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Weekly Round Up – 09.03.12

CBA News:

Chairman’s update:

WHAT CAN WE DO NOW? The answer to this most frequently asked question is complete the online Survey, please. Seven days to go. If you log in to the CBA website now, it will take you perhaps ten minutes to complete the Survey.

I shared with you on Saturday my speech to the Bar Council concerning the new CPS fee regime, together with the DPPs response to the Bar leaders’ letter on 1st March. Thank you for all of the messages in support. Every time I speak, I try to make sure that everything I say reflects the views of CBA members everywhere. That is why the Survey is so important. On Wednesday, Mike Turner and I went to CPS HQ to meet the DPP. There is no movement on fees. Furthermore, you need to know that the CPS believe this round of cuts amounts to 13%, which means they intend to cut again by a further 12% in order to meet the 25% overall reduction required of them by the governments Comprehensive Spending Review. It is not even clear whether that will be it, or a third round of cuts may follow. Your reaction, expressed through the Survey, must be in light of all the facts.
You may be interested to read one forthright and accurate reaction, with thanks to Felicity Gerry, who encapsulated the views of others in Criminal Law and Justice Weekly, which you can read HERE.

In the midst of all this, I am able to tell you that ongoing CPS Panel appeals will prioritise those who failed to secure any Panel place, though you should know that if you are in that position you have no current route to CPS casework unless you succeed in your appeal. Good luck.

Further, for those who have been asking, I can confirm that ABE transcripts, served within CPS papers, should be included within the page count (GFS Scheme C Manual of Guidance para 68). If that is not happening anywhere let me know. LSC procedures are separate from the CPS, of course, but you should use the CPS Manual to demonstrate any unfairness.

Away from CPS matters, we should celebrate the fact that the government suffered a number of defeats in the Lords this week over LASPO. This follows hard lobbying by the CBA in conjunction with the Bar Council, and we are grateful to Peers including our own Lord Alex Carlile for their efforts to introduce some sense to the legislation, in the name of access to justice for all. Further votes follow next week, when we hope to drive home our argument that restrained assets should be available to pay defence fees in crime, just as they are available in other areas of litigation. Section 41 of POCA requires amendment. We are trying hard. Those in London may also have seen the major article in the Evening Standard on the topic of millions needlessly being taken from legal aid to fund those who can afford their own defence.

Sadly not all who observe the parliamentary debates seem able to commentate fairly. An outrageous article in the Guardian led Bar Chairman Mike Todd and I to write, our letter was published and you can read it HERE.

I am yet to identify anyone outside our number who truly has the vested interests of the criminal Bar at heart. Perhaps I should not be surprised. I know that we must speak up for ourselves. No one else will do it for us.

Please book your place for our Spring Conference in Newcastle asap, and complete the Survey.
I shall try not to bother you this weekend,



Website Reminder:     

Several months ago the Committee commissioned an independent design company for the re-construction, layout and overall design of the current website.

The majority of the site is Now only accessible by members of the Criminal Bar Association.  In order to log in for the first time you will need to have your individual unique CBA reference, those of you who have completed and returned your Direct Debit Mandate would have received this pin earlier this month.  If you haven’t then you will need to complete a form HERE and send back to me., upon receipt I can provide you with your reference by email.

I had previously informed you that the  two areas of the site that couldn’t go live until certain provisions were in place were Event Booking and Shop – both of which required us to have SAGE PAY installed and to obtain Merchant Numbers from our Bank. Unfortunately there has been a delay with the Bank and these functions will not be accessible for another 10/ 14 days. I apologise for any inconvenience.



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.


Follow the chairman on twitter!/TheCriminalBar


Recent CBA Consultation Responses:

Dangerous Dog Offences Consultation – Sentencing Guideline Council
Public Access Consultation – Bar Standards Board


CBA Events:

Paperless Trials from 1st April 2012 – A welcome or a concern?

Tuesday 27 March 2012
6.30pm – 8.30pm
27 March 2012
Speakers include out Chairman, Max Hill QC and The DPP, Keir Starmer
Church House, Deans Yard, Westminster
Silks, Solicitors and non-members £40 / Juniors: £30 / Pupils: £20
Please book by completing the booking form here and return with your payment to Aaron Dolan

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 return with your payment to Aaron Dolan. 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


Other News:

Legal Services Commission – guidance to barristers on fee claims

Barristers and clerks who undertake legal aid work will wish to be aware of the February issue of the LSC Bar Bulletin which gives advice on how to reduce the chance of fees being rejected or unnecessarily delayed.

The Bulletin includes advice on:

  • claiming for financial hardship;
  • civil payments on account;
  • Family Advocacy Scheme and VHCC claims;
  • crime travel expense claims and the Local Bar Rule;
  • acknowledging receipt of crime Advocates Graduated Fee Scheme claims;
  • the identity of the Instructed Advocate;
  • Pages of Prosecution Evidence, including paper evidence converted into electronic format;
  • Criminal VHCC claims.

Click here for the full bulletin (Pages 9-13 on Criminal)


CRIMINAL LAW WEEK – updates (Issue 10)

Key updates from this week’s issue of Criminal Law Week:
Sentencing guidelines – new guidelines on allocation, TICs and totality (taking effect from June 11, 2012), and amendments to the drugs guideline (CLW/12/10/21-23).

Abuse of process – guidance on when the prosecution of a trafficking victim may constitute an abuse of process:  R. v. N.;  R. v. E., C.A. (CLW/12/10/1).

Disobedience to lawful command – whether a pending application for discharge on grounds of conscientious objection is a defence to a charge of intentional disobedience of a lawful command (Armed Forces Act 2006, s.12(1)(a)):  R. v. Lyons, C.M.A.C. (CLW/12/10/3).

Confiscation order – whether the total amount of money received into bank accounts controlled by the defendants in the context of a missing trader carousel fraud constituted their “benefit”:  R. v. Ahmad (Shakeel) and Ahmad (Syed Mubarak), C.A. (CLW/12/10/6).


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.

Launch of the European Criminal Justice Observatory (ECJO) Website

A website devoted to training and networking on European criminal law for legal practitioners and others interested. Further information can be found here


Other Events:                

South Eastern Circuit Keeble Course:

The 2012 South Eastern Circuit Bar Mess Foundation Advanced International Advocacy Course at Keble College, Oxford will take place from Monday 27 August 2012 (please note that this is a bank holiday), until Saturday 1 September 2012. Participants must attend each day of the course.  The aim of this course is to encourage and develop the highest standards of advocacy amongst practitioners. The course is the most demanding and intensive of any advocacy course in the UK and was described by a former presiding judge of the Circuit as the “Best Advanced Course in the UK”.

Although the Circuit application process will not open until April 2012, if you wish to apply for a scholarship to attend this course from one of the Inns, the deadline for submissions is 14 March for Lincoln’s Inn and 15 March for Inner Temple, Middle Temple and Gray’s Inn.

To qualify for the course, you must join the Circuit and for further information regarding the course and the scholarships available, please visit the South Eastern Circuit website by clicking here

The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London, is pleased to announce the following free events:

Date: Thursday 22 March 2012, 2pm to 5.30m
Title: Serving Time in a Foreign Land: The Framework Decision on the Mutual Recognition of Custodial Sentences
Venue: Institute of Advanced Legal Studies 17 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DR.  
To register email:  [email protected].  Admission Free, All Welcome.  
(Organised in association with the European Criminal Law Association (UK).)


Invite for CBA members to Inquest Law conference

Wednesday 28 March 2012
Central London
A discount to all CBA Members is available
Further information can be found here


The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights Introducing an essential tool for UK practitioners

Thursday 29 March 2012, 5.30 – 7.30pm
Europe House, 32 Smith Square, London SW1P 3EU
£45 (£40 for JUSTICE or BEG members) 2 hours CPD BSB/SRA
Event chaired by Lord Justice Laws, Honorary President, Bar European Group
For full details of this and how to book please go to


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:



A criminologist at Cambridge University is looking for volunteers to participate in a study seeking to examine lawyers’ experiences of working with clients with mental disorders. Participants would discuss their experiences with the researcher over the course of an hour’s interview taking place towards the end of March. This is an opportunity to communicate your views on the realities of working withclients with mental disorders: research of this kind is very rarely attemptedand is important in ensuring that debates about changing law and procedure are informed by the people who have to deal with law and procedure every day.

The researcher has had a number of responses from those with experience of cases involving hospital orders in the Crown Court and would like to encourage both barristers and solicitors who have  appeared before Mental Health Review Tribunals seeking the discharge of such orders to consider participating. The researcher hopes to interview practitioners of varying experience –from those who specialise in this work to those who deal with one or two cases a year – and varying seniority – from trainees/pupils to senior practitioners. If you are interested in taking part in this research, or if you would like moreinformation, please email [email protected] with your name, the type oftribunal before which you usually appear (Crown Court or MHRT), the number ofyears of post-qualification experience you have, and the dates on which you are free in the last fortnight in March.

Interviews can be conducted in Cambridge or central London.  Participants’ on-going duties of confidentiality to clientswould be respected, and only generalised information is sought. All participants who wish to receive a copy of the research findings will be sent a copy once the entirety of the study has been completed in July.

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