Skip to main content

Monday Message – 18.09.23

It is with pride that we should reflect on the representation and advocacy Criminal barristers are delivering across England and Wales under the huge pressure of historic delays and depleted numbers.  Every Criminal barrister is doing their very best to bring delayed cases for complainants, witnesses, defendants, the young and the vulnerable to a just conclusion.  In doing so we must maintain our high standards, expediency is not always a friend to justice.  Across the Circuits the courts are testing different methods of managing cases and we will adapt but always we will have an eye on quality of representation.

Since my last message I was privileged to hear from some care experienced young people at the YJLC launch of legal guidance for lawyers: Dare to Care.  These young people spoke with eloquence and dignity.  The guide helpfully puts together in one place the law in this area and I know our barristers that specialise in Youth Justice will welcome it.

Access the Toolkit here.

Some good news arrived from the CPS who have implemented well-being support particularly for our RASSO specialist prosecutors in the form of access to the PAM Assist helpline.

This gives 24/7 support to advocates who so often deal with distressing casework.

Please call 0800 8824102 and when asked for your department or location quote “CPS External Advocate”.

With thanks to Jonathan Higgs KC and the Judicial Liaison and Well-being Committee who have worked tirelessly on this.  Please take up this support for your well-being as a means of supporting your practice.

I thank Francis FitzGibbon KC, former CBA Chair, for assisting with the response and to all that provided input into the CILEX consultation on rights of audience.  Whilst we have nothing to fear from fair competition in our courts, standards for advocacy should not be sacrificed on the altar of cost and expedition.  If you would like to read the CBA’s response to the consultation it is available here.

Our Executive is meeting in person this week, if you have any matters you wish to raise please contact us.

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

Be excellent as always!

View more news