CBA Monday Message – 12.06.17
Francis FitzGibbon QC
The New Government
We have a new Lord Chancellor, the Rt Hon David Lidington MP, who takes office with a mountain of unresolved policy decisions that have piled up during the six weeks of election purdah.
The election result was a less than ringing endorsement for more austerity. Our justice system is chronically underfunded. We now look forward to discussions with MoJ about putting things right, for the long term.
AGFS reform must be near the top of the pile. We need to know how the government will deal with the responses to the consultation. This, at least, is clear: if the eventual offer fails to remedy the defects in the original proposal, it deserves to be rejected. No one wants that to happen. The amounts of money in question are much less than the £180m that the general election is said to have cost – never mind what some people predict for the cost of Brexit. A modest investment in the people who make criminal justice work will save money and improve the system.
Are Court cases like quarterpounders? I passed a branch of MacDonalds this weekend where customers order their food on six foot high touch-screens designed to look like mobile phones. A human then delivers the order to their table. The company must have spent a lot of money on the technology. They must have worked out that they can deliver burgers more cheaply and efficiently, by reducing queues and labour costs, and getting people in and out faster. There used to be an urban myth that MacDonalds’ seats were specially designed to become uncomfortable after 15 minutes.
Clickshare in the Court of Appeal
The Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) now has Clickshare in its court rooms. Consideration is being given to installing video-link booths for communication with clients who are not produced at Court. While face-to-face meetings are always preferable, we would welcome improved facilities when appellants cannot be brought to Court.
Nominations close on 16th June. It’s a fascinating and fulfilling job, with interesting times ahead. The CBA needs you. Nominations should be submitted to Aaron.
Wellness for Lawyers
This conference looks interesting.
The Wellness for Law Forum is an annual initiative of Wellness for Law UK. The Forum is hosting a conference on 28th -29th June at Inner Temple to share updates in research, clinical knowledge and good practice to inform and support the legal profession on issues of wellbeing. Further information and to register your attendance here.
Summer Ball – 23rd June
Tickets are going fast, be sure to snap them up. Contact Aaron to book your place.