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Monday Message 02.06.14

CBA Chairman’s Update:
Nigel Lithman QC

Monday 2 June 2014

Personal Email: [email protected]

This is probably my 36th Monday Message in office. This week, with my in laws visiting from Dublin, time for writing this message is limited and I have therefore confined it to one main announcement – see below.
For the moment the images of me squeezed into a Churchill tank or as a knight battling the triple headed dog Cerberus have disappeared. I would prefer that they do not return, although I did particularly enjoy the image of the Knight, as Malory’s Morte D’Arthur remained at the top of the books read and reread by me as a youngster.
The triple heads of the monster, you will recall, are those referred to in my manifesto of 20 months ago: to fight against the QASA model, currently still not “introduced”; the cuts in AGFSs which have been taken off the table for a lengthy period, hopefully not to reemerge; and against the cuts in VHCCs. To these three heads, another has been added along the way – the expansion of the PDS against which we stand implacably opposed and remain committed to resist.
With cautious optimism, here is the one announcement to be made. The invitation sent out to the Lord Chancellor to resume talks with us was followed by a useful meeting of the two teams last week. Please rest assured now that the CBA are involved in these talks that wewill ensure that your views are represented. I am grateful to the Lord Chancellor for reacting in a positive way to our invitation.
That was the first meeting for some time that has included the leaders of the Criminal Bar and is an obvious step in the right direction. As substantive issues are tackled and real progress is made, which I believe will happen, I will keep the executive and membership informed.
Now of course I realise I have just hit the button marked ‘hysteria”. But we do not have to go there. Bear in mind the last battle of the Arthurian Knights. As the two sides met on the battlefield, Arthur and Mordred agreed that there would be peace until any man drew his sword. All was well until a snake appeared causing one of the soldiers to draw his sword to strike it. Hence began the battle from which nobody ultimately survived.
So please remain calm as these talks develop.
The struggles of the solicitors go on as do the work of the Rivlin and Leveson committee. Updates on all of those will come soon. I have no doubt I will return to the full colour, multi issue version of the MM next week.  Possibly even a World Cup Issue.  But this is the moment for caution and brevity.
The Common Serjeant is patron of a charity that brings music into prisons. Further information available HERE.
Lincoln House Chambers held an art exhibition by Manchester artist Richard Clare on the 22nd May and raised a significant sum from sales for the Kalisher Scholarship Trust.
Bill Clegg QC and Bill Boyce QC have taken up the drive to increase membership of the Central Criminal Court Bar Mess. Please heed their cries. I hope we have all seen the virtues of collectivisation this year and the importance of strong Bar Messes plays their role. Subscriptions enable facilities to be maintained in Messes and need your ongoing support.

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