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Monday Message – 03.04.17

Chair’s Update: 
Francis FitzGibbon QC

Split Shifts (II)
Following on from last week’s Message: I have not yet met anyone who works in the criminal Courts who thinks the split shift scheme is a good idea. Most comments are unprintable. All the Bar leaders are engaging with the judiciary, the civil servants and ministers to warn them that it is misconceived, impractical, an inefficient use of time, and inimical to anyone with care responsibilities.  We will continue to do so. The pilot, and what it may presage, are seen as yet another imposition. Whether individuals wish to participate in it when it starts in May, is (subject of course to rules of professional conduct) a matter for them.
The CBA continues to invite observations and responses from members. The next CBA Executive Committee meeting (to be held at Trinity Chambers in Newcastle on 26th April) will be open to the membership to give those based in one of the pilot areas an opportunity to communicate their views in person.  Please come along; we need to hear from you.
Judge Rook & Vulnerable Witness Training
The Recorder of London and our own Angela Rafferty QC gave tributes to HHJ Rook QC at his valedictory on 31st March. Many judges are admired, most are respected, but few are as greatly admired, respected, and held in such affection as Peter Rook. In his witty and typically self-effacing response, he made a point of thanking by name those who have helped him in his career as advocate, judge, and author, from his pupil-masters to the staff at the Old Bailey. He will be greatly missed.
He was the driving force behind the vulnerable witness training programme that we must all take part in. It perpetuates the fair and sensitive approach that he took when dealing with young and vulnerable witnesses, most notably in the Operation Bullfinch trial that he conducted with such conspicuous success.
To honour Judge Rook, we need to embrace the training (and for many other reasons). Facilitators are needed to be trained to deliver the training to everyone else. Training days have been set on 23rd May, 13th June and 11th July. Please sign up for them.
Domestic abuse/intimidatory offences: new sentencing guidelines proposed 
The consultation paper is here. The consultation closes on 30th June. We have appointed our responders
Summer Ball
Don’t wait, buy your tickets today!
Youth Justice Summit 
Speakers at the Youth Justice Legal Centre’s Youth Justice Summit on 12th May, include Angela, Edward Fitzgerald QC, and Sir Keir Starmer QC. This is not a CBA event (though we are one of the sponsors) and unfortunately the tickets are not cheap, but it is obviously important and valuable. There is a promotional offer: please follow this link and enter the promotional code: MARCH2017 and select ‘Barristers and solicitors under 7 years PQE / call and NGO’ for a further reduction off the early bird rate – please note this ends on Friday, 7th April. 
Lecture by Lord Justice Leveson
Sir Brian Leveson PQBD has kindly agreed to give a lecture on advocacy, at 17.30 on 23rd May at the Old Bailey Bar Mess. It will be fascinating.
BCM update
The latest news can be found here.

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