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.

Plan to `streamline' industrial tribunals

Ministers yesterday published plans to speed up the increasingly overburdened industrial tribunal system, including increased powers to dismiss ``hopeless cases''.

Letter: It can be helpful to speak to the police

Sir: Rhodri Powell (letter, 25 August) suggests that, for a number of reasons, there is no point in talking when cautioned by police. He argues first that if a suspect admits an offence 'this constitutes an uncorroborated confession, which is not admissible as evidence'. Unless the rules governing the admissibility of confessions have changed drastically since I studied them five years ago, Mr Powell is mistaken.

Disgraced black rights boss shown the door

THE UNITED STATES' oldest, largest and most prestigious civil rights organisation was struggling to regroup yesterday after the bitterly divisive sacking of its director of 17 months for financial mismanagement, and problems arising from a sexual harassment suit in which he is embroiled.

Letter: The demonising of Winston Silcott

Sir: I am writing to thank you for your lone editorial concerning Winston Silcott and the tabloids (2 August). You wrote of the demonising of this man. Alas, too true] And perhaps I am not the only person to wonder whether a fair trial - I refer to the recent trial - was really possible with an unprejudiced jury when its members, unless they came from the Solomon Islands or similar distant place, could hardly have been able to consider the evidence without, at least subconsciously, being influenced beforehand?

Justice questioned

A retired senior detective and a former Home Office scientist were accused of perverting the course of justice in the case of Stefan Kiszko, who served 16 years for the murder of Lesley Molseed, 11, which he did not commit. The case, at Rochdale magistrates' court, was adjourned.

Detectives' denial

Two detectives involved in the inquiry into the murder of PC Keith Blakelock during the Broadwater Farm riot in 1985 denied conspiring to pervert the course of justice, at the Old Bailey.

Letter: Law should penalise negligent employers

Sir: Your law report (16 June) reveals yet another restriction on access to justice. The Lord Chancellor's plans to stop injured individuals from being legally represented when they take their employer to court will benefit only greedy insurance companies and careless employers.

Legal watchdog seeks applause

THE Solicitors Complaints Bureau reckons it is doing a really good job of sorting out the grievances of the public, writes Sue Fieldman.

Moving offer

Legal & General is offering a new house purchase service, called MoveMaster, with discount vouchers for a total of up to pounds 1,000 to anyone who completes a personal financial review with an L&G agent. Call 0737 374449 for details.

Money in Brief: Low-risk bond

Legal & General has launched the first with-profits distribution bond, a low-risk investment, aimed at providing income and the prospect of capital growth. Initial income paid out is expected to be 4.7 per cent. Call 0273 826100 for details.

Law Update: Contract winners

The 13-partner Lincoln's Inn firm Kingsford Stacey has won the contract for Brent Council's conveyancing and commercial property legal work. The firm has also been appointed a preferred supplier for the provision of Brent's general and housing litigation.

Victims act

Justice for Victims delivered the first 10,000 names of a national petition demanding tougher sentences for violent offenders to Downing Street.

Family protests

THE family of a Briton murdered while helping to deliver aid in Bosnia expressed outrage at reports that a suspect in the killing had 'conveniently' escaped. Paul Goodall's father- in-law, Michael Palmer, said: 'We would like the murderers brought to justice, but there's no justice out there.'

Husband cleared

Aman accused of rape by his wife was cleared by a jury at the Old Bailey. He is believed to be the first husband to stand trial for raping his wife while living with her and not legally barred from interfering with her.

Law Update: Putting advice on the line

The law firm groupings Law South and LawNet have introduced an out-of-hours telephone legal advice service.
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