The UK’s White Paper on the Natural Environment

natural choiceOn 7 June 2011, the UK government published ‘The Natural Choice’ – a white paper that outlines how the natural environment is going to be protected, restored and improved over the next 50 years.

This is the first white paper that has been published in 20 years, and it is directly linked to the findings made in the National Ecosystem Assessment that strongly proved how the natural environment must be looked after. It also acts on information found in a report on England’s wildlife sites called ‘Making Space for Nature’ by Professor John Lawton.

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said:

Should the United Kingdom Remain Within the EU?

UK and EUWell now, it would seem that this really is the $64,000 question! Ever since the UK joined the European Community (the name at that time) back in 1973, many citizens of this country have been outraged by the way in which they feel that ‘Europe’ has continually interfered with their lives. From the ‘Metric Martyrs’ to being told what  the shape of our bananas should be, it appears that very few UK citizens have much time, or respect, for the workings of the European Union.

Self-Confidence Is the Key to Success

How you feel about yourself is a key issue in achieving anything in life. A self-confident person has high self-esteem, self-respect, and belief in her- or himself.  By developing your self-confidence, you will be able to achieve your goals, take opportunities that come your way and also have the strength to overcome any obstacles.

Self-confidence is very important for having a successful career. If you do not have confidence in yourself and your abilities, how can you expect others to? When attending job interviews or hoping for a promotion, the way you behave and believe in yourself will ultimately create a win or a lose situation.

Here are five tips to help boost your self-confidence:

Prison Reform: Plead Guilty and Save 50%

Prison ReformDoes this sound like a supermarket special offer to you, too? The Government had recently proposed that when defendants plead guilty straight away to an offence they committed, in court, they should be entitled to receive a 50% reduction on their tariff of imprisonment. This was just one of the ways the Justice Secretary, Kenneth Clarke, was attempting to reduce the significant numbers within our prisons at the moment. As the Government is investigating ways in which money can be saved in all areas of the country’s expenditure, prison reform is definitely a burden on the taxpayer that is very high on the list.

Legal Abbreviations

ThelmaFor Legal Secretaries and PAs, it is important to know the vast array of abbreviations currently used in the legal world, and I seek to shed some light on the meaning of some of the most widely used legal abbreviations. Getting to grips with lawyers’ abbreviations will spring you forward in the right direction professionally. Secretaries are expected to research or look up commonly used legal abbreviations and, in particular, case references.

I worked for a Family Division Senior Partner who often recorded his dictation almost entirely in abbreviations. He would, for example, say, ‘at the FPC the judge in the case of Re: M (a minor) referred to [2004] 1 FLR 837 and FPR 4.2 when deciding with the CG whether to place the child in the care of the LA...’ Such phrases are common and probably even more complex now than ever before.

The Televising of Supreme Court Judgments

Ever since the highest court in the country changed from its title of the House of Lords to The Supreme Court, back in October 2009, it would seem that there has been a concerted effort to modernise our judicial system from the top down. This could certainly be said of the fact that on 16 May 2011, Supreme Court judgments were televised for the first time through Sky News.

Is this merely copying the United States of America, with their propensity to glamorise and televise their judicial system, or is there a genuine requirement for the hearings of the Supreme Court to be aired to the general population as a whole? This is an issue we will attempt to address within this article.

Speaking in Meetings

Speaking in meetings and making mini-presentations in meetings can be nerve wracking at the best of times. Even experienced speakers can feel nervous and anxious when speaking at meetings. So here are the top 10 tips to make sure your presentation is enjoyed and remembered by everyone:

More Secular Laws in the UK?

secular_lawsOne of the main observations made by the Pope on his visit to the United Kingdom last year was that our country is becoming more and more secular in nature. He expressed concern that we are departing from religious teachings and stated that he believed this to be potentially damaging to our society in the long term.

On the other hand, a growing proportion of our society adamantly does not believe in any religious order in the first place, least of all in those of the Roman Catholic Church. They believe that all religions have failed to evolve with the world in which they still exist. There is no denying the fact that today there is a battle within our legal system between those who would prefer our laws not to be based on outdated religious beliefs and those who still insist on following all the lessons to be found within the Bible.

ILSPA’s Top Students

ILSPA's top studentsWe are often pleased to see a high calibre of Students pass through our hands, but recently we were delighted to see two Students achieve distinctions for the Legal Secretaries Diploma course, both with results of 99%. Our Course Assessor, Maria Richards, said that they were the highest results she has seen.

These Students have shown complete commitment to their career and an exceedingly high aptitude for learning law and producing documents. They are sure to go far in their careers, and one of the Students, Helen Wheeler, has already managed to secure a fantastic new job. Helen says: