‘Gender assassination of men’, email references, and goodbye to a Gazette great: your letters to the editor

Taking turns

What a great article by Suzanne Gill (‘Women having it all does not mean women doing it all’). 


I shouted over to my husband ‘it’s finally happening’ as soon as I read it. It is great for equality in the workplace to be such a central topic. 


My husband and I speak a lot in our household (where we are both lawyers, but I work part-time in my other career as primary carer) about how hard it is for a primary carer to juggle their equally demanding legal career. But it got me thinking: are couples who both have careers a bit like those in the process of divorce; both sides pointing fingers at the other about childcare arrangements? Whose ‘turn’ is it? What if, instead, both parties agreed that raising children is not something that it is anyone’s ‘turn’ to do but is a priority. It is OK to admit that it is. 


We are raising the next generation of lawyers and citizens. Neither a man nor woman should feel like having to track down those ‘17 toothpicks’ for an art project is the less important job to the Court of Appeal case. It is worthwhile and everything worthwhile takes a lot of effort.


What if we could come to the point where couples made plans together for the kids, where we realise that someone at home needs to be there to collect those toothpicks and that in doing so we are creating a better future for everyone?  



Debbie Singer



Parliament must assert itself

Paul Dacre’s article for the Spectator on the judiciary, quoted in the Gazette of 28 October, sadly just repeated the complaints of others who find that UK law applied to the facts of their dispute does not support their action at the time. Common law in the UK changes. 


In an adjacent Gazette column, the writer points out that the doctrine of good faith is being more widely applied in the courts so that people in authority – editors and politicians, for example – may need to act more carefully. 


The letter which parliament directed the prime minister to write to the EU might, in the way it was delivered, be thought to be lacking in good faith and in contempt of parliament. Striking a balance between freedom of expression, protection of the rights of individuals, governance and the need for good governance by the executive, will always be subjected to the swings of the pendulum of public opinion. 


Until parliament observes and asserts its existing constitutional rules, including standards of behaviour of MPs, the current difficulties will continue. These difficulties seem to be aggravated by putting party interests before the known needs of the public.  



Michael Loup

Neustadt, Germany


To whom it may concern

Can I please decry the modern practice of omitting to quote adequate references on emails. 


If I receive an email from ‘Helen’ with no reference, and no property or other identification, it can take perhaps five minutes to identify the matter to which it relates. Not unnaturally, even if it may be urgent, the email sinks to the bottom of the pile of matters awaiting attention. 


Last week, I received a communication from a bank which quotes neither our reference, nor the name of the deceased, nor their own reference. When we telephoned, they were obliged to admit that this communication was – to say the least – rather defective.


Can I please urge solicitors at the very least to quote sufficient information in their emails to make the matters to which they relate readily identifiable. 


I think they will be surprised to find that this tends to produce much faster responses.



R M Napier

AN Law, Warrington


Man trouble

Please can you explain how it is appropriate to allow articles like Ms Gill’s gender assassination of men (linked above). 


If a man were to attack and use such gender stereotypes, he would be in deep trouble. I am all for equality, but that surely means treating everyone equally. 


Allowing an entire article to be printed that is no more than criticism of men is appalling.



Name and firm withheld on request


Farewell Tony 

Although I am no spokesman for criminal law practitioners, may I take the opportunity in your pages to wish Anthony ‘Tony’ Edwards a long and happy retirement.


Many of us have cause to be grateful to Anthony for untangling the complex world of fast-moving criminal legislation.


His seminars were relaxed and informal, and unmissable for the regular criminal law advocate. Anthony’s delivery was always succinct and insightful. 


It always came as an additional relief that from time to time he found the vagaries of the criminal justice system as baffling as we all do.


I am sure that all criminal legal aid practitioners would join with me in wishing Anthony a long and happy retirement.



Julian S Linskill

Solicitor-advocate, Linskills, Liverpool