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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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
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Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz