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Monday Message 09.09.19

Chair’s Update:
Caroline Goodwin QC






As the CBA, our role is not to say “remain” or “leave” but part of our role is to explain the law – Criminal law – and play our part in upholding the rule of law. The CBA is not a political organisation, but we will speak out if the rule of law comes under attack. This is not about anything other than abiding by an Act of Parliament.

Standing up for the rule of law underpins our civil society – the economy, justice system, societal cohesion. In or out the EU, a government that stands up for the rule of law acts in the best interests of the people – parliament included.

Any government – the executive – which ignores the rule of law and actively seeks to break the law undermines the entire justice system, opens the door wide open to mob rule and very quickly to anarchy. How can a government on the one hand pledge to unleash a “reign of terror” on criminals when its own leadership threatens to break the law? We cannot expect people to respect and obey the law when a government declares it may break the law. The law applies equally to everyone; this is what the rule of law means.


We gladly publish the following to ensure that the MOJ have had an opportunity to speak to members of the Bar. Many thanks to Fiona Rutherford of the MOJ who I hope to see at some point.

Please attend the events below.

“Criminal Legal Aid Review – Regional Engagement Events

Wednesday 11th September (17.00 – 19.00)
Wales & Chester Circuit
Cardiff (a local hotel tbc) with video links to Swansea & Chester

Thursday 12th September (17.00 – 19.00)
Western Circuit
Guildhall Chambers, Bristol

Thursday 3rd October (17.00 – 19.00)
North Eastern Circuit
PQSB Chambers, Leeds

Face-to-face event engaging with Legal Professionals.

These events will include an introduction covering the approach, review outcomes, scope, key milestones and progress to date, as well as Q&A and how to get involved.
You’ll have the opportunity to learn more and ask questions about the progress and ambitions of the programme.

To book places please contact the circuit administrator for the event you would like to attend.”


We are continuing our dialogue with the CPS and there are meetings this week, working groups, steering groups. I can assure you there is no rest.


I am looking forward this week to meeting, Rebecca Lawrence the new CEO CPS, who no doubt will be wishing to ensure the continued working relationship that we have. These meetings are so important to the profession.


I would like to thank Mark Fenhalls QC for the invitation to Keble College Friday 31stAugust 2019. A marvellous dinner to mark the end of the week long advocacy course. The course is a true testament to the excellence of the Bar. The strength and depth of our profession was there for all to see. I received a lot of sage advice as to the importance of the CBA and it has been noted. It was especially good to see Paul Darling OBE QC, a fellow northerner, “Paul Darling OBE QC has established a formidable reputation as an advocate in all types and levels of tribunals all over the world” it is on his website so it must be correct! Thank you to you both.


“One flew over the cuckoo’s nest” Need I say more?

Onwards and upwards

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