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THE UNSEEMLY row over the written legacy of George Carman QC looks set to cloud the official launch of the first biography of the great man. The book, No Ordinary Man, written by his son Dominic, is to be published by Hodder & Stoughton later this month, just over a year after the lawyer's death from cancer. However, Karen Phillipps, the woman who lived with "Gorgeous George'' for 15 years, claims that Dominic Carman's book was not written with his father's blessing. She now intends to write her own biography and has secured the service of literary agent Ed Victor. Dominic Carman counters that his father expressly asked him to write the book and had left him some legal papers which he says supports this claim. What seems to be the only thing not in dispute is the public's interest in the life of perhaps the world's greatest libel lawyer and a Sunday newspaper has already snapped up serialisation rights to No Ordinary Man.

LORD WOOLF continued his tour of the Radio 4 studios yesterday when he returned to the Today programme to mount an assault on the Government's anti-terrorism legislation. Last week the Lord Chief Justice used his appearance to suggest that the best way of dealing with dangerous paedophiles was to lock them up before they had committed an offence. That proposal presented the Home Secretary, David Blunkett, with an unexpected opportunity to reverse roles with the Lord Chief Justice. Eschewing the Today programme Mr Blunkett chose Jimmy Young's show on Radio 2, where he suggested that the country's most senior Judge was the one now being illiberal by making "dangerous'' attacks on civil liberties.

TIME IS running out for the Bar Council's campaign to "Save trial by jury". The Government isdrawing up its plans to implement Lord Justice Auld's recommendations for a new tier of criminal courts which could lead to a greater curb to the right to jury trial than that contained in the Mode of Trial Bill. The deadline for response to the Auld review is 31 January, but the Bar Council is holding a special meeting on 14 January for a final rallying call.