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Monday Message 26.08.13

CBA Chairman’s Update:
Michael Turner QC

The Bank Holiday Monday Message 26th August 2013


Personal Email: [email protected]
Tel: 07951157030
1.       Do Right Fear No One; Chairman’s Comment.
2.       The QASA Handbook is Finally Out: The CBA reaction.
3.       Grayling hands out the tagging contracts at whose expense?
4.       Grayling puts two fingers up to the JCHR
5.       Insurance Companies dine out on prison labour
6.       Law Care
7.       Did Judge James Murphy uphold the rule of law? We think so.
8.       Richard Atkinson Chair of the Criminal Law Committee of the Law
          Society starts his guest column  

9        Principal Forensic Services now in the market for DNA Evidence:
          A correction and apology.

10.     My Roll of Honour
11.     Stuart Wild faces competition from a bright young thing somewhere
          else on the Western Circuit “The Bandit”.

1.       Do Right Fear No One: Chairman’s Comment
The very fact that we put on the Monday Message on a Bank Holiday should tell you that the CBA no longer sleeps.
The CBA is now what it always should have been, the trade union of the criminal bar. We have a fully paid up membership of almost 5000 and an ethos, where we hope that every member feels that its representatives are accessible, responsive and above all lead in the interest of its members. We now have a voice and it is one that is taken seriously. There is a tendency to credit the leader with all things positive and many of you have been kind enough to do so. The reality is that what has been achieved has been the collective effort of many, without whom none of this would have been possible. We are now entering a fight like no other we have known. A fight very literally for democracy as we know it. I set out those who made this all possible in their various ways in my Role of Honour below. All I have mentioned have put in hours and commitment beyond any call of duty. There are too few of them. Too many who sign up to sit on committees or serve on the executive do not do what they have pledged to do. It has lead me to believe they have only one raison d’etre and that is themselves. The CBA has no place for such blood suckers. We lead by example or not at all.  I hope in future those who fail in their commitment will be weeded out. We are no longer a gentleman’s   club.  Do Right, Fear No One, means something and if you do not the CBA and is membership has no time for you. There are people in the list, who would not wished to be identified, but have given their all to the cause whilst facing serious problems of their own, health and otherwise.
You will note I hope in my Roll of Honour the number of solicitors. Those who think this is a fight we can win on our own need to think again. It has been a privilege for me to see how supportive the solicitors’ profession has been to the Bar. Never again must we allow ourselves to be divided.
I write my last message to you all with tears rolling down my cheeks. It has been an honour and a privilege to serve as your vice-chair and chairman. Your messages of support and too kind words have kept me going through the darkest of times. You know who you are and I thank you. I am not about to give up this fight and I will be there to offer assistance whenever called. You may find me yet popping up in some surprising places.
Courage Mon Brave
Do Right, Fear No One
2.       The QASA Handbook is Finally Out: The CBA reaction.
It will tell you a lot about our regulator that they unveil the QASA Handbook, in mid August. You can see it HERE and get their podcast HERE.
They have failed to take on board any of our criticisms and continue to pretend that QASA has anything to do with a meaningful quality mark.
Plea only advocates remain.
Silks have no separate level. The sole intention of which can only be to pave the way to wiping out the distinction in fees between silks and leading juniors. Worse still it destroys the carrot of career development and worst of all it will destroy the junior Bar. Silks will take the Grade 4 work forcing the grade 4 juniors to hunt at Grade 3 and so on. It may be that they intend to wipe out Silks altogether as there appear to be no plans to accredit High Court judges as assessors.
As we suspected the independence of the judiciary and the barrister is compromised by the fact of judicial assessment. You are expected to inform your trial judge at the start of any trial that you are to be assessed. Presumably you are expected to inform you client although the handbook is surprisingly silent on this point. Whether any clients want a barrister to be undergoing an exam at their expense remains to be seen.
Judicial Review of this scheme will be underway soon. If unsuccessful, which is not expected, we trust you will remain true to the pledge and not sign up. We must not kowtow to a regulator that has either no understanding or interest in what is in the public interest.
In the first instance we suggest that you do not attend the roll out road shows.
3.       Grayling hands out the tagging contracts at whose expense?
Mr Grayling having learnt precisely nothing from having the tax payers’ hands bitten by G4S and Serco over the tagging contracts, has handed the new contracts to: Capita, Telefonica, Astrium and Buddi HERE.
I can not tell you much about three of those companies but Capita we know of old. Their slice of the cake is £400 m over 6 years. A source asked me to look at their translation and interpreting arm accounts for 2012  and interesting reading they make too. How you might like too ask does a company with a turnover of £21,138,244 make an operating loss of £15,004,222.  Well it appears quite simple really; your Administrative expenses more than triple from the previous year to £9,337,657, you find an onerous contract expense of £6,270,810 for software development Then you find you have creditor amounts of £16,607,703 £12,102,384 is owed to a wholly owned subsidiary registered in the USA and you need to make `a £6,508,409 provision for future liabilities. Oh dear Mr Grayling no tax revenue coming your way again. How much of the £400 million handed to Capita for 6 years work do you think will be coming back? Mr Grayling said last week that G4S and Serco needed to go through a process of corporate renewal before the Government might use them again HERE.
When on earth is he going to learn how the corporate beast operates? Have you not learnt from the disaster of the army recruitment contract also gifted to Capita, reported in last week’s Monday Message? The public will not get value for money either in the provision of public services or tax revenue until the blinkers come off. Might I suggest some holiday reading for Mr Grayling and others in his party. Not a book by some left wing “nut job”, as Mr Grayling likes to think of me. But a book by the man credited with inventing the “Big Society” Ferdinand Mount’s.   The New Few or a Very British Oligarchy.
4.       Grayling puts two fingers up to the JCHR
As we reported the Joint Committee on Human Rights asked Mr Grayling and the MOJ to pause their ridiculous plans until they had reported. The new thoughtful president of the Law Society Nick Fluck wrote to Mr Grayling asking him whether he was going to accede to their request. This is Mr Grayling’s response which indicates he has no intention to listening to them or any of those 1600 who chose to respond. His arrogance and ignorance is truly astounding.
5.       Insurance Companies dine out on prison labour
Whilst Mr Grayling talks of only dealing with G4S again after some form of corporate renewal he is quite happy to join in with them in running a scheme which is redolent of the practices of the prisoner governor in the “Shawshank Redemption”. HMP Oakwood (G4S) and HMP Drake Hall (HMPS) have joined forces in providing cheap labour to insurance companies for market research HERE.
The supposed justification for feathering the nest of yet more private sector suppliers, in the words of the MOJ is as follows:
“We do not want prisoners sitting idle in their cells when they should be working towards their rehabilitation……We prepare offenders for work inside prison so they can get a job after release – this reduces the chances that they will reoffend in the future, meaning lower crime and fewer victims.”
If there were any truth in this sanctimonious bleat there would have been efforts right across our prison service to ensure that prisoners work for the tax payer and not as slave labour for the insurance companies. On more than one occasion we have suggested that this and other governments learn lessons from the South African prison system, where prisons are run as triumvirates. One prison producing all the dairy produce and meat, another being the market garden and the third producing the furniture and servicing the vehicles. All work being done willing by the inmates. A virtually self sustaining model, allowing the prisoners meaningful work, getting them out of their cells, rehabilitating them and providing true value to the tax payer.

6.       LawCare
We have published the contact details for LawCare in every Monday Message. I am going to give them a bit more prominence this week. The details will as ever be in the listings. A number of our members have had reason to call on LawCare for help and support for a variety of reasons this year. The feedback that we have had has been more than impressive. They are a truly excellent organization and if you need support do not hesitate to use them.
7.       Did Judge Peter Murphy uphold the rule of law? We think so.
Judge Peter Murphy refused to take a plea from a woman who refused to divest herself of a full veil HERE.
Was he right to do so?  We rarely cross swords with the excellent director of Liberty, Shami Chakrabatti, but on this occasion we felt it necessary to do so. The Judge was not being Islamaphobic as she irresponsibly suggested. In the first place, Shami confused religious conviction with cultural belief. The wearing of the Burkah is not a requirement of the Islamic faith as is obvious by the fact that millions of faithful Muslims do not wear it. It is a cultural belief. The Judge, entirely rightly, in our view was doing no more than upholding the rule of law and the principle of open justice. The Judge could not know how she was going to plead. How could he gage her remorse or lack of it if she pleaded guilty, if he could not see her face? How could he be sure she was a woman at all?  Do the public not have the right to see the face of an accused when pleading?  Certain it is that a jury must be entitled to view a defendant to gage their reaction throughout the trial process.
You can hear my discussion with Shami on Saturday’s Today Programme HERE.
8.       Richard Atkinson Chair of the Criminal Law Committee of the
          Law Society guests in the Monday Message at my invitation.

It is a pleasure to welcome Richard Atkinson as a contributor to the Monday Message:
I would like to thank Michael Turner qc for the invitation to contribute to the “Monday Message” and I assure you that I will try and keep future contributions, if invited, rather shorter than this.
I understand that this is the last “Monday Message” from Michael Turner QC as CBA Chair and therefore I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank him for all that he has done in his year of office and to record the enormous contribution he has made to the fight against the government’s PCT proposal and to the unprecedented unity that has been shown by the whole of the legal profession against these proposals.
The practitioners group which I chair brings together representatives of the London Criminal Courts Association (LCCSA), the Criminal Law Solicitors Association (CLSA), the Legal Aid Action Group (LAPG), the Big Firms Group(BFG), the Society of Asian Lawyers, the Solicitors Association of Higher Court Advocates (SAHCA) the CBA, Bar Council and Law Society which is represented by practitioners from the Criminal Law Committee and the Access to Justice Committee as well as the President and staff members including the Chief Executive. This group represents the many diverse interests of the profession representing large and small firms, employers and employees, solicitors and barristers. Together we have sought to defend the interests of the profession that we represent in the light of the enormous challenge that the recent government proposals have brought.
The actions of all of those groups represented around one table have persuaded the government to think again about its proposals and to issue a second consultation paper. As I write we do not know what that paper will contain.
The Law Society sought to influence the consultation by preparing an alternative to the government’s proposal following input from Deloitte and Andrew Otterburn. For numerous reasons there was a need to publish the paper very quickly but not before the document had been circulated in draft to the members of the practitioners group and amendments made following their comments. In this regard I believe that the uniquely inclusive approach of the Law Society to the drafting of their proposal should be very much applauded. Whilst the paper drew criticism from some within the profession it also drew praise from others who recognised it to be a very smart tactical move, and as people started to consider its contents many of the criticisms were withdrawn.
It is clear that we didn’t communicate effectively enough with Law Society members, and that is certainly something we should review. But attention was focused on getting the best result for those same members. The strategy was this: we needed to provide an alternative to what the government was proposing, PCT, flat fees for guilty and not guilty cases, unviable contacts for all types of firms with a planned reduction of at least 75% of existing firms with the likely result that 50% or more of present criminal law practitioners would find themselves without employment.
We were clear in our objectives, we wanted a system which would not create perverse incentives to firms but would maintain standards within our Criminal Justice System and provide a sustainable supplier base in which as many as possible of those presently working to provide publicly funded criminal law services could remain employed in their chosen area of law. We were also clear that we had to be realistic and address the stated concerns and objectives of the government as otherwise any alternative would be dismissed out of hand and the government would have pressed on with its own plans.
We are not negotiating with the government; they can do what they want, within the confines of the law. But we are seeking to influence and persuade them of the correctness of our plans over theirs.  To those who say that the government would never have pressed ahead with its proposals as set out in their original consultation paper I would say you clearly don’t know what we are up against and, had you been present in   some of the meetings that I attended your belief that the government would only act in a way you consider rational would have been seriously undermined. The threat was and still is, very real.
Since the publication of the paper I have spoken to a number of practitioners who have raised concerns about certain aspect of it.. Richard Miller who has headed up the campaign for the Law Society against the government’s proposals – and who has been fighting various governments’ proposals for competitive tendering since they were first proposed in 2005 – has also met with groups of practitioners. We have listened to those concerns and they have been fed back into the process and have influenced the path that the Law Society is seeking to tread with the MoJ. We have also sought to improve our communications with the profession –  there is a dedicated page on the Law Society’s web site to this campaign where information can be found , we have held a recent webinar, and we are hosting a series of road shows around the country in September and October to explain the latest position in relation to the next consultation paper, which we expect to be published by then, and to set out the Law Society’s initial response to it. The feedback from those road shows will then be used to develop further the Law Society’s position. The Law Society is listening to its members and is happy to engage with them in what is a very difficult process.
As I said I do not know what will be in the next consultation paper, the Law Society have sought to influence it and have been engaging with the MoJ, but what effect that will have we have yet to see. What I can say is that any attempt by the government to continue with any form of price competition will be vigorously opposed by the Law Society. We stand by our objectives and will continue to fight to achieve them and our strongest weapon in this fight is the unity that we have shown as a profession so far and for which Michael has contributed so much. If we are to build on this and to stand firm we must remain united in our seeking to achieve our key objectives. I know that the new leadership of the CBA shares this view and I very much look forward to working with Nigel Lithman QC  and Tony Cross QC during these difficult and challenging times.
Richard Atkinson
Chair of the Criminal Law Committee
Law Society of England and Wales
9.       Principal Forensic Services now in the market for DNA Evidence:
          A correction and an apology
Last week we reported that Forensic Access had got into the DNA market and that they were the group of excellent and experienced scientists left on the heap on the break up of FSS. All of this was an error I meant Principal Forensic Services. All of which is true about them. I apologise to you and to them for my error.
10.     My Roll of Honour
A Thank You to You All
Judiciary / Supreme
Sir Tony Hooper QC
HHJ Owen Davies QC
HHJ Barker QC Recorder of London
Lord Neuberger President Supreme Court
Lord Chief Justice – Lord Judge
Lord Justice Pitchford
Lord Justice Gross Senior Presiding Judge for England & Wales
Lord Justice Thomas
Lord Justice Moses
Lord Justice Goldring
Mrs. Justice Theis
Lord Justice Fulford
Mr Justice Saunders
Lady Justice Raferty
Lady Justice Hallett
Mr Justice Sweeney, Presiding Judge for The South Eastern Circuit
Martin Shaw (Kalisher Lecture)
Maxine Peak (Kalisher Lecture)
Lord Justice Moses (Expert Evidence Conference)
Dr Itiel Dror (Expert Evidence Conference)
Karen Squibb-Williams (CPS) (Expert Evidence Conference)
Professor Peter Sommer (Expert Evidence Conference)n
Joanna Glynn QC (Expert Evidence Conference)
Dr Philip Avenell (Expert Evidence Conference)
Mr Dave King (Expert Evidence Conference)
HHJ McCreath (Old Bailey Lecture)
Professor Cheryl Thomas (Old Bailey Lecture)
Professor David Ormerod (Old Bailey Lecture)
Robert Banks (Old Bailey Lecture)
Professor David Ormerod QC (The Spring Conference)
Professor Cheryl Thomas (The Spring Conference)
His Honour Judge Rook QC (The Spring Conference)
Robert Banks, Author of ‘Banks on Sentence’ (The Spring Conference)
Penelope Barrett (CCRC Commissioner) (The Spring Conference)
Tom Little, Treasury Counsel (The Spring Conference)
Paul Mendelle QC / Lesley Bates (The Spring Conference)
Dan Bunting (Annual Dinner Speech)
Marilyn Vitte (Annual Dinner Speech)
HHJ Peter Rook QC (Sexual Offences Conference)
Paul Mendelle QC and Lesley Bates (Sexual Offences Conference)
Dr Boakes and Eleanor Laws QC (Sexual Offences Conference)
John Price QC (Sexual Offences Conference)
HHJ Peter Rook QC (Sexual Offences Conference)
HHJ Norton (Sexual Offences Conference)
Dr Rouse (Sexual Offences Conference)
Alison Saunders (Sexual Offences Conference)
Dr Nina Burrows (Sexual Offences Conference)
Pro Bono Support and Advice
Dina Rose QC
Tom de la Mare QC
Baker Mackenzie.
Committee Member who showed they gave damn
Max Hill QC
Edmund Vickers
Gillian Jones
Dermot Keating
Jonathan Laidlaw QC
Nigel Lithman QC
Thomas Payne
Amanda Pinto QC
Eleanor Laws QC
Eleanor Mawrey
Patricia Lynch QC
Paul Mendelle QC
Lesley Bates
Hannah Kinch
Neil Ross
Tom Schofield
Caroline Goodwin
Kerum Fuad QC
Dean George
Mike Duck QC
Tom Wainwright
Ian West
Rosina Cottage QC
Kate Lumsdon
William Mousley QC
Christopher Quinlan QC
James Wood QC
James Mulholland QC
Paul Bogan QC
Sophie Shotton
Monica Stevenson
James Vine
Dan Bunting
Richard Bentwood
Toyin Salako
Circuit Leaders 
Sarah Forshaw QC (SE)
Alistair Macdonald QC (NE)
Richard Pratt QC
Nigel Lickely QC (West)
Mark Wall QC (M)
Gregory Bull QC
External Organisations
Karl Turner MP
Sadiq Khan MP
Margaret Hodge MP
Patrick Maddams (Inner Temple)
Hannah Kinch (YBC)
Bill Waddington (CCSA)
Brian McConnachie QC (Faculty of Advocates)
Gerry Moynihan QC (Chairman Faculty of Advocates)
Arthur Harvey QC, Chair of NI Bar (Bar Library)
Yvonne Spencer, Chair of SAHCO
Sean Williams, Vice-Chairman of SAHCO
Richard Atkinson, Criminal Law committee, Law Society
Aktar Ahmed (LCCSA)
Farah Damji (KAZURI Housing)
Garry Jones (Daily Mirror)
Stuart Wide (Bird and Co)
Andrew Bousfield (Private Eye)
Mark Borkowski
Marco Gianngelli
Special Thank You (also listed in the above lists) 
Professor David Ormerod QC
Paul Mendelle QC
Lesley Bates
Sir Tony Hooper QC
Peter Joyce QC
James Vine
Max Hill QC
Gillian Jones
Ed Vickers
Nathaniel Rudolf
Ian West
James Woods QC
David Hislop QC
Stephen Hockman QC
Dermot Keating
Maura McGowan QC
Nigel Lithman QC
Alex Cameron QC
Martin Chalkley
Mark Fenhalls
Jonathan Polnay
Toyin Salako
Thomas Payne
Aaron Dolan
There is no doubt someone I have left out. If I have and you will know your contribution I still salute you.
11.     Stuart Wild faces competition from a bright young thing somewhere
          else on the Western Circuit “The Bandit”

“The Bandit”

Stuart Wild reveals my new career

Do Right, Fear No One
Michael (Bloody) Turner

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