A Final Message – Caroline Goodwin QC – 01.09.20

THE FINAL CUT!

Today, James Mulholland QC commences his year as Chair of the CBA.

He will make a terrific leader and has many ideas as to how to make the Bar a better place for everyone. Please continue to support him during these turbulent times in the same way you have all supported me.

The CBA Is a thriving and determined organisation, leading the profession on what is not always an easy journey. We have had to be practical and pragmatic in a turbulent year. The role of Chair is diverse and is without doubt one of most privileged positions to be in. This last year has been one of great challenge and has only served to demonstrate how resilient and tenacious a profession we are. The entire committee and all of its representatives have had to dig deep and so of course have you. We have all had to make significant changes and frankly, make many personal sacrifices, but It is the Bar’s singular attitude that keeps us going and demonstrates why this is a profession worth fighting for.

I firmly believe that the Bar will survive. Undoubtedly there will be changes forced on us by Covid 19 and this will alter the way in which we work for years to come, but here is my parting shot to Government. There is an imperative to have a serious and focused discussion about Justice, the rule of law and the role it has in society. This means opening up the courts to maximum capacity and investing in Justice. Stop treating it like a political football and be consistent not only in the message that Justice is important but how it is funded and operated. It is the sum of all of its parts. Too often the political future of Justice, as we know it is in the palm of the hands of people who simply give the impression that they are paying lip service to what we do. There is now, through the second part of the Criminal Legal Aid Review and the Autumn CPS review, an opportunity to make a significant change and a change for good. Do not let this opportunity slip through your fingers.

So, I sign off now and repeat my thanks to all of those who have supported me, given freely of their time and given advice and dear reader there has been much advice!!!

Stay firm and focused, but above all stay engaged and make sure you continue to play your part in what is our criminal justice system…. and with that over to you, James.

Best wishes,

Caroline Goodwin QC

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