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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Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker