Who killed courtroom drama?

The death in February of one of the titans of the Bar, John Mathew QC, cut another link with the post-war period of ebullient criminality and showy trials. Mathew defended one of the Great Train Robbers and David Holmes in the Jeremy Thorpe trials, and prosecuted the Krays and Harry Roberts. He remembered a period when you could park your car outside the Old Bailey and saunter through its grand main entrance unhindered by the tiresome security apparatus lawyers and members of the public are subject to today. But he also recalled a time when jury nobbling and police perjury were common. Any study of the true-crime shelves of Waterstones

The SNP may have overreached by planning to suspend jury trials

The Scottish Government may have overreached for the first time in its response to Covid-19. Today MSPs will vote on the Coronavirus (Scotland) Bill, which grants Scottish Ministers emergency powers to tackle the outbreak and suspends or amends the legal status quo in some important areas. Physical attendance in court will no longer be required unless a judge specifically instructs it; instead, appearances will be made ‘by electronic means’. Ministers will be able to permit the release of prison inmates in the event of custodial transmission (lifers and those convicted of sex crimes will not be eligible). The timeframes for community payback orders will be lengthened and public bodies will