VALERIE ELIOT SMITH
I am a British barrister. I was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1987. My background also includes experience in media relations, journalism, conflict resolution, psychotherapy and human resources. My first degree was in English Literature, in 1977, at the University of London (Bedford College). My childhood education took place in the UK and Australia.
I have lived with the complex, disabling, multi-systemic, neuro-immune disease myalgic encephalomyelitis or “ME” (also known unhelpfully, and incorrectly, as “chronic fatigue syndrome” or “CFS”) since 1981. I continued to work, study and practise as a lawyer (general common law – mostly crime) until 2000 when I was further disabled by additional health problems. I have been unable to work in any formal capacity since then.
I completed the first year of training as a psychotherapist in 2002 but became too ill to continue the full 4-year course. I am a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies at Queen Mary, University of London, in order to extend my academic background. However, I am unable to complete any further formal qualifications as I am too ill to fulfill the research, writing and teaching requirements. I continue my research and advocacy work on behalf of ME patients as and when I can (but see my last post PAUSE-REVIEW-REFLECT; towards a bigger picture? [revised version]).
I originally started this blog in order to publish my work on the so-called “Secret Files on ME“. Since then, after an initial hiatus, I have developed it into something much broader; because of my health, I am not able to post nearly as often as I would like.
My areas of interest are health, generally and ME specifically, and the law, in particular Open Justice, Constitutional & Administrative Law, Human Rights, Freedom of Information, Media, Privacy/Data Protection, Cyberspace and IP law.
The views expressed in the blog are my own. I am not affiliated to any group or professional body relating to ME or CFS issues.
I welcome comments and my policy is simple: please keep it clear, relevant and lawful. Personal attacks on anyone are not welcome and, in extremis, will be deleted. I will respond as and when I can, depending on my own state of health at the time.
If you are making use of information or documents from this blog, I would appreciate it if you would quote the source and credit my work.
Nothing in this blog should be taken as either legal or medical advice. While I strive to ensure that everything I say is accurate and not misleading, we all make mistakes. If you think I’ve got something wrong then please contact me.
You can contact me by leaving a comment on the blog or sending a tweet/direct message via Twitter @SnakeTempleGirl or private message on Facebook. My Facebook name is as it appears at the top of this page. You can also leave a message via my Facebook page Walking Like an Egyptian. You do not need your own Facebook account to use the Facebook options.
You may be seeing advertising around the text of this blog. Please understand that I have no control over what you see. The only way that I can stop this happening is to pay WordPress NOT to display advertising. However, as I’m not keen on being blackmailed, I’m declining their offer for the time being.