News Bridget Harris, left, a former Clegg aide, has quit over the Lord Rennard affair

The Liberal Democrats’ calamitous handling of the Lord Rennard sexual harassment allegations looks set to be arbitrated by the courts after the peer’s supporters indicated he would if necessary take legal action to retain his position in the House of Lords.

Leading article: Too grave an error of judgement to ignore

LORD NEILL, QC, has done the right thing for the wrong reasons. As chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, he must avoid any hint of controversy. Having accepted a brief from Dame Shirley Porter, he has now dropped it. He should not have taken it in the first place. Dame Shirley is, of course, entitled to the best legal representation available as she takes her case to the Court of Appeal. But she will have to do without Lord Neill, formidable as his legal reputation may be. Dame Shirley is no ordinary client. Judgement has already been given after an exhaustive investigation into her antics at Westminster Council. For Lord Neill to have acted for her would have been a bizarre spectacle - the nation's "sleaze-buster" standing up in court in defence of someone at the centre of one of the greatest sleaze scandals of the day.

Letter: Legal fat cat?

Sir: Is the Lord Chancellor, in pursuance of his commendable objective for freedom of information, prepared to disclose the fees he received in his last year of practice at the Bar?

Industrial claims up

Industrial claims up

Letter: Jesus loves us

Joan Smith quotes the "eye for eye, tooth for tooth" bit from Exodus, then remarks that, fortunately, since the Christian church has lost its moral force in the West, such immoral rough justice is on the decline ("Justice like this only bloodies the relatives' hands", 28 September).

Acas plans quick-fix system for job grievances

Britain's government-funded industrial peacemakers are planning a fast-track route to resolving grievances as the number of individual employment rights cases reached a new record.

Letter: Let this be the last absurd `landslide'

Letter: Let this be the last absurd `landslide'

Letter: Yes, sleaze is the real election issue

Letter: Yes, sleaze is the real election issue

Letter: If juries manage to do justice, it must often be by accident

Sir: I share Glenda Cooper's concerns about juries (Rough justice from the court jesters", 27 March), having been a juror myself several years ago.

Complaints at all-time high

Complaints at all-time high

`Ancient' right dates from 1855

While it has undoubtedly passed into our constitutional framework, the right of a defendant to elect trial by jury is not as ancient as sometimes believed.

Minister in gay marriage plea

A Government minister has called for gay couples to be allowed to enter into a legal contract similar to marriage.

Lord Chancellor goes to court

Lord Mackay, the Lord Chancellor, is being taken to court over the controversial hike in court fees introduced last month. Lord Justice Simon Brown, the judge in charge of judicial review cases has directed an expedited hearing of the case, believed to be the first of its kind, on 5 March.

Lord Chancellor stands up for rights

The right of consumers of public and private services to stand on their legal rights got firm backing yesterday from the Lord Chancellor, Lord Mackay of Clashfern, in a rebuttal of claims that Britain is adopting a United States-style litigation culture.

Letter: Mistake that hanged Hanratty

Sir: Your report on the Hanratty case (27 January) mentioned that the only eye-witness to the crime, Valerie Storie, "failed to pick him out on the first identity parade". The reality was worse than that: James Hanratty did not take part in the first ID parade, and Miss Storie picked out someone wholly unconnected with the case.

Letter: Jury rationing

Sir: It might help Margaret Withers (letter, 3 September) and many others if jury service were rationed. I have been called four times, and am eligible for several more before being disqualified by age. The first occasion is instructive, leaving an admiration for our legal system. Further periods can be a burden and could surely be more usefully and fairly distributed. As for eliminating the useful contribution which the over-70s could make, does not this amount to "selection"?
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Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen