The Justice Gap is an online magazine campaigning about the difference between law and justice. The latest issue of its printed magazine, Proof, focuses on crime and punishment.
Here are my contributions. For Hardeep Matharu's feature on the lethal spice epidemic in prisons, I co-opted my House Model: 'Hold this stick of chalk and try not to look double-jointed.'
The body combines elements of that spice-induced dead-puppet flop with a bound figure from my NSFW blog:
One section of the magazine covers miscarriages of justice. Without access to Paddy Hill of the Birmingham Six I drew him from photos (then and now) - something I generally recoil from, but that's over-fastidious because artists copied photographs and daguerreotypes as soon as they were invented.
Editor Jon Robins's feature about the wrongful convictions of Sam Hallam and Victor Nealon is illustrated with my drawings from their combined, ultimately unsuccessful Supreme Court appeals about compensation in 2018. Sam Hallam served seven years in prison. Victor Nealon served 17 years.
Heather Williams QC on behalf of Hallam...
...and Dinah Rose QC on behalf of Nealon
Patrick Maguire (left, and see below) outside court before Hallam/Nealon appeals
A preview of the next issue of Proof, featuring justice in a time of austerity, highlights the case of a father with complex legal needs, separated from his wife and stuck in a 'legal aid advice desert' in Suffolk.
Nothing comes out of nowhere: at the back of my mind was a black and white family snap of a paddling moment which became my first attempt at a lithograph decades later:
Other illustrations include drawings by Patrick Maguire of the Maguire Seven, who was wrongfully imprisoned at the age of 14. There are also pictures selected by the Koestler Trust which encourages prisoners, secure patients and detainees to engage with art. Among the photographs are several by Andrew Aitchison who documents life behind bars.
'Tensho,' muses my friend Pete as we walk up Baker Street to our shodō class, 'is the Helvetica of Japanese calligraphy.'
A functional administrative script introduced to Japan from China, tensho was inscribed into stone, wood, bone or tortoise-shell, and carved into seals, before brush and ink took over. Its no-nonsense sans-serif uniformity has none of those characterful flicky bits or drying-out strokes you get with brushes. In the same spirit, Helvetica is an efficient Swiss mid-twentieth century design meant for neutral public uses.
'Bird' in tensho by Taki Kodaira
Eventually the kaisho style evolved, allowing more expression of the soul. I'd twin it with Perpetua, developed in the 1920s by Eric Gill: this font shows his roots in stone-carving but has a classic beauty and is used for poetry by Faber & Faber.
'Home' in kaisho by Taki Kodaira
I won't show my own efforts which reveal the backwardness of my right (wrong) hand in calligraphy, which is nothing like drawing. Writing is learned. Drawing is autobiographical. I have pens I can draw but not write with. I am puzzled by the simplest writing brush stroke which reminds me of the years it took me to learn how to tie a bow - the breakthrough came when I realised that the grown-ups did it wrongly.
In life class that evening I'm asked if I've changed my name as I'm initialling everything R.H. It stands for right hand. The body of a calligraphic character is harder for me to read than the body of the model.
For shodō (書道), Japanese calligraphy with brush and ink, one has to be poised and calm. Not trying to disassemble the Daiwa Foundation's multi-leaved dining table so that the class can fit around it. Star pupil Peter makes pleasingly calligraphic shapes with his legs:
Janick, joining us for one lesson before his next cycling tour (Alaska), produces photos of his trips to China and Japan. As a left-hander I'm struggling with having to achieve serenity right-handed, so I'm a bit jealous to see a southpaw in one of Janick's pictures.
I can't bear to show you my stuff so here is some more beautiful calligraphy from our teacher, Taki Kodaira. On 1 May, when Crown Prince Naruhito ascends the Chrysanthemum Throne following the abdication of his father Emperor Akihito, Japan will replace the Heisei ('achieving peace') era with the epoch of Reiwa ('orderly peace' or 'beautiful harmony' depending on your standpoint):
The pavement outside the Daiwa Foundation has mysterious calligraphic markings:
Calligraphy in the morning; life class in the evening where I can use my left:
To learn shodō (書道), a form of Japanese calligraphy, one should be calm of mind, maybe with a view of cherry blossom. Instead I'm ferociously chewing off my lipstick and by the end of the class I look like Bette Davis in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane.
I have a brainwave. I'll ask my friend Peter to join the class for moral support. He's a graphic designer with a latent talent for long-range shooting, which is all about focus, waiting for the right moment and doing the tricky sniping stuff as you breathe out, just like shodō. I'm hoping he'll be a shodō black belt in no time.
On our way to the next lesson at the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, we pass the TfL lost property office with its affectionate window display, including a flat iron left on the number 23 bus in 1934.
Peter mentions a mutual friend. 'Half his flat's in there,' he muses. 'And a lot of his portfolios.'
I've done some drawings in a calligraphic style but calligraphy is not drawing, not the same at all. This is Ayumi LaNoire performing on a golden pole:
But in class I'm struggling to be spontaneous. 父 over and over again.
Home is where you hang your hat. But in ancient China, home was where you sacrificed animals to propitiate the gods, so the early ideogram for 'home' depicted an animal on a slab.
So far, so good. I'm at the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation in London to learn the rudiments of kanji, the pictorial writing system imported to Japan from China in the fifth century AD. Here is the modern kanji character for 'home', drawn swiftly and beautifully by our teacher, Taki Koraida:
It's about to get difficult. I'm left-handed and it's obvious to me that the strokes, sweeps and upticks of kanji are designed for and by right-handed people. 'If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning' (Psalm 137).
To prepare for this calligraphy course I've switched to using my right (wrong) hand in life class:
But, as Taki reminds us, calligraphy isn't painting or drawing. So my 'look - wrong hand!' performance isn't much good as preparation for kanji. At life class I have a moan with another left-hander. He tells me his family rejoiced when he fell out of a window and broke his left arm at the age of ten. They mourned when, once the plaster was removed, he remained a southpaw.
Graphic designer Peter Sloper added the warning tape.
On 5 February Big Voice London launched its sixth annual Model Law Commission Report, proposing changes to these areas of law. When the A-Level students presented the report, I awarded my personal prize for advocacy to the one who rescued his performance by relying on charisma and said, 'You know what I'm trying to say.' A Top QC said he'd try it out on the Lord Chief Justice.
Big Voice London is a social mobility and legal education charity. It enables pupils aged 16-18 at non-fee-paying schools to engage with law and legal policy, helping them to enter the legal profession should they wish to. The courses and events offer plenty of scope for volunteers who include law students, law professionals and academics.
The Chief Executive Officer is Victoria Anderson, a solicitor at Carter-Ruck specialising in media and commercial law.
Here are some snippets from the report:
Landlord and tenant
Succession: that the category of persons who can succeed a tenancy be expanded and that up to two statutory successions be permitted.
Service charge: that transparency be increased as to the cost and use of service charge and that a means by which service charge can be challenged be introduced.
We have proposed: greater protection for creditors, compulsory director training, the introduction of pre-packs in statute, and greater government intervention.
We have also called for greater research into the implementation of our recommendations such as in the amount a business will contribute to a saving account.
Compulsory training for those operating automated vehicles.
Lanes created on motorways designated for automated vehicles and automated-vehicle-only zones in urban areas.
We strongly support an increase of funding and investments towards youth clubs and other projects that increase awareness of the risks of carrying offensive weapons.
We propose a removal of the fancy dress defence. There are certain loopholes that provide a defence during periods of the year, such as Hallowe’en.
Studio Deli feels like planning gain in a soulless Broadgate development where the air conditioning pumps out a faint odour of Camembert. It's day one of rehearsals for Ghost Girl, a play in development about the daughter of Cantonese parents who is brought up by a white British couple in Gravesend. It is the story of Jennifer Tang, the play's director.
'Ghost girl' is Cantonese slang for a white western girl. Gravesend is a fitting place for a girl who doesn't fit the mould: Pocahontas is buried there.
Research and development have produced a draft script which will change after more input from the team. Today is devoted to a read-through and earnest, polite discussion. It's like a board meeting without the hate. I take care not to spill ink on the harsh grey synthetic office flooring.
One theme is racism. Brexit is mentioned briefly but its hideous form squats ungraciously over the whole. The cast bridle about being asked where they come from, but at least they know the answer. Brexit has given the tale of my unknown grandfather an added twist: if he'd been known, maybe I could have landed an EU27 passport.
Day two and we're at the play's venue, Camden People's Theatre, a converted Victorian pub with that NW1 penal institution vibe. 'Good wine needs no bush,' wrote Shakespeare, but the building sports an eternal buddleia. I spot magpies (two for joy) perched high on the building opposite.
We are confined to the joyless cellar for rehearsal. More round-table discussion with brief breaks for games. What parts of the text should be cut? The team study their scripts in furious concentration. 'This is the bit where I cry,' says Jennifer.
Keir Vine, the sound designer, arrives. He integrates with the team for part of the time but like me he ultimately needs to be detached. He has earphones (his head nods to the beat, a give-away); I withdraw behind my spectacles. To be continued.
Ghost Girl: 22 Jan-19 Feb 2019 Conceived and directed by Jennifer Tang; devised and performed by Bea Holland, Siu-See Hung, Danielle Phillips and Paula So Man Siu; produced by Jasmine Cullingford Design: Hannah Sibai
Lighting: Zia Bergin-Holly
Sound: Keir Vine
Stage management: Marco Savo
Supported using public funding by Arts Council England. Commissioned by Camden People’s Theatre. CPT’s Home Run commissioning programme is funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. Developed with the support of Theatre Royal Plymouth, Shoreditch Town Hall and China Exchange.
‘Seating can be a problem with loud brass or percussion seated immediately behind. You want them to bugger off because they’re deafening you, and it’s not their fault.’ – Violinist
This comment from The Prestige Economy of a London Orchestra, a revealing PhD thesis by Dr Francesca Carpos-Young, highlights a situation which led to Goldscheider v The Royal Opera House Covent Garden Foundation, the subject of tonight’s King’s College London event.
(The star turn for me is British Sign Language interpreter Richard Law. I can’t follow the speed of his gestures so my sketches are nonsense; I hope I haven’t introduced any obscenity.)
Chris Goldscheider, a viola player with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, suffered career-ending hearing damage while seated in front of the brass section during a rehearsal of Wagner's Die Walküre in 2012. Noise levels were roughly equivalent to that from a jet engine. He can no longer take pleasure in listening to music, or be near a supermarket fridge: it's all painful noise to him. Awarding Mr Goldscheider damages for acoustic shock, the judge ruled that ‘musicians are entitled to the protection of the law, as is any other worker.’ The judgment is here
Words from the projector land on Theo Huckle QC's head
This landmark case is of huge importance to the music business and the ROH is taking it to the Court of Appeal in 2019.
We are told this evening that orchestral musicians face a 40% chance of significant hearing loss; and it is not always explained to players that, if you don’t wear hearing protection for ten per cent of the time, you lose a substantial part of any protective benefit. (After the incident with the deer rifle at Bisley shooting range, an ENT specialist told me that, rather than relying on earplugs, one should avoid loud noise for ever.)
There are, it seems, no orchestral musicians here tonight. That's a shame, but they don’t want to make waves in an insecure, clannish industry where much work is freelance and the power is in the hands of promoters, conductors and fixers. Comments in the thesis cited above open up this world, even if they generalise:
‘Brass have an anarchistic approach, and are naughty, rowdy boys. Violins are sheep, violas are eccentric, and woodwind border on suicidal. Percussion are unstable, are experts at golf and killing time. They often get away with more misbehavior than others, and tend to stick together.’ – Double bass player
One violinist cites ‘Terrible levels of physical and mental stress. Abuse by managements trying to undercut their financial and working conditions. Woefully inadequate composers in the commercial sector. Ageism.’
‘People get to the top of the orchestral tree with a lot of drinking, a lot of sleeping around, or some ability to be business-like and tactical.' – Horn player
‘How many trumpet players does it take to change a light bulb? Three! One to hold the bulb and two to drink till the room spins’ – Trumpet player
‘As a piccolo player everyone leaves me and my section alone, but the woodwind gives the pond life [string players] a really hard time; taking the piss and calling them gypos and stuff.’
In today's accusatory, fact-free environment, quoting her thesis notes got Dr Carpos-Young hounded out of her professorship at the Royal Academy of Music. Warning students about name-calling in the real mucky professional world, she listed the names (see above). Her words were taken out of context by some. In November 2018 an employment tribunal upheld her claims for wrongful dismissal and victimisation. (All cults have their own lingo. The most offensive comment this evening is: ‘My wife calls all non-lawyers “muggles”.’)
Had enough? Here’s some naff clichéd prose from American one-time professional oboist Blair Tindall, author of Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs, and Classical Music: ‘Instrumentalists had a sexual style unique to their instrument. Violinists, anonymous in their orchestra section, finished quickly. Trumpet players pumped away like jocks, while pianists’ sensitive fingers worked magic. French horn players, their instruments the testiest of all, could rarely perform, but percussionists could make beautiful music out of anything.’
Acoustic shock: where law meets aesthetics
Chair: Professor Alan Read, King’s College London
Participants: Theo Huckle QC, Chris Fry of Fry Law, Dr Aoife Monks of Queen Mary University of London, Dr Lucy Finchett-Maddock of the University of Sussex, Dr Colm McGrath of King’s College London
Performance Foundation; Dickson Poon School of Law, King's College London; King's College London English Department Creative Seed Fund; Faculty of Arts and Humanities Research Fund
This problematic line from Milton's Lycidas comes to mind as I confront the hairscape. Some versions have 'Hid in the tangles...' I'd been hoping to sketch the most famous mane on the bench (it's Lord Sumption's penultimate hearing) but the sightlines are terrible and he is hidden by Dinah Rose QC's curly locks.
Today's case is about hacking, security and human rights, so you're thinking about R v Gul and Bank Mellat v Her Majesty's Treasury, not poetry. I had a close shave the other day: in a trance of idiocy I opened an email purporting to be from a trusted friend, clicked on a link and got an ad for ketamine. In a panic I ran a virus scan: nothing this time but I was lucky, and stupid.
At issue in R (on the application of Privacy International) v Investigatory Powers Tribunal and others is whether s67(8) of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) precludes judicial review of a decision of the Investigatory Powers Tribunal. Privacy International, a London-based charity which challenges surveillance, had complained to the tribunal that it had been unlawfully hacked by GCHQ. But if GCHQ had done so, was this under a lawful warrant issued by the Secretary of State?
Off to check the wording
RIPA was, of course, at the heart of the BBC smash-hit series Bodyguard starring Keeley Hawes and James Bond hopeful Richard Madden. Sir James Eadie QC is making less of a drama of it today. Privacy International has third-party cookies on its website - I have no idea how much of a problem that is but I'm still with the BlackBerry 10 operating system so geeks will know where I'm coming from.
In the afternoon I go to the Lorenzo Lotto portraits exhibition at the National Gallery. His animals have symbolic meaning - fly, lizard, dog, squirrel, and weasel (dead, turned into an accessory).
Lorenzo Lotto, Ritratto di Lucina Brembati, c1518-23. Note the weasel (bottom right).
Another dead furry animal brings together art, court and surveillance in a tweet from BBC home affairs correspondent Dominic Casciani. He wanted to photograph a putrid dead rat in the RCJ, but s41 Criminal Justice Act 1925 forbids surveillance in the form of drawing or photography in courts and their ill-defined precincts (excluding the Supreme Court), so he drew it from memory, in the manner of all official court artists in the UK. This is an unbeatable sketch for impact, simplicity and news/comment value.
And critters in court are nothing new. I remember the giant exotic moth dead on the carpet at the Equitable Life hearing in Southwark Crown Court, a crude metaphor for my pension.