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Weekly Round Up 05.04.12

CBA News:

Chairmans Update: 

SURVEY. An unprecedented number of CBA Members completed our Survey. You can see a graphic representation of the key results HERE. The highlights include firm opposition (87% of respondents) to Plea Only Advocates under QASA, rejection of OCOF (92%), lack of proper and fair remuneration in defence fees (89%) and prosecution fees (85%), a willingness to refuse instructions on both sides at the new rates, and readiness for direct lawful action (89%). This marks a powerful response from you nationwide. However, more work needs to be done to see whether these responses represent the views of all members. I have no doubt that the Survey shows the way forward for the CBA in terms of publicity and strategy, as we try to create a level of real understanding of the perilous state of the self-employed Bar by the country at large. My personal readiness to contemplate direct action remains firm. But the timing for any action, and the issue or issues at the centre of such action, remain matters for careful debate. I hope we can keep the momentum we have developed this year, to be deployed at the right time and in the right way.

DPP. I have been very lucky, so far, to have received little by way of criticism for the work I carry out on your behalf. When I am criticised, you are entitled to see it. Following the speeches I made last week, which were linked to my Friday message, the DPP wrote to the Chairman of the Bar and to the Attorney General on Monday. Read the letter HERE. You can imagine my reaction. However, I can tell you that this unpleasant episode has been resolved Read my response to the DPP HERE. There will be no need for further recriminations. The DPP and I both know that each others job is challenging. It is vital that we find a way of communicating, and in my case that is by pressing for the interests of the criminal Bar every day.

CPS FEES. A further exchange of letters concluded this week. You can read the Attorney Generals response HERE, to the letter written by all of the Bar leaders following the Bar Council meeting on 3rd March, HERE. I have to say that the Attorneys optimism that ‘the self-employed criminal Bar will continue to make its vital contribution to the proper functioning of our criminal justice system’ badly needs a reality check. I used my speeches last week to demonstrate how the criminal Bar is being starved, and I meant it. How many more casualties, through unemployment to bankruptcy or worse, will this government stand by and watch? Every time I write, whether it be an email, a letter or a speech, I spend a long time trying to focus on the personal adversity and crises which many of you are having to endure, and which you write to tell me about. That is what keeps me going.

CPS PANEL. Following negotiation on behalf of barristers who prosecute for government departments whose work is being taken in by the CPS, a new and short application process has been announced, and you can read it HERE. Stephen Hockman QC and I, having conducted this negotiation, believe it represents a fair and necessary route for those who belonged to the old Attorneys Unified List, but whom did not apply for the full CPS Panel.

EASTER. I hope you will be in a position to enjoy this short break. If you will forgive me, I am going to be absent next week, the first leave I have taken since becoming your Chairman on 1st September. Michael Turner will be in charge, and will bring you any developments next week by Friday email if he thinks necessary. The following week I shall be back, and in Newcastle for our Spring Conference. I know it is hard for some to find the money to pay, but please be there if you can.

Leeds Crown Court Early Guilty Plea Scheme – Listing Policy:

Read the policy note prepared by HHJ Peter Collier QC, The Recorder of Leeds here



As you may recall, Ed Vickers and Aaron Dolan met with Philip Bristow of Vector Professions Finance (a Bar Council Service Partner) and negotiated a deal for CBA Members who take out loans in the coming months. Vector will waive their fees (£120 including bank TT fees) for any CBA members applying before 31st August 2012 (to cover July tax payments). The application is straightforward – application form, full aged debt and last 12 months gross receipts – and transfer of money can be completed within a week. You need to quote reference BAR 888. Contact Philip Bristow at [email protected] ; for more information, the link is here. This offer also applies to FLBA members.

Health Support and Advice for the Bar – Law Care: 

LawCare provides an independent and confidential service which assists members of the Law Societies of England and Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Ireland and the Isle of Man; the Institute of Legal Executives; the Bar Councils of England and Wales, the Republic of Ireland, and Northern Ireland; the Faculty of Advocates in Scotland; the Department of Justice; the Institute of Barristers Clerks; and the National Association of Paralegals. This is a confidential advisory service to help lawyers, their immediate families and their support staff to deal with the health issues and related emotional difficulties that can result from a stressful career as a lawyer, or working with lawyers. LawCare is there to support and assist you, too.

LawCare offers you the opportunity to discuss problems that are interfering with, or have the potential to interfere with, your work performance and / or your family life and to seek to help in resolving these problems.

Through LawCare, help is available to those who are suffering from stress and /or depression, or who have alcohol, drug or other dependency concerns, or eating disorders.

There is a helpline which is open 365 days a year:-

9am – 7.30pm, Monday to Friday

10am – 4pm Saturday, Sunday and UK Bank Holidays

0800 018 4299

Further details can be found on the website here 

Discounts on Laptops, Computers and Other Electrical Equipment:

Following the CBA Paperless Trials Seminar at Church House on 27 March 2012, the Bar Council would like to remind you that if you are looking for discounts on IT equipment, preferential prices are available to members of the Bar through Kelway, the Bar’s Service Partner for complete IT solutions.

Also, the member benefits portal Xexec, provides discounts with Apple, Comet, Currys and PC World.

For further information, please contact Steve Harman at Kelway on 020 7791 6760 or [email protected], alternatively contact Member Services at the Bar Council on 020 7611 1329 or [email protected].

Follow the chairman on twitter!/TheCriminalBar


CBA Events:

The CBA Spring Conference 2012 

This year’s CBA Spring Conference will take place on Saturday 21st April 2012. It is being held on the North Eastern circuit at Northumbria University in Newcastle. Speakers include Lord Justice Hooper, Penny Barrett (Criminal Cases Review Commissioner), Michael Tuner QC and Gareth Underhill on the topic of appellate advocacy and CCRC referrals, Professor David Ormerod on a roundup of the legal year, His Honour Judge Nicholas Browne QC and Patricia Lynch QC on serious sexual offences and Rudi Fortson QC on confiscation and sentencing in drug offences. It is expected to bring 6 CPD hours.

Prices remain the same as last year at £95 for members over 7 years call, £60 for members under 7 years call and £40 for pupils. Please book by completing the booking form here and attached and return with your payment to Aaron Dolan.

CBA Annual Dinner

Friday 18th May 2012

Middle Temple Hall, Middle Temple, London

Guest Speaker – The Hon Mr Justice Calvert-Smith

For further information and to book please contact Aaron Dolan

Early booking is advised

2012 Kalisher Scholarship Trust Event 

The 2012 Kalisher Scholarship Trust event will be a staged reading of two Agatha Christie plays, ‘Butter in a Lordly Dish’ and ‘Personal Call’. Those hoping to participate include Martin Shaw, Felicity Kendal, Maxine Peake, Ray Fearon, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Mark Farrelly, and will be performed thanks to the generosity of Agatha Christie’s estate and Bill Kenwright Ltd. Set in the world of the 1950s, the plays will be fully miked and promise an evening of laughter, legal intrigue and murder mystery.

The event will be held in Middle Temple Hall, at 6.30pm on Sunday 20th May. Tickets cost £50, and are available now from Middle Temple (0207 427 4800).

All proceeds from the event go toward scholarships for talented students who, without the support provided by the Trust, would be unable to reach the Criminal Bar.

For more information about the Kalisher Scholarship Trust, please go to

Half a Century of Crime: A Valedictory Summing Up 

A lecture by the Right Honourable Lord Justice Hooper

Inner Temple Hall

Monday 18 June 2012 – 6.30pm

Followed by a Drinks a Reception

The CBA have been allocated 50 places in total to attend the lecture.

If you wish to take this very kind offer up, please be sure that you are able to make the lecture and then book with me, I will then pass the details to the Inn.

Further information can be found here


Other News:

CPS T3 Project Crimeline update:

You will be aware that the T3 project is gaining momentum, and to that end you may find the following documents of interest. The first is a newly updated FAQ document; this is more recent that the one sent out by many CPS areas only a couple of days ago.
Read it here
Of more interest however is a revised Prison Service Instruction which deals with bringing electronic devices into prison/court cells. This is a very important document and you are advised to read it and circulate widely.
Read it here
Funding changes, designed to better support T3 working take effect from 1 April 2012, read about them here:

Criminal Procedure Rules and the new-look Ministry of Justice website

Here are the new URL links to the Criminal Procedure Rules andRule Committee pages :

The Criminal Procedure Rules’ What’s New? page:

The Criminal Procedure Rules:

The Criminal Procedure Rules Forms page:

The Consolidated Criminal Practice Direction:

The Criminal Procedure Rule Committee:

The keen web-watchers amongst you will perhaps notice that the ‘CrimPR What’s New?’ page is about a month out of date. Colleagues in the Web Team are addressing that and promise that it should soon be corrected. Last week, I published a PCMH form for use in cases involving between two and five defendants. The related news item was dated 21 February 2012 and when you can are able to see that on the What’s New? page, you will know that the remedial work has been done.


Criminal Cases Review Commission – Commissioners


£93,796 pro rata – full or part time – up to four posts

Full details and to apply for these roles are available here 


Other Events:  

South Eastern Circuit Bar Mess Foundation Advanced International Advocacy Course 

(Bank holiday) Monday 27 August until Saturday 1 September

Keble College, Oxford

The application form is now available to download:


Criminal Appeal Lawyers Association Conference

Miscarriage of Justice, who cares?

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

10 am to 4pm

MIC Hotel and Conference Centre, 81-103 Euston Street, London, NW1 2EZ

10 am to 4pm

Further information and booking procedures can be found here


Exploitation of Prostitution: the Challenges for the Criminal Justice System 

The AWB Committee invites you to attend:


6.00pm – 7.30PM

Held at the conference suite at CPS HQ, Rose Court, 2 Southwark Bridge, London SE1 9HS

Further information and booking procedures can be found here

The Central London Bar Mess Farewell Dinner for HH Geoffrey Rivlin QC 

Thursday 26 April, 7:15pm for 7:45pm, at the Cavalry and Guards Club, London

Champagne reception followed by dinner

Black tie

Tickets are £70 please contact Dickon Reid: [email protected]

UIA – Training session, Paris (France) 

April 26 & 27, 2012

Further information and booking procedures can be found here

ECBA Spring Conference 

Defence Rights in Europe

27 & 28 April 2012 –


Further information can be found here

The Health & Safety Lawyers Association 

Manchester Event – 3 presentations – each approximately 30 minutes, Followed by drinks reception

DWF LLP, 1 Scott Place, 2 Hardman Street, Manchester M3 3AA

Tuesday 8th May 2012

Further information can be found here

The 5th ICAC Symposium – Registration 

Fighting Corruption in a Changing World

May 2012

Hong Kong

Further details can be found here

An Evening of Sacred Music 

Temple Church

Wednesday 30th May 2012


Tickets £25

You can buy tickets by emailing [email protected] or through Temple Church box office:

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