A month ago, Obiter pointed out that HM Courts & Tribunals Service could perhaps do more to get its story straight. The agency had written to Gazette scribe John Hyde to say his place at a ‘reform roadshow’ in London had been cancelled.
After the subsequent fuss on social media, an HMCTS communications director smoothed things over by saying the ticket was not in fact cancelled, but instead the event was over-subscribed and legal professionals had to take priority. Otherwise, we were assured, the doors would have been wide open for John and our columnist Joshua Rozenberg (who had also applied in vain) to join the event.
As it turns out, that wasn’t quite correct either.
Shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon tabled a written parliamentary question last week asking why journalists were given the cold shoulder.
Justice minister Lucy Frazer QC replied: ‘The event was organised for legal professionals only and not intended for others, including from the media or the public. Four people who registered to attend were refused a place as a result.’
So, Obiter asks again: was entry refused or was the room too full? And may we come along to the next roadshow?