The Bar Standards Board  called for changes to the way Inns of Court conduct their internal disciplinary tribunals, mainly centred around measures to remove any possible perception of bias. It has also warned the Council of the Inns of Court that it must acknowledge “the limitations of its modern disciplinary responsibilities when developing the new service and… not seek to encroach on the BSB’s statutory remit”. In turn, BSB director Dr Vanessa Davies has responded to assertions that the BSB is exercising functions beyond its remit by stating that the BSB is an arm’s length organisation that would not become too involved in the minutiae of Inn tribunals in order to preserve their independence.

Lord Justice Leveson released his report on the culture, practices, and ethics of the press. The full report runs to thousands of pages – there is a convenient summary available on Inforrm.

The Court of Appeal ruled that News International were liable for legal defence costs accrued by former News of the World editor Andy Coulson, in relation to the investigation into alleged illegal activity at the newspaper. A clause in Coulson’s employment contract provided for legal costs necessary for activities relating to his job as editor. It was held that the allegations against Coulson arose from his former job at the NotW.

A man with a criminal record stemming from being in a gay relationship in the 1950’s applied to have his conviction struck out. The 73 year-old applied for voluntary work in a prison, and discovered his record stated that he had been convicted of a sexual offence.  He said:

“I looked back over my life and realised that all the work I’d lost over the years was due to this criminal record.”

“Gay guys don’t realise how lucky they are to be able to kiss in the street. In my time in the ’50s you’d be arrested instantly.”