When, a couple of months ago, I wished you all a good summer, I had no idea of the events which were to unfold over the next few weeks.

Following the riots, many of our number have been working long and hard in the courts. Our members are used to being in police stations during the early hours of the morning but, for many, the experience of going through the night in the magistrates? courts is a new one. But, as ever, the unsung heroes soldier on ? as Bruce Reid?s column reveals. With our prime minister announcing, ?If you?re old enough to do the crime, you?re old enough to be punished for the crime,? the country can be thankful that we don?t have to rely on our politicians for a grasp of the principles of sentencing.

And the politicians choose this moment to clobber London practitioners with the proposal that allowances for London weighting should be scrapped. As can be seen from the news section of this issue, the Association has submitted a robust response to this idea. Our executive officer, Greg Powell, sets out the arguments in his article. We also fill readers in with the law which is relevant to the news stories on phone hacking and payments to police. And I welcome another article in our occasional series From Where I Stand, giving insights and observations from one of the Association?s most experienced members.

The LCCSA will be campaigning on the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders bill. Exploring the ?sentencing and punishment of offenders? aspect of this, the London Advocate has interviewed Juliet Lyon, of the Prison Reform Trust. Following the events of early August, it may well be that, whatever the bill proposes, the prisons will continue to be at bursting point for some time to come.

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