of Watford but as a centre of excellence London with its high prices, extortionate business rents and high incomes per capita is as honey to a bee.  Indeed the major London legal firms have never had it so good.  Hundreds of years of history and human nature cannot be changed   by dictat.    It sounds too much that the great man might have had his ear bent by politicians. 

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