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Do You Have a Spring in Your Step?

Spring in your stepSpring is a great time to see the process of renewal in the natural world and is a great time to take stock of our lives – what is working well for us, what is not working so well and seeing what changes we can make or influence.

Achieving Personal Objectives

Avhieving ObjectivesDo you need to stretch yourself more in terms of development?  Do you wish you could achieve more?  Do you sometimes feel stuck in a rut?  Set yourself some personal objectives to achieve.  To help you achieve them, here are the top ten tips, including the SMART model:

Cutting the Red Tape – How to Sew a Legal Document

The term ‘cutting the red tape’ is believed to have derived from the works of Charles Dickens; an international campaign in February marked the bicentenary of the writer’s birth.

The expression relates to avoiding bureaucratic barriers to fulfilling an objective and is often applied to government, corporations or other large organisations. It also refers to tape that is in fact now pink in colour (originally the red faded to pink over time, and therefore, probably to save money, it was later manufactured in pink!) which is used to tie up bundles of official papers. Pink tape is still in use today in legal circles. Such tape is strong, cotton-like material which has been dyed.

The STOP Exercise to Enhance Focus and Informed Choice

The STOP ExcercisePaying attention is the window to all of our experiences every day of our lives. Where and how we place our focus of attention (or where and how we allow other things to grab our attention) determine the quality of our lives, and our relationships with ourselves, others and what the world has to offer. What we know of ourselves, how we feel physically and emotionally, and our ability to make informed choices are all influenced by both how we focus attention and the quality of that attention.

The European Court of Human Rights and the UK

If you ask any politician for their opinion on the effectiveness of the European Court of Human Rights, you are likely to see eyebrows rise and hear air being sucked over the teeth – the fact is that this international court is definitely not popular in the UK at the moment! Most main political parties are agreed that the European Court of Human Rights is actually proving to be detrimental to the security of the British public, and it seems apparent that our commitment to such international law needs to be considered very seriously in the future.

The Decriminalisation of Possession of Drugs

When it comes to the subject of illegal drugs in this country, it would appear that we all have a strong opinion to air on the matter. We are all filled with fear over the prospect of a child or other family member becoming embroiled in a drug-dependent lifestyle and therefore fully recognise why there are criminal sanctions in place to control things. However, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) fervently believe that prosecuting people who are found in possession of drugs is not the right way forward in this country, and they even recently furnished the Government with such a recommendation for decriminalisation.

The Changing World of Media Distribution and Copyright Law

The past few months have seen a few hastily written copyright protection laws being drafted, nearly passed and then abandoned after massive public outcry in both Europe and the USA. These bills were SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) in the USA and ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) in Europe. SOPA and PIPA have effectively been abandoned, and ACTA has been put on the back burner while European lawmakers review it to make sure it is constitutional and does not violate any fundamental human rights.

Help Yourself, Help Others?

We have previously reported on how the changes to legal aid and civil costs were likely to mean more people would have to act on their own behalf as litigants in person (“Going it Alone,” October 2011). The full extent of the reforms remains uncertain as the Government’s Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill remains stalled in the House of Lords. Despite the uncertainty, organisations are continuing to ready themselves for substantial change.

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