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CBA Monday Message 18.06.18

Chair’s Update:
Angela Rafferty QC

The Criminal Bar has a long road ahead towards rehabilitation and restoration. Those of you who voted no, and those who reluctantly voted yes, are still very angry, disillusioned and afraid that this will be a sticking plaster solution. The proposal that we accepted last week has to be a first step. It was described by the Chair of the Bar at the Justice Select committee as a ‘patch repair. ’ No one reading this should assume that anything is fixed. A permanent solution to the malaise and crisis in the Criminal Justice system has to be found. All that has been bought is time. Whilst bound by the majority vote the campaign continues.

Please watch the evidence we gave to the select Committee this week. This committee has been extremely effective in shining a light on the troubles in the system and we hope will continue to do so.

We are now working on the details of the new Statutory Instrument to amend the scheme to reflect the new investment. We are also already planning the next stages of the process as well as the campaign in relation to prosecuting fees. Our Executive committee meets this week to discuss the future progress we all want and expect.

The Chair of the Bar, the Bar Chair elect and next year’s Vice Bar Chair are all well versed in the problems criminal justice faces. Chris Henley QC has been stalwart in his efforts this year as CBA Vice Chair and will continue the campaign from September.  Continuity is essential, as we are a force to be reckoned with when we unite and when we act together, as we have shown we are ready and willing to do.

It is of the utmost importance that those who can lead in the future step up now. Vice Chair elections are open and close  at 16.00 on Friday 29th June. Many have said to me that it is a thankless role. In fact, whilst it has its moments, on the whole it is a rewarding position and it is possible to try and make a difference for your profession. Anyone who is considering standing for Vice Chair and who would like an unvarnished account can call me any time in complete confidence. What has been started should not be allowed to finish without the permanent investment and improvements we seek.

We have our Summer party this week. This is a good opportunity to welcome our guests and to get together. Please do come if you can. It is a casual evening but please book your ticket here.

I attended the Northern Irish CBA conference this week – a symposium on disclosure. It was a fantastic event and we are very grateful for the hospitality shown. We have invited some members of that committee to the party this week. It is clear that the profession in Northern Ireland has faced similar tribulations to ours. It will be good opportunity to swap war stories on Friday night.

Next week’s message will come from the Secret Barrister. That anonymous member of our profession has done more to highlight the shocking conditions we face than anyone.

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