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Monday Message – 02.10.23


A year ago we were preparing to ballot on whether the deal offered by government was sufficient to suspend our action.  Since then we have put our shoulders to the wheel, ensuring cases reach their just conclusion as soon as possible, maintaining the high standards the public expects.  We have not, however, forgotten our agreement.  We trust the government will make good their promise of increased fees for Section 28 cross-examination and additional case preparation for which funds were set aside.  We can then work on further AGFS reform to sustain the profession in the years to come.  The CLAARB next meets on the 19th October.



As we move away from Warned Lists towards Case Ownership, listing issues are easing on most Circuits.  Problems remain in the Midlands, London and the South East.

Please see this note from the Resident Judge, His Honour Judge Noel Lucas KC at Wood Green Crown Court for Changes in Listing arrangements.

At Woolwich Crown Court the Resident Judge, His Honour Judge Christopher Kinch KC has indicated that from now on the PTR will be fixed at PTPH so it can go into Counsel’s diary. Barristers are encouraged to contact each other ahead of these hearings and use the DCS to keep each other and the court informed (widely shared comments can be deleted after they have served their purpose).

We are in communication with courts where listing is difficult, please let us know if you experience problems.

RASSO Consultation

There is a movement to remove the right to jury trial for those accused of rape and to lay the blame for what are mistakenly said to be low conviction rates at our door. We are actively working on our response to the Law Commission and would appreciate input from experienced RASSO practitioners who have time in the next 14 days to assist. Please contact Aaron.


The Bar Council Pupillage Fair takes place on Saturday 14th October at 133 Houndsditch, Liverpool Street, London from 10am to 3pm. Good luck to all Chambers attending. The CBA will be hosting a stand, if you would like to attend and assist recruitment to the Criminal Bar,  please contact Aaron.

We also welcome to the Criminal Bar all those starting pupillage this Autumn and congratulate all new tenants.  The CBA offer a reduced rate for membership of the CBA (£35 per year) to pupils and barristers under 3 years’ Call.  This includes free lectures, subsidised attendance at conference and social events.  Please contact Aaron for more details.

CPS Advocate Panel Applications 

The CPS are reviewing the CPS Advocate Panels Application Portal and would like your input to see how well it meets our needs.  The research will take place over the next couple of months and the findings will help identify opportunities for improvement.

If you are interested in taking part, please click here or contact Claire Burnham – [email protected] who will be able to answer any questions about the research.

Social events

Mark Watson and I were delighted to see so many colleagues at the South East Circuit Dinner at the Inner Temple.  All leaders of the Circuits were there and we sat at the long tables eating together and discussing the law as barristers have done down the centuries.  Downstairs is a plaque to Mahatma Gandhi, he was Called to the Bar in 1891 at that start of his journey towards the formidable advocate for others that he became.

Today, 2nd October we celebrate the opening of the legal year (it also happens to be the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday).  The Bar has a proud history that continues in all of us, dedicated to the high standards of the Bar and access to justice for all.

I am available by email: [email protected].

The CBA team wish you all well with your endeavours over the coming fortnight.

Be excellent as always!

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