The Philippine Elections: Automation and Manual Counting Scenarios and the Impact on the Electoral Systems of the World

ElectionsOur recent elections have prompted calls for a reform of the voting system. Many ideas have been put forward and one of the recommendations on the cards is an e-voting system, which will reduce the chaos that often ensues on election day. One of our Associate Members, Clint Diesto, from the Philippines, has written an article on the recent introduction of computerised voting in his country.

Taking Control in Litigation

Taking control in litigation.A review of the growing importance of pre-issue steps in litigation and how the trained Legal Secretary can assist.

The famous line ‘No man is an island’ by the English poet John Donne is never more true than when working in a busy Solicitor’s office. Even the most skillful of Solicitors will rely on their support staff to ensure that they are working at the top of their game. As a trained Legal Secretary you will be in a position to help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the fee earners you work for. This article is one in a series focusing on key areas of practice and the specialist skills and knowledge that will help make you indispensible.

Make the Most of Your Appraisal

Making the most of it.The formal appraisal is meant to be a frank and open discussion about past performance and future development so as to contribute to the success of the business. But appraisals can hold dread for some appraisees. Maybe it is a process you don’t give much thought to until a few weeks before the meeting itself. So you wander in saying how ‘fabulous’ or ‘excellent’ you are, and risk being disappointed. Or perhaps the alternative, where you assess yourself as ‘meeting expectations’, only to find that, actually, you exceed them in many areas. So to help you prepare – objectively – for your next appraisal, here are top ten tips:

Boosting Self-Esteem

Boosting Self EsteemSometimes our self-esteem can take a bit of a dive. It is natural for it to fluctuate, but we all need a base level to get the most out of work and life generally. So, what is self-esteem and how can we boost it when we need to?

First Past the Post Vs. Proportional Representation

Never has there been a better time to evaluate the possibility of a complete overhaul to the political voting systems of the UK. As our country has just voted for the first hung parliament in thirty-six years, terms such as ‘first past the post’ and ‘proportional representation’ are being bandied around by our politicians. Yet many people do not fully understand what is meant by this.

Nick Clegg (the leader of the Liberal Democrats party) has now formed an alliance with the Conservative Party, and this was always going to be under the proviso that the country would be presented with the opportunity of a referendum over a new voting system. David Cameron, the new Prime Minister, appears to have honoured this condition and has been heard to mention a referendum on a number of occasions.

Work-Life Balance

Work Life BalanceWhat is the balance between your work and other aspects of your life? Do you spend too much time working or thinking about work at the expense of other things? Do you have the skills and environment to make your working life satisfying? 

Having a balanced life involves welcoming a range of aspects into your life. In particular, we function well and have satisfying lives when our various emotional needs are broadly met in balance. The most fundamental human emotional needs are these:

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

Reduce Reuse RecycleWWF’s One Planet Future campaign encourages us to change our lifestyles and think about better ways to dispose of our waste.

In the UK, most of the waste we produce ends up decomposing in landfill sites, producing greenhouse gases and contributing to climate change. You can help cut climate change by finding ways of reducing, reusing and recycling your waste.

Reduce

Playing Office Politics the Better Way

Office PoliticsAll men are created equal but born unequal, hence the battle for supremacy. Wherever you have two or more people co-existing, politics thrives. Playing the game of office politics is inevitable and anyone who neglects office politics will be making incalculable mistakes. Office politics is simply the use of one’s assigned power in the workplace for the purpose of obtaining advantages beyond one’s legitimate authority, with a view to influencing the behaviour of others. It is all about manipulations which occur in any relationship where parties adopt indirect means to achieve their personal goals.

Our New Senior Administrator

We would like to introduce you to our new Senior Administrator – Nicholas Town. Nick joined us at the beginning of May, when we relocated to London. He is settling into his new role well and has been of great help to the Institute so far.

Nick has good experience in administration, having previously worked for Kingston University and the National Association of Licensed Paralegals. He recently finished a fine art degree and is also a keen musician. What impressed us the most is that Nick has a positive attitude and enthusiasm for the work we do at ILSPA. He recognises the value of the organisation, which is a great start to a successful career.

HIPs, HIPs, Away!

Hips AwayAs the United Kingdom is still struggling to get back on its feet after one of the worst recessions in living memory, will the Government’s recent decision to put an end to Home Information Packs (HIPs) provide a much needed boost to the housing market? This is indeed the $64,000 question, and people appear to be in one of two camps over the issue. 

One section of the housing industry firmly believes that the abolition of HIPs is now going to provide a massive boost to the still ailing market. They claim that people were put off from selling their property as a consequence of the additional expense that was involved in having to commission such a report and they generally saw the introduction of HIPs as the final nail in the coffin of the housing market at the time.