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Wannabe solicitor with murder conviction is allowed to do the LPC

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High Court clears way for Selwyn Strachan — who was released from prison in Grenada in 2009 after Amnesty International slammed his “fatally flawed” trial — to become a solicitor.

Prison-large

The High Court has overruled a decision by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to prevent a man convicted of murder from doing the Legal Practice Course (LPC) after failing a “character and suitability test”.

Selwyn Strachan was sentenced to death by a court on the Caribbean island of Grenada in 1983 for his part in the killing of nine people, including the nation’s then prime minister, Maurice Bishop, who had seized power in a 1979 coup.

But his trial was widely condemned as flawed and a worldwide campaign sought his release. Amnesty International declared Selwyn a political prisoner, categorising his arrest as a miscarriage of justice.

After spending five years on death row, Strachan’s sentence was commuted to a whole-life term of imprisonment, from which he was eventually released in 2009. But his murder conviction stands as Grenada law doesn’t allow it to be appealed.

Since his release Strachan has been studying law in a quest to become a solicitor. However, when he attempted recently to enrol on the English LPC — a requirement for all wannabe Grenadian solicitors — his record led the SRA to refuse him admission.

Undeterred, Strachan took his case to the High Court. In overturning the SRA’s decision, Mr Justice Charles said that body had “erred in principle and acted unfairly”. In a case involving “exceptional circumstances”, he stated that the SRA’s main error had been “a failure to appreciate and take into account that the political background to the convictions and the manner in which they were obtained”.

The SRA had “lacked humanity having regard to the factual history put before them,” Justice Charles continued, adding:

“It seems that it was driven by a bureaucratic process and the view that one process was suitable for all types of case. I express the hope that the SRA review its process in the light if this case to cater for exceptional cases.”

Strachan isn’t intending to practise law in England and Wales, so it will be down to the authorities in Grenada to decide whether he can actually work as a solicitor.

17 Comments

Hannah

This is disgusting, there is no way he should be allowed to be admitted onto the LPC. He has a murder conviction for crying out loud.

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dave

Hannah, did you read the article or just the headline? His trial was widely condemned as unfair and he was released. Why shouldn’t he be allowed to go on to live his life? Try reading on before making knee-jerk comments.

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BRYAN

Hannah, no one would get a murder conviction for ‘crying out loud’. It just wouldn’t happen…

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ace frehly

I <3 you G.

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Jasper

Widely condemned by who? All the leftists at amnesty? This is obviously a peecee decision. The sra were quite right to refuse admission.

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BHRYARN

Yeah too Right Japser! Those bloody communist lefties at Amnesty are always poking their snouts in where they’re not wanted. Thier PeaSea brigade of Stalin supporting lunatics, going round looking at whether trials are conducted fairly, make me sick! Bloody lefties….

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Niteowl Attorney

” Thier PeaSea brigade of Stalin supporting lunatics, going round looking at whether trials are conducted fairly, make me sick! Bloody lefties….”

You mean like your Mr Churchill? All because he wanted to contain Germany from being the dominant European manufacturing power? He couldn’t even achieve that, it seems.

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BHRYARN

What a remarkably bizarre comment.

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Niteowl Attorney

Well, only if you are not prepared to read books, which would be remarkably bizarre for anyone involved in the law, or reading Legal Cheek.

Then again you live in a nation where your national hero was best buds with Stalin and said, after the war, and after he murdered xx million of his own population, that he could be trusted.

Start by reading this book http://tinyurl.com/churchillandstalin

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joe

Let’s not feed the troll…

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ace frehly

I don’t even…

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Not Amused

I genuinely wonder whether the problem with Niteowl’s increasing rabidity and rambling incoherency, is that the British just aren’t a very satisfying nation to troll. If you say something nasty about Britain then most of us are more likely to say “mmm good point” or quietly ignore you than we are to swing instantly into fits of patriotic ardour.

We just don’t really have it in us to cause a fuss. We’re a nation who say “sorry” when someone bumps into us and given that what a troll wants/needs/craves is some dramatic reaction *maybe* he’s just trolling the wrong nation, poor chap.

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Arnold

Isn’t it jolly bad manners to ignore a troll who has taken the trouble to post a comment – however stumbling and inelegant his grammar?

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Niteowl Attorney

You think that raising a point about the cause of a century of war and hardship, not least of all evident in the streets of your nation, is something about “trolling”? I’ll mention that to my uncle next time I see him :

“Hey Unc, You know when you had to cross the Atlantic to stop the Europeans from killing themselves (all because of Churchill’s diplomatic blunders and Edward VII’s policies?) back in the nineteen forties?”

“Yes Niteowl, I do remember nearly being blown to smithereens by subs and enemy aircraft, and then by enemy tanks and artillery, and unlike some of my friends, I’m still here with you, thank God”

“Well Unc, a nice man from England – home of Churchill and Edward VII – told me that mentioning the causes of the war is “trolling”.

“Did he now? He would probably piss his pants if he went to Paris on the weekend in 2014, let alone 1944…”.

Stop thinking of yourself so highly, Mr NA.

Start reading books, and perhaps watching this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUHIZQLMo-0

It’s not about a “good point”. It’s quite a serious thing, if you think about it. And “Sorry” or your awful condescension into a cartoonish “Englishman’s manner”, which doesn’t really exist except in a Harry Potter book really isn’t enough.

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Juan Pertayta

Wigs, man! Wigs! We need wig hatred, and then more wig hatred. With a little gown abuse thrown in.

This bar room commentary on WWII is dull. Get back on track.

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joe

I think Nightowl is having a nervous breakdown…

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Michael Stamford Mallal

Many people are wrongfully convicted such as the Birmingham Six; Lindy Chamberlain in NT, Australia; recently the Central Park Five and possibly David Eastman for the murder of ACT Police Assistant Commissioner Winchester.1 There is a strong possibility that Giddeon of Giddeon v. Wainwright (USA) was also wrongfully convicted.

1.http://www.news.com.au/national/david-eastman-accuses-act-supreme-court-of-being-bullied-by-dpp-and-delaying-his-prison-release/story-fncynjr2-1226964139557

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