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February 03, 2007

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Noosa Lee

Ouch. I'm seeing cherry blossoms and spooning coots in my neck of Hackney too. That's the global warmin' for ya.

Political umpire

Thankfully not so often in this country. As much as people like to moan about hopeless old Britain, when you've read as many cases as I have from the European Court of Human Rights concerning the judicial disasters that are the rest of Europe, you begin to be thankful for what we have here. For example, Italian lawyers used to go on strike on a regular basis in the 1990s (neither solicitors nor barristers may do so in this country). Simple cases about evicting tenants in Florence used to grind on for more than a decade. People in Russia secure judgments against the state for paltry amounts that are never enforced. Property in Turkey is confiscated for public works and the owner is given pathetic compensation that is rendered even more pathetic by the hyperinflation there. Turkish Kurds are put on trial before the 'state security court'. And I haven't even got to the fifty-to-a-cell-excluding-the-rats conditions of East European jails.

The court currently has a backlog of 90,000 cases, most of which will be on the above lines.

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