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CBA Day of Action – Monday 18th July

Below you will find a reminder of the arrangements for gatherings on Monday 18th July.

We have been overwhelmed by members confirming their intention to attend, and look forward to seeing you all at the various venues. We thank each and every one of you for your continuing support in this critical week.

A reminder that in light of the weather you may wish to alter your dress code, at your discretion, including footwear, to ensure that you are comfortable. We encourage you to bring your wig and gown for the purpose of photo opportunities, but you should feel under no obligation to wear these at other times. Please ensure you have lots of water with you, and remember to apply sun cream if needed.

Those of you attending at Parliament can expect Westminster Hall to be a cool space in which to congregate and rest during the course of the afternoon.

Monday 18th July – Day of Action – London
Palace of Westminster, at 10.30am and 1.30pm 

  • A delegation of barristers will attend at the Palace of Westminster to meet with MPs between 10.30am and 12 noon.
  • At 1.30pm members from all Circuits are invited to begin assembling outside the entrance to the Palace of Westminster (St Stephen’s Gate). We will then pass through security (airport style so allow plenty of time) and assemble in Westminster Hall at 2.45pm. From there, each member is entitled to proceed to Central Lobby, in order to ask to see their MP.
  • Please attend with your robes if you feel comfortable doing so, in order to draw the attention of the public and the press in the Central Lobby.
  • You are encouraged to contact your local press, who may wish to report your visit, and any meeting that you have with your MP, or the fact that your MP was not available, or declined, to meet with you.
  • In the event that your MP is not available to meet with you, you will be entitled to leave a ‘green card’ notification of your visit at Central Lobby, generating an obligation for your MP to make contact with you ASAP to discuss your concerns about the crisis in the criminal courts.
  • We encourage you to attend regardless of whether or not your MP is available or agrees to meet with you. You have a democratic right to attend at Parliament to lobby your MP and, by doing so, in company with a large number of your colleagues, you will be drawing attention to the crisis in the criminal courts.
  • Due to numbers, it may be that we proceed to Central Lobby in groups, as directed by the Sergeant at Arms, who has been provided with notification of our intention. Arrangements will be confirmed to you at the venue, on the day.
  • No banners or signs are permitted inside the Palace of Westminster – please do not bring any with you on Monday, there will be nowhere to leave them.
  • You are permitted, and encouraged, to bring with you a copy of the Parliamentary briefing note which is available here to give to your MP in the event that they agree to meet with you. You are not permitted to approach MPs within the House to lobby but, if they approach you, you may provide them with the briefing and explain the purpose of your visit.
  • If you are under 7 years call, and based outside of the South Eastern Circuit, and you wish to attend, then in the event that your chambers agrees to finance your standard train fare, your chambers will be reimbursed for that cost by the CBA (please retain receipts).
  • You will be expected to maintain exceptionally high standards of professional decorum at all times, as you would do ordinarily.

Monday 18th July – Day of Action – Circuits

Colleagues will begin assembling outside the following court centres from around 9am:

  • Manchester Civil Justice Centre (proceeding to Crown Square for 10.15am)
  • Birmingham Crown Court
  • Winchester Crown Court

If you would like to travel to any of the court centres at which colleagues are assembling, please consider whether replicating the arrangements made by the Northern Circuit may assist you, or members of your circuit, to do so.

A designated CBA coordinator may make a statement from the court steps from between 10am and 10.30am Exact timings and arrangements will vary according to press attendance and the preferences of the local bar, so please arrive in good time.

You may wish to robe but are not required to do so. The important thing is that you are there, in solidarity with your colleagues.

If you are a prosecutor, or otherwise not participating in the day of action, please do not feel anxious about attending at court. If you are able to assemble with your colleagues before your scheduled hearing, or during any court breaks, to show solidarity, that would be very much appreciated.

Tuesday 19th July – Day of Action

A reminder that there will be a national zoom meeting for all CBA members at 10.30am. The link will be sent to all members, by email on Monday 18th July.

Attendance is strictly limited to CBA members, so once in receipt of the link, please do not circulate it or make it public.

Key Message – Diversity 

We continue to encourage all circuits, when engaging with their local media this week, to focus on the fact the most junior members of the Criminal Bar are also the most diverse members of our profession.

Continuing to recruit a diverse and representative intake of pupils and retain them through the early years of practice, is key to securing diversity at all levels of seniority in the future, including at the highest levels of judicial office.

Remember, our unity is our strength.

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