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Monday Message – 30.05.23

Welcome all to Pride Month, as we head towards Pride Day on June 28th.

The origins are across the Atlantic and mark the police raid of the gay club, Stonewall Inn, in Greenwich Village, New York, on June 28th 1969. It triggered six days of protests, demanding LGBT+ spaces where people could meet free from fear of arrest.

The now familiar rainbow flag was the design of Gilbert Baker who designed it as the symbol of San Francisco’s Pride March in 1978, at the request of Harvey Milk.

For those who have not seen the film, Milk, I recommend it.

I watched it in the late noughties and remember being both affected and educated by the struggle for gay rights.

It remains a daily struggle in many parts of the world. Only last year, one of my instructing solicitors was arrested and remanded in custody in the Maldives for the crime of being gay.

The Criminal Practice Directions 2023

The Criminal Practice Directions 2023 came into force yesterday. That event now is announced on the Criminal Procedure Rules and Criminal Practice Directions web pages.

The new Practice Directions themselves appear here, together with the text of the temporarily retained paragraphs of the Criminal Practice Directions 2015 and with the Criminal Costs Practice Direction 2015.

At paragraphs 10.1.1 and 10.8.15 the new Practice Directions refer to a new edition of the Criminal Appeal Office Guide to proceedings in the Court of Appeal, Criminal Division. The Guide is published here. The new list of frequently cited authorities to which it refers, as soon to be referenced by the Criminal Procedure Rules themselves, is published here.

Please note that the guide gives directions on how the frequently cited authorities are to be used.

International Sub-Committee Launch 31st May 2023

Those of you interested in international criminal law and international justice mechanisms (including in relation to Ukraine), are warmly invited to this event on Wednesday 31st May 2023 (tomorrow) at Doughty Street Chambers at 6pm.

There will be short talks from practitioners, Paul Garlick and Nina Tavakoli. Misa Zgonec-Rozej also is trying to join us from the Hague.

It will be chaired by Peter Carter KC and I also will be available for questions.

There is a drinks reception after the panel.

Please reply to this email to book your place.

“Spring” (Summer) Conference

We are around 100 registered but have more places available.

The circuit leaders and senior practitioners (thank you Nina Grahame KC ) are doing all they can – within the law,  of course – to encourage barristers to attend.

Jaime Hamilton KC even has offered to fund a place for a barrister under 7 years’ call (check out his twitter).

The conference is an excellent opportunity for a professional update as well, as a chat and a drink. Increasingly, we are seeing the negative impact of remote working upon our well-being.

Meeting up and speaking has the added advantage of listening in a way that is not always felt across a screen.

Plus, I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible.

Please reply to this email to book your place.

National Zoom

It will be held on 6th June at 6pm.

More details to follow.

Meanwhile, please do send your questions in advance to Aaron.

Working Conditions

Today is the closing date for this important Bar Council survey.

Over 3000 barristers have completed it so far.

It relates to work/life balance, listing, earnings, discrimination, bullying and harassment and it a key data collecting exercise.

Please take 15 minutes.

Access the survey here

LAA CCG – CCMS planned outage extended Tuesday 30th May

“Our digital teams are continuing to work to make sure the system can be accessible as soon as possible and have been able to work swiftly with limited issues over the last 24 hours.

We will provide another update by 7pm today.

We still need to remain flexible and address any issues that may arise unexpectedly. Again, our thanks to your members for their patience while we make these important upgrades to the CCMS platform.” – Email received from LAA on Tuesday 30th May at 14.09hrs.

For any provider that needs to make an urgent initial application today, please use delegated functions where this is available. For any other urgent work with a court hearing within the next 24/48 hours please ring the contact centre – 0300 200 2020.

Any non-urgent work can be processed on CCMS once the system is available.

CBA Event with Senior Presiding Judge and Resident Judge of Woolwich Crown Court 

With huge thanks to Lord Justice Andrew Edis KC and HHJ Kinch KC for giving up their time on 22nd May 2023 to speak to our members.

It is the first time that I can recall the SPJ speaking to the membership and addressing questions which were not subject to prior approval.

Over 200 hundred members attended and for those who could not attend, the recording will be made available.

As not all questions/comments could be reached, they are being collated for further responses from the Judges.

There were many useful points and areas where we can make progress. Solutions for the Criminal Bar are cross-cutting and multi-faceted.

The judiciary and the Criminal Bar will not always be completely aligned. The two professions are different but with an understanding of the necessity of the proper functioning of each. A direct and speedy corridor of communication is key.

It has been a core part of my work as Chair to remove some of the debris that has been knocked into this path in recent times.

James Oliveira-Agnew now has taken the role as conduit for the Junior Bar at Woolwich Crown Court.

Crown Court Improvement Group

Last week, I attended the CCIG on behalf of the CBA (thanks to the Resident Judge, HHJ Rowlands, at Mold Crown Court for his assistance). It remains a useful national forum and I conveyed comments you had made, about listing, issues with conferences at court in cells and pre-remote hearings and PECs late delivery of prisoners to courts (particularly at the Old Bailey) and other issues, to the representatives of those bodies.

Please do keep sending in your emails. They all are acted on.

CBA Executive Meeting

The Executive meeting took place on 23rd May, with reports from the sub- committees, including the CBA Young Bar Committee.

Do speak to your rep and ask any questions. It is your CBA.

Ministry of Justice

I attended, together with Tana Adkin KC, the regular CBA meeting with senior officials.

We have been told that the appointment of a Chair of CLAAB is imminent.

We are keeping focus on the review of section 28 fees in the deal and the review on payment for special and wasted preparation.


Our wonderful education team held its seminar on human trafficking.

The recording will be available via the website shortly.


We are preparing for our third Criminal Justice Matters podcast which is RASSO themed.

Do listen to the first two podcasts and let us know thoughts, including ideas on future subjects.

Access our podcasts here


HH Simon Wilkinson

Condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the wonderful man and Judge, Simon Wilkinson who passed away recently. He was the epitome of decency and brought an extra spring into the step of every barrister who knew that they were listed in front of him.

Sir Derek Spencer KC

Another sad loss to our legal profession.

He was a stalwart of the Bar, in practice and as Solicitor General.

Sir Derek’s funeral will take place at 2pm on 6th June 2023 at Mortlake Crematorium.  It will be followed by a reception at Warren House, Warren Road, Kingston Upon Thames, KT2 7HY.

If you would like to attend the reception please email [email protected] in order that catering arrangements can be made.

Final Words

It’s a tough one after condolences.

However, they have to be that we dust off the rainbow flags and spread the glitter!

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