BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Page last updated at 13:36 GMT, Tuesday, 7 October 2008 14:36 UK

Fuel Poverty

Mary Phillips outside the High Court
BBC Radio 4's Law In Action
Tuesday 7 October 2008, 1600 BST
On Radio 4 and online

In a highly unusual move, two major charities this week took the government to court for failing, they claim, to reduce fuel poverty.

Friends of the Earth and Help The Aged say that eight years after legislation was passed, the government has not met its own targets and in so doing, is acting unlawfully.

Clive went down to the High Court to talk to Ed Matthews of Friends of the Earth about the legal action and also spoke to David Woolfe of Matrix Chambers and public law expert on the wider implications - both for lawyers and parliamentarians.

Scottish jurors

The Scottish government is currently undertaking a consultation on the reform of the entire criminal jury system. It will consider the controversial issue of numbers.

Paul Mc Bride
Paul Mc Bride doesn't think the Scottish jury system needs reform.

Unlike in England and Wales, Scottish juries are made up of fifteen members, the largest number in Europe. But it seems that could be about to change with jury composition, age limits, pay and even the famous 'not proven' verdict all up for grabs.

To discuss the proposals, Law in Action spoke to criminal advocate and former High Court Prosecutor Paul McBride QC, and the editor of the influential legal magazine "The Firm", Steven Raeburn.


Some of the most revealing insights into the criminal justice system are now the subject of a growing number of blogs who are pouring out their innermost angst onto web based diaries.

This blog will do more to put people off calling the police than anything, other than actually calling the police
PC David Copperfield

Law in Action brought together two of the best known criminal justice bloggers responsible for 'The Magistrate' , compiled by a serving magistrate known as 'Bystander', and 'The Policeman's Blog' compiled by PC Copperfield (not his real name).

Do these blogs give a valuable insight into absurdity and abuse within the system, or do they breach professional conduct and bring the system itself into disrepute?

Coming Up

Do you now need police permission to ride your bike down the street?

Contact the programme
If you have thoughts on any of the topics we've covered, or any other legal issues, Law In Action would like to hear from you.

You can contact us by email at or by post at Law In Action, BBC White City, Wood Lane, London W12 7TS or you can call us on 020 8752 5646.

Law In Action is broadcast on Tuesday 7 October 2008 at 1600 BST on BBC Radio 4.

Law in Action


Download or subscribe to this programme's podcast

Podcast Help

Fuel poverty
04 Oct 08 |  Moneybox

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

banner watch listen bbc sport Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific