It is a source of immense pride to me and I am sure to many other Law Society members that solicitors such as the redoubtable Laura Janes continue to play a pivotal role in the endeavours of the Howard League for Penal Reform on behalf of the rights of offenders.
That sense of pride is the mirror image of the embarrassment, bordering on shame, that we all ought to experience at the failure of UK governments of all political complexions to deliver on those entitlements through legislation and enlightened policy.
Where to start? What about votes for prisoners, where for an unconscionably long time those governments have chosen to ignore the obligation to act upon the Strasbourg court’s ruling?
As with the burning need to rationalise and reduce our nation’s ruinously wasteful overuse of prisons, I firmly believe that it is time for our esteemed president to deplore and urge reform of that persistent non-policy in the interests of all that is fair - and affordable.
Malcolm Fowler, Solicitor and higher-court advocate, Kings Heath, Birmingham