Friday, 13 April 2007

Legal basis

What do you know? I find myself with a few minutes to kill before I can safely escape chambers and I immediately think of the blog. Giving up might not be as easy as all that, but I do expect to wind down the number of posts. Thanks for the kind comments. I like Corporate Blawger's starship analogy (I assume it is particularly hot in his part of town). I will, perhaps, float gradually off into space. Hopefully avoiding the enormous, enigmatic, floaty black monolith and ensuing trippy weirdness.

In my quest to see some straightforward non-molestation, occupation and other similar injunction work, I was supposed to tag along with someone new from chambers this morning. However, when I dropped by to offer to carry her bags, she was on the phone to the solicitor explaining with rapidly diminishing patience that she couldn't possibly apply for the injunction in question because the statute very clearly forbade it. The local authority rather than the carer would need to make any application.

There was then some to-ing and fro-ing between the solicitors as to who was going to do what, and they decided to abandon the intended application to the Principal Registry of the High Court Family Division, which is on High Holborn, and instead apply in the High Court at the Royal Courts of Justice on The Strand.

Er, why?

The change of venue is due to the differing powers of different sorts of judge. We needed someone who would be able to exercise the High Court's inherent jurisdiction. This apparently requires a judge with a 'tag nine ticket', or something similar sounding. Something to do with the Sainsbury's deli counter, I assume, or possibly the judicial lottery that determines whether you get an easy ride or get eviscerated then dusted in salt and soaked in vinegar.

So we headed off the the RCJ to the ex parte list in the afternoon. We had to wait around for quite a while, during which time we were offered the judge next door. He or she didn't have the right ticket, though, apparently, a fact that both barristers instantly knew. How a pupil is supposed to work this all out I've no idea - and there does seem to be a risk that this could happen to me, as it initially looked like quite a simple matter and is the sort of thing the clerks might give me.

On the way down, my barrister had given me a little talk on how important it is to buy a Family Court Practice book, an enormous red tome that costs about £200 and comes out every year. I think not. I haven't bought a wig and gown yet and plan to avoid that as long as possible. For my Call I borrowed one from a friend I had hitherto failed to realise was a pinhead. It was a bit small for me, as anyone will quickly realise from but the briefest glance at the Chairman Mao style mural of me on one wall on the outside of my grandmother's house.

However, she very quickly got a chance to demonstrate the utility of her advice when the judge asked for the criteria and legal basis for attaching a power of arrest to an injunction. This was over and above what she was asking for, so wasn't actually in the draft order she had prepared. Of course, she had her red book with her and was able to furnish the judge with the answer (s.47 Family Law Act 1996) with nay bother.


Mr Pineapples said...

So - a wig to your call? A member of Middle I presume?

Liadnan said...

Section 9 ticket. Ie a judge authorised to exercise certain powers beyond those to which they are entitled by their formal office (typically authorisation for a circuit judge to sit in and exercise the powers of a puisne judge of the High Court) pursuant to Section 9 of the Supreme Court Act 1981.

Legal Beagle said...

Don't worry - it's amazing how quickly you learn stuff like which judges have which tickets once you're on your feet.

Please don't give up the blog - it is a great read and gives a very realistic picture of pupillage which I'm sure is useful to many would-be pupils.

Pupilblogger said...

Thanks LB and Liadnan. Not you, though, Mr Pineapples! You've narrowed me down to presumably one quarter of all barristers. Or do some Inns have more members than others?

Mr Pineapples said...

Fear ye not.

Lincoln's has the most students....desperate to get a glimpse of Cherie Blair