(London-Sydney by Black Cab, thanks to www.motorhomeplanet.co.uk)
I've finally written my response to the responses to the Flood-Hviid report on the Cab Rank Rule of the Bar Council by Sir Sydney Kentridge QC and the Bar Standards Board by Michael McLaren QC, Craig Ulyatt and Christopher Knowles. (Sorry for that long sentence but you should see their responses!) I had to fit this in between visits to Boston and Miami.
I hope to publish it soon. But I will point out a few things. Our report was 46 pages long, which included a fair chunk of theory, a comprehensive literature review, and the results of fieldwork. Kentridge came in at concise 30 pages in his response. Most of what he has to say is based on assertion and his beliefs. There was no new evidence, only a reiteration of the standard supporting case for the cab rank rule.
The McLaren, Ulyatt, Knowles response for the BSB astonished us when it landed in our mailboxes at nearly twice the length of our original report--87 pages! This is the longest peer review in history. Given our report cost around £21,000, I wonder what theirs must have cost? They gave their time free apparently, so they subsidized their regulator.
Their report--"A fresh view"--gives us some interesting information about the cab rank rule from around the world but, again, reiterates the same old views. So hardly fresh--over ripe perhaps? There's no evidence to support any of their claims, other than statements confirming their rectitude. It's all rather defensive on their part.
What is omitted from these responses is any analysis or critique about the Bar's methods for avoiding the cab rank rule in relation to direct access clients or why it doesn't apply in the case of publicly funded criminal and family cases ("undeemed").
What I would like to do is offer to debate these issues with the Bar whether its the authors of the responses or others. I can't be fairer than that.