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Monthly Archives: April 2011

Comments made by a judge which were rude (“Shut your mouth and listen”), harsh (“How dare you speak to a member of the public”), and sarcastic (“You are really sorry? Yes, you will be really sorry”) made to the defendant just before he gave evidence rendered the conviction unsafe.

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All blogs are equal; some blogs are more equal than others. These are my 10 favourite smart blogs:

  1. Seth’s Blog – Seth Godin is marketing whiz, ideas factory and book producing machine. He also has an eye-popping way of looking at the world with a fresh perspective. The blog is a distillation of ideas on what it means to do meaningful work in the modern world. You should expect your worldview to get challenged once a week at least.
  2. Marginal Revolution – This is a financial / economics blog on the face of it. With occasional digressions into books, cinema, and the strangeness of people. I also wonder if Tyler Cowen, its most prolific blogger, ever sleeps.
  3. Zen Habits – The king blog of taking life easy, working towards your goals and keeping it all balanced. Focused on the more human side of getting things done like motivation, procrastination and being realistic.
  4. The Browser – A little while back all the hype about Web 2.0 was about the culture of curation. The art of picking has reached a zenith in the Browser. Selecting, clipping, great quotes from all over the internet and flagging up dozens of fascinating articles a day. This is the ultimate source of interesting.
  5. Overcoming Bias – Blog by economist Robin Hansen about why we behave the way we do, see the things the way we do and what it all means when we do it. Hansen has a fascinating paradigm of how people behave and he applies it to a wide variety of situations. I struggle with many of his categorisations (near / far events; forager / farmer societies) but each post has an uncanny way of highlighting something peculiar about human behaviour.
  6. Barking Up the Wrong Tree – This blog exploded out of nowhere in 2009 into a firm favourite.  Another curation done right triumph. Eric Barker picks out interesting articles from the realms of psychology that reveal odd things about human nature. Like the fact that escalators make us better people (going up makes us more elevated in our behaviour). It’s endless recollection of how statistically strange people are is oddly comforting.
  7. Swiss Ramble – If you like football and you’re curious about the big picture then Swiss Ramble is a blog made in heaven. You might presume that a blog dedicated to the accounts of football clubs might be a tad dry. You would be wrong. Once you see a spreadsheet put into context by the shared ups and downs of a team and its fans, you’ll know why this is such compelling reading. A lot about why the game is the way it is becomes crystal clear when seen through this perspective.
  8. You Are Not So Smart – An attack on the common misconceptions we have about human nature and why they’re wrong, such as why we all have lists of movies we ‘intend’ to see but never get around to watching them. Insightful because you can spot yourself running into the same traps many of the time.
  9. Get Rich Slowly – There are two types of smart. There is gee whiz ‘oh my’ smart, and there is long term careful  smart. GRS is all about long term careful smart financial planning. I take a lot of my ideas on managing money and dealing with money from there including how to save sensibly for goals that you want to hit without spending too much on mindless consumerism.
  10. Steve Pavlina – Steve Pavlina is the ultimate source of lifestyle experimentation on the internet. If something sounds (sort of) reasonable and can be tried for 30 days he’s probably been there and got a write up about it. Prior experiments include things like polyphasic sleep (sleeping for 30 minutes only 4 times a day) which sound genuinely bonkers when you first hear about it and almost plausible after you’ve finished reading his posts.

I’m always on the lookout for more to add to the list: any recommendations?

This case considered the circumstances in which it was appropriate for a court to stay proceedings on the ground that an abuse of process offends the court’s sense of justice and propriety. The Privy Council refused to stay the proceedings. They took the opportunity to restate the proper principles on staying proceedings for abuse of process where the abuse does not prevent the defendants from having a fair trial. Along the way, they held that a key authority which has been relied on in Hong Kong was wrongly decided.

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In any issue where there is scope for disagreement there are only two people who you should challenge. The first is anyone who champions a view you agree with. The second is anyone who advocates a view you might agree with. Every other view is irrelevant.

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If you’re instructing an expert witness you should tell them about Jones v Kaney. In Jones the UK Supreme Court reversed a first instance decision striking out a negligence claim against the defendant expert. The claimant alleged that the expert negligently prepared a joint experts’ statement for a personal injury action brought by the claimant. The Supreme Court held that the immunity from suit for breach of duty enjoyed by expert witnesses in legal proceedings should be abolished.

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