ImageI have a love of words. The technical term for this is ‘logophile’.

1. a lover of words.

My love of words may spring from my profession as a barrister. I enjoy the way they can be used as well as the way language evolves. My highest plaudits to date come not from Judges or solicitors but from a client who when hearing that his ‘confession’ was to be ruled inadmissible following complex argument came up to me and said, “You’se sick innit”. As I said I have a love of language and context is all.

It is, therefore, with particular pleasure that I have noticed a new term slowly creep into the English lexicon. That term, the ‘Grayling Hearing’

Grayling Hearing
‘greɪlɪŋ hɪərɪŋ’
1. A term used to describe a non-effective hearing which is adjourned by reason of the non-attendance of defence counsel. eg. Can’t believe I had to go to Maidstone for a Grayling hearing. [circa 2014 after legally inept Lord Chancellor, Christopher Grayling (con) forced bar to remove its goodwill from the CJS]

Following the inception of the No Returns policy Grayling Hearings are becoming a more common feature of our criminal justice system. In a 6 handed case at Blackfriars today when only 2 defendants were represented, prosecuting counsel apologised to the court stating that today was a Grayling Hearing. During the first week of the no returns policy alone, it is estimated that there have been around 200 Grayling Hearings. This number is only going to increase as the days unfold.

In reviewing our current Lord Chancellor’s period of office so far, one perhaps might lay 3 achievements at his doorstep.

1. The first Lord Chancellor to be appointed without having any legal qualifications.
2. To foster a sense of unity between solicitors and barristers, previously unheard of.
3. To usher in a phrase entered into the English Language; the Grayling Hearing.