Wake up Harry, you've been rumbled. Again
Some within the press establishment have maintained the pretence that this is not true, that it is mere trolling. But as so often in these matters, the opposition comes riding to your rescue, and last night Master Cole came galloping over the horizon bearing a pile of steaming bullpucky which, in many professions, would have been the final straw.
“CHILD rapists, terrorists and serious criminals as well as failed asylum seekers will be stopped from exploiting modern slavery safeguards to stay in Britain. And lefty lawyers who help them face a major clampdown and punishing costs for wasting court time” tells a supposed Sun “Exclusive”, for which, read Cole stenography minus the fact check.
Readers are also told “judges will have the power to slap massive costs on have-a-go lawyers who use template papers and every excuse they can think of to try to stop deportations without merit … They will have to sign up to a ‘good faith’ agreement promising not to use false or jumped up excuses not to expel failed asylum seekers … If they breach it they face newly toughened ‘Wasted Costs Orders’”. But enough.
Where those who know what they are talking about are able to comment - like on Twitter - Master Cole’s exposition had a less easy ride. The Secret Barrister (thread HERE) mused “It’s difficult to know what’s more embarrassing - the Home Secretary’s continued failure to understand the most basic principles of the legal system, or her PR minions cheerleading her ignorance”. Ozan Redjep was on the same page. With Legal Advice 101.
“You need to read the regulator’s code of conduct for solicitors. You will then see that all lawyers are already bound not to do the things you are suggesting they will no longer be able to do, under new laws”. Whoops! Damian Warburton was more specific, “If only the regulatory bodies had thought of this sort of thing already. Oh look. They did! Here’s an extract from the Bar Standards Board’s Code of Conduct. The Solicitor[s] Regulation Authority has something in its Code to exactly the same effect”. There was more.
George Peretz QC was dismissive of Cole’s ability, or lack thereof. “‘Wasted costs orders’ are not, as appears to have been spun to [Harry Cole], a whizzo new idea: they have existed for years. See these slides (found after 10 seconds on Google, so no excuse for any competent journalist not to spot this) for details”. OUCH!
Then the awkward questions, Martin Hammond asking “Will the Home Office’s lawyers be signing these ‘good faith’ agreements too? If the Home Office delays, fails to respond, doesn’t provide the right information promptly, will Patel and her department be taking personal responsibility (if it exists at all under for this govt)?” Tim Lewis added “Wouldn't it be great if 'journalists' could be struck off if they peddled 'jumped up' or 'false' news?”
I told you Harry Cole was not a real journalist. Now you can see for yourselves.
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