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.

The Yuk factor: Correction

LAST week's article 'The Yuk Factor' stated that Dr Celia Pyper 'strongly supports legal abortion'. We understand that this does not reflect Dr Pyper's views, or the thesis put forward in the book Pandora's Clock which she co-authored with Maureen Freely, and apologise for the embarrassment caused.

Letter: Precedents for the procedures of the Scott inquiry

Sir: Lord Howe has made a number of assertions about the procedure before the Scott inquiry and the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Tribunals of Inquiry that must not go unchallenged (report, 13 January).

Law Report: Nil compensation for criminal injury quashed: Regina v Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, ex parte Gambles. Queen's Bench Division (Mr Justice Sedley), 3 December 1993

If the board decides that the conduct of an applicant for compensation for criminal injuries made a full award inappropriate, then it must state to what extent the applicant's conduct impacted on the appropriateness of an award before it concluded that a nil award was appropriate.

Bridge: A good deal of injustice

DO YOU ever get the feeling that there is no justice in this game? To bid and make a grand slam in a pairs contest usually guarantees an excellent score, but here South had every right to be aggrieved.

Assent for Bill

The Criminal Justice Bill, which abolishes the unit fines system and returns to courts the power to consider previous convictions when sentencing, is expected to receive Royal Assent today.

Legal setback

An application by solicitors working for the Crown Prosecution Service and the Serious Fraud Office to appear in higher courts was opposed by the Lord Chancellor's advisory committee on legal education and conduct. The committee's report will also delay moves to give other solicitors the right to represent their clients in higher courts.

Letter: When the innocent discover that pleading guilty is not a bargain court

Sir: I was very pleased to see that your newspaper ('Innocent 'at risk' under plea bargains', 1 June) had highlighted the issue of plea bargaining and the excellent report on this produced by Justice. Liberty has, over the years, received a number of complaints from individuals who have pleaded guilty following pressure from lawyers and others, only to find that there is virtually nothing that they can then do to overturn that decision - despite the fact that they have good grounds for claiming their innocence.

Corky's costly crow

The owner of Corky the cockerel, whose crow was ruled to be a nuisance and was silenced by a county court judge, faces a legal bill of about pounds 25,000. Marjery Johns, of Stoke, north Devon, plans to challenge the ruling.

No compensation for abuse victims

Two women who suffered sex abuse as children - one by her father, the other by her stepfather - are not entitled to compensation, the High Court ruled.

Law Report: No claim for sex abuse award: Regina v Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, Ex parte P - Queen's Bench Divisional Court (Lord Justice Leggatt and Mr Justice McCullough), 28 April 1993

The criminal injuries compensation scheme's exclusion of compensation claims to victims of family violence for injuries occurring before 1 October 1979 was not unfair or irrational. A victim did not have any entitlement to compensation under the scheme, which was a manifestation of the bounty of the Crown, and could only recover an award according to the rules in force.

Sisters to appeal

Michelle Taylor, 21, and her sister Lisa, 19, have won leave to appeal against their convictions for the murder of Alison Shaughnessy. The case is likely to come before the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Taylor, in June.

Legal aid cuts 'hit 20,000': Changes will deny access to justice

A TOTAL of 20,000 cases involving battered wives and people evicted from their homes will be denied access to justice before cuts in legal aid, imposed yesterday, can be reviewed, the Law Society warned.

Racing: Cumani cleared of negligence

Luca Cumani was cleared in the High Court yesterday of negligence over an accident in which a stable lad, David Marr, suffered a serious hip injury. A filly being exercised by Marr, 22, reared and fell over backwards on to him. But a damages action brought against the Newmarket trainer was dismissed by Mr Justice Drake who ruled that the trainer had not acted unreasonably in allowing the lad to ride two-year-old Peardrop back to the stables alone.

Letter: Hysteria does not remove the need to prove guilt

I CAN think of no greater sorrow than that felt at the death of a young child. The Bulger family might perhaps take some small comfort from the mass of sympathy shown for their personal loss.

Bunhill: Legal purge

FURTHER to my story of City law firms in trouble comes word that one of the very biggest firms is to lay off 16 partners in an unprecedented purging. Watch this space.
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