‘Monday’ Message 23.07.19
Vice Chair’s Update:
Caroline Goodwin QC
SO WHERE ARE WE ?
Firstly, as a profession we are absolutely united.
Secondly, you have let the powers that be, understand exactly how let down by the system you have felt.
Thirdly, by your actions you have achieved an unprecedented and very much needed preliminary amendment to some of our fees.
The CPS interim offer is almost upon us. This is only the beginning. We are one step on the road to fair pay and better working conditions.
ENGAGEMENT IN REVIEW:
We are now in a period of review and your engagement is absolutely vital. Do not think because the ballot has taken place or the summer is upon us that we can sit back and relax. Quite the contrary! In order to maximise our opportunity to ensure the survival of the criminal bar we have to help ourselves by engaging with those charged to gather data and information.
In respect of both CPS and AGFS, we will be consulting you over the summer, canvassing you for your views, by way of email, circuit meetings and additional questionnaires. We need to know what you want. We are working with the CPS and MOJ directly and are seeking long term sustainable solutions. We will be setting out our proposals and welcome engagement from you, the profession
Let us articulate what it is you want. Time is pressing, we cannot afford to be complacent. The bottom line is that there is a shared commitment to ensure that the general public has the best service.
To help focus minds, this week we primarily address the CPS review, which as you know is reporting by the end of September.
SPECIFIC REQUEST FROM CBA RE CPS – EMAIL US DIRECT NOW:
The CPS has given a commitment to review the scheme.
We have previously identified our ten immediate asks, we all know that there are more. The system is full of anomalies and contradictions all of which means you do a huge amount of work for no reward.
The review is seeking to implement long-term solutions not just sticking plasters. We all know that fees are too low and we will be pushing hard for fair and reasonable increases across the board. But increasing fees is not the whole story. The anomalies and contradictions make our job harder and we want to put this right.
You have to help us, help you, by providing us with all the information you can.
Can you please email us with:
- Further examples of iniquities anomalies etc, what the problems are and your solutions. We do not want to miss anything. E.g. uplifts for multi defendant trials, driving after hours to meet complainants or members of families, drafting a concluding trial note. There are more of these examples, please email us the details.
- What it is you want from the CPS review. Say it. Write it down. Send it in. Don’t lose this opportunity.
We are on a tight timetable. Proposals will need to be put to the CPS as soon as possible so that they can be properly considered ahead of reporting in September. Please therefore can you send us your thoughts by 16:00 Friday 26th July, please, so we can consider and formulate our comprehensive policy document.
CIRCUIT WIDE MEETINGS: CPS – PLEASE ATTEND AND ENGAGE:
Over the next two months there will be a series of meetings on each circuit as the CPS seek input from practitioners regarding the fee schemes and working practices.
These will be held in two phases. The first phase will consist of six events, one on each Circuit, in late July and early August, detailed below commencing at 18:00.
The second phase will take place during late August and early September, again covering each Circuit. The dates will be notified as soon as we know them.
Please sign up, attend and contribute. If you have questions, concerns or comments now is the time to make them known! The CPS are keen to explain to us how they see the scheme shaping. They commence at 18.00. They want to hear your views.
- Tuesday 23rd July Midland – Birmingham St Philips Chambers
- Wednesday 24th July Northern – Manchester Deans Court Chambers
- Thursday 25th July Western – Bristol Guildhall Chambers
- Tuesday 30th July North Eastern – Leeds Park Square Barristers
- Wednesday 31st July South Eastern – London 23 Essex Street
- Thursday 1st August Wales & Chester – Cardiff 9 Park Place
PHASE 2 dates to be notified.
NEXT WEEK MOJ UPDATE:
We will provide an MOJ update next week. There will be a series of meetings again across circuit. We shall set those dates out for you. They too want your views and we will want your feedback.
We have added the AGFS email address in case you have any ideas in advance of next week.
No poetry this week, Chris is on a much- earned break, in the land of Wordsworth. It is worth the hike for the ginger bread alone and Grasmere sports is just brilliant.
Classic humour, brilliant acting and Betty is a star turn. “A Private Function” cheer yourselves up and look out for the marriage proposal.
It will put you in a good mood to keep answering all of our requests!