Skip to main content

Weekly Round Up 12.10.12

CBA Chairman’s Update: Michael Turner QC:


  • QASA: I report back on latest developments
  • The Pilot scheme for weekend work in the Magistrates. I sound a note of real disquiet.
  • The CPS: I bring to your attention a sorry story and ask for more examples of the same.
  • Two Counsel Consultation: Our response is in.
  • Legal Aid Comparative Statistics. I demonstrate why they are so misleading.
  • Bar Conference. I encourage a good attendance.
  • The Kalisher Lecture: I give a big plug for.
  • We remind you of: Forthcoming Elections, Open Forums and Upcoming Events.



  1. 1.                  QASA:

Last Saturday I attended the Young Bar Conference, where I received a rousing acceptance of our stance on QASA. In attendance was the Chair of QASA, one Sam Stein QC. In addressing the conference he did two things that have given me very real cause for concern. In advance of the deadline for responses for the fourth consultation and whilst only in receipt of the CBA response he sort to attack it, saying in terms that QASA would come in regardless of the CBA’s representations. Then in our panel discussion, he denied saying that he had ever said that it was the BSB’s view that “logic indicated that plea only advocates were not in the public interest”. Since he had said exactly that at a meeting attended by myself, Mike Todd (Bar Chairman) and Maura McGowan (Bar Vice-Chair) amongst others. We were astonished. This raises real questions as to whether the Fourth Consultation is anything other than a sham and further whether the BSB will honestly stand by views they have expressed to us time and again. I have written to Baroness Deech (Chair of the BSB) to express my disquiet. Her response thus far is to say that this will be investigated, she will read all the responses and that she has information to suggest Sam Stein QC was not at the Young Bar Conference at all. 200 witnesses will attest to the fact he was and indeed to what it was he said. We await developments. However, it appears clear now that the only protectors of the public interest will be the Bar and like minded members of the solicitor’s profession.  You can read our response HERE and leave any comments you may have HERE.



  1. 2.                  The Pilot scheme for weekend work in the Magistrates. I sound a note of real disquiet:

The Justice Minister Damien Green announced yesterday that the pilot scheme for weekend working in Magistrates Courts would be extended to 48 areas, see the announcement HERE

Last year when requested to comment the CBA made clear that while we supported the use of video links and virtual courts providing they were only used when the client had seen his/her representative face to face and never at first appearances or PCMH’s. Proposals had to be forthcoming in respect of proper remuneration for weekend working. Since then the Government has agreed new contracts with the Prison Service and Geo-Amy but has made absolutely no proposals to either the Bar or the solicitor’s profession. The Bar and solicitors worked tirelessly over the riots to deal with what was hopefully a one off situation. The Government you may think is abusing our goodwill. We counsel you to think very carefully about accepting a weekend brief if you are in such a pilot area (to be announced). This is particularly so as this is an opportunity for the Bar to show solidarity with the solicitors profession who are equally appalled by the proposal.



  1. The CPS: I bring to your attention a sorry story and ask for more examples of the same:

One of our members has reported to me that having singlehandedly secured the conviction of 15 defendants. He was asked to attend the appeals of 3 of them who were seeking to appeal sentence. When he realised that after his travel expenses his net profit for the day would be £30. He declined the instruction. He was told in no uncertain terms there would be serious consequences if he continued to take that stance. For fear of retribution he took the brief. This behaviour is entirely unacceptable and I have raised it with the DPP. If any of you have any further examples of such behaviour please post it on the forum HERE. Be assured I will annonymise all such complaints if requested to do so.



  1. Two Counsel Consultation: Our response is in.

We have responded to the Two Counsel Consultation you can read it HERE. I thank those of you who were good enough to express your views.



  1. Legal Aid Comparative Statistics. I demonstrate why they are so misleading.

Some of you may have seen the publication in the Guardian of comparative Legal Aid figures which purported to show that the per capita cost of legal aid in the UK was considerably higher than in Europe. What those figures failed to take into account that in Europe the investigation of a case is Judge lead as indeed is the interviewing of witnesses and the instruction of experts. The figures produced in the Guardian omitted to include the cost of the European Judiciary or their investigations. If that is done our UK system of Legal Aid looks rather poor in comparison.



  1. Bar Conference.

It is more important than ever this year that we have a strong attendance in Crime. The speakers at the CBA workshop in addition to myself will be Clive Stafford-Smith, Sir Anthony Hooper and Roger Smith (Chair of Justice). It is time that the Bar stood up for the very important corner of our democracy which will be no longer in a few years time if the Governments wasteful policies our allowed to continue. Further information and instructions to book can be found HERE.



  1. The Kalisher Lecture

This should be a really good lecture this year with drinks after in Garden Court. If you have never been before this is the year to go.

To secure your place please email the Secretary of the Kalisher Trust – [email protected]



  1. Open Forums




  1. Forthcoming Events


 The Kalisher Lecture:

“Experience is by industry achieved”

Given by Martin Shaw, Kalisher trustee and Bencher of Gray’s Inn

Tuesday 16th October 2012

The Royal College of Surgeons

To secure your place please email the Secretary of the Kalisher Trust – [email protected]


CBA Autumn Conference:

Expert Evidence

Saturday 3rd November 2012

IET Conference Centre, Savoy Place, London

Online booking HERE or complete a booking form and return HERE


Old Bailey Lecture:

Work of the Sentencing Council

Tuesday 6th November 2012

The Old Bailey

To secure your place please email Aaron


Old Bailey Lecture:

Research on Juries

Tuesday 4th December 2012

The Old Bailey

To secure your place please email Aaron


The Annual Bar Conference 2012 – Further message from the Vice Chair, Bar Conference 2012:

Every year, for the last 27 years, the Bar joins together for the prestigious Bar Conference in London, debating and shaping the Bar’s future.

Here are a few highlights of this year’s conference on 10 November 2012:


  • Pick up top tips from media and PR experts on how to effectively market yourself;


  • Hone your skills questioning vulnerable witnesses with the Advocacy Training Council;


  • Join in the debate with Lord Justice Hooper, Clive Stafford-Smith (Founder of Reprieve) and Roger Smith (Director of Justice) at the CBA session: ‘Cutting legal aid: Damaging democracy and killing open justice.’


For the full programme and to book (a discount is available if three or more delegates book together) click here 


And don’t forget, the Conference will also provide you with up to 6.5 CPD hours.


I look forward to seeing you there.


Best regards,


Saba Naqshbandi

Vice-Chair, Bar Conference 2012



Bar Council Elections:

The CBA Supports the following candidates in the forthcoming BAR COUNCIL ELECTIONS 2013



AMANDA PINTO QC (5 Paper Buildings)


Over 7 Years’ Call

ELEANOR MAWREY (9 Gough Square)

Nicholas Worsley (Zenith Chambers)


Less than 7 Years’ Call

HANNAH KINCH (23 Essex St)


It is important that the Criminal Bar is well represented on the Bar Council – your vote counts

Please return your ballot paper to the Bar Council by 19th October 2012


CBA Elections:

Nominations for Election to the CBA Committee


Nominations are invited for election to the CBA Committee for 2013. There are seven places available one of which is for a junior barrister of less than seven years call.  The positions are for a term of three years commencing 1st January 2013.  Please send your nominations to:


Gillian Jones

CBA Secretary

18 Red Lion Court


DX 478 London/Chancery Lane

[email protected]


Nominations must be received by 5.00 p.m. on Friday 26 October 2012.


In the event of there being more candidates nominated than positions available a ballot of the membership will be held.


Nominations for Election of Treasurer to the CBA Committee


Nominations are invited for candidates to stand for the position of Treasurer of the CBA. These should be sent to the Secretary:


Gillian Jones

CBA Secretary

18 Red Lion Court


DX 478 London/Chancery Lane

[email protected]


Nominations must be received by 5.00 p.m. on Friday 26 October 2012.


In the event of there being more than one candidate a postal ballot of the membership will be held. The position of Treasurer is one of two year’s duration.


Digital Working

We appear to be moving slowly but inexorably towards digital working in the criminal justice system.  There is a little-known but busy group called the CJS Efficiency Programme which includes representatives from the MoJ, the CPS, HMCTS, the judiciary, NOMS and the defence community.  The CJS Efficiency Programme is trying to ensure there is joined-up thinking between all parties likely to be affected by the CPS’ move towards the digital service of material and the MoJ’s ambition to make better use of digital technology at all stages of the criminal justice system, from the collection of evidence by the agencies of law enforcement to the presentation of evidence at court.

They are acutely aware that members of the Bar are at the sharp end of these changes as the ultimate users of the material; we are the ones who are ultimately responsible for presenting the material in a way that is comprehensible by the court, whether that involves a witness, the judge or the jury.

Accordingly they are very anxious to get feedback from the Bar about how the changes are affecting us and what problems we may experience or envisage; the aim is to fine-tune the system so that these problems are resolved as quickly and painlessly as possible and the transition is therefore as effective as possible.

Please read the attached document which provides various links to places where you can get more information and advice.  Perhaps most importantly there is an email address there for you to transmit your experiences directly to the CJS Efficiency Programme.  I know from my own experience working with them that they take all our contributions seriously and pursue any issues we may experience.


You should also note that Legal Guidance on Digital Working across the Criminal Justice System has, today, been published on the Justice website.


The guidance sets out clearly the basis for digital working according to statute and the Criminal Procedure Rules. This includes the position regarding ‘wet signatures’ and ‘original documents’ in criminal proceedings. It was created by the CPS in consultation with agencies and partners involved in the CJS Efficiency Programme; this includes the judiciary and defence representative bodies.  


It is being communicated with the following important messages:


  • the guidance does not initiate any new digital business processes or signal any further immediate moves to digital working;


  • it does not mean that we are ‘switching off’ paper; situations where paper-based processes remain are clearly described in the guidance;


Perhaps the most important page from our point of view is the Defence Practitioners’ page on the Justice website. The previous ‘frequently asked questions’ have been updated and reworked into guidelines for practitioners.”

Further details can be found HERE


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


Follow the chairman on twitter:



Other News:     


Criminal Law Week – updates (issue 37)

Key updates from this week’s issue of Criminal Law Week:


Confiscation order – Supreme Court rules on whether such an order can stand with an absolute or conditional discharge:  R. v. Varma (CLW/12/37/2).


Appeal – whether, where the indictment charges an offence that did not exist at the time of the alleged criminal conduct, the Court of Appeal can substitute a verdict of guilty of a suitable alternative offence:  R. v. Abdul (CLW/12/37/1).


Sexual offences prevention order – appropriate forum for hearing appeals against orders under section 108 (variation, renewal, discharge of order) of the Sexual Offences Act 2003:  R. v. AldridgeR. v. Eaton, C.A.(CLW/12/37/4).


Prosecution costs – circumstances in which a costs award will be found to be grossly disproportionate to a fine:  R. (Middleton) v. Cambridge Magistrates’ Court, D.C. (CLW/12/37/3).


CBA Bookclub Page:

The CBA book club page has just been updated, allowing CBA members to enjoy a 15% discount on the forthcoming editions of Blackstone’s Criminal Practice 2012 and the Blackstone’s Magistrates’ Court Handbook 2013, as well as many other Criminal Law books.

Your exclusive bookclub page can be found HERE


Youth Court Guide, Fifth Edition:

Updated to all changes to the youth justice system including:

  • The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012
  • The Criminal Procedure Rules 2012

15% discount when you quote TOYCG15

List price: £70

CBA price: £59.50

Further information can be found HERE



Annual International Rule of Law lecture

18 December 18:00 in Inner Temple Hall

The International Committee is delighted to announce Mark Mulholland QC, Chairman of the Bar Council of Northern Ireland as the keynote speaker at its Sixth Annual International Rule of Law Conference. The lecture will take place at 18:00 on 18 December. This free annual lecture aims to stimulate debate and inspire barristers to become involved in rule of law related projects. Barristers, judges and law students are welcome to attend. The title of the lecture will be announced closer to the time.  If you are interested in attending please email [email protected].


Brazil Trade Mission, 22-25 October

The Bar Council is planning to increase its engagement with Brazil which is a rapidly growing market for UK legal services. We are planning a stand-alone Business Development mission in 2013/14. In the meantime an opportunity has arisen as both the Lord Mayor and the Law Society, supported by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) will be travelling at the same time to São Paulo to promote UK-Brazil legal links and business. The Bar Council is supporting an Unlocking Disputes conference on 24 October in Sao Paulo. For further information please see here.

There will be optional activities in Rio de Janeiro for those wishing to travel on following the São Paulo programme.

As the Bar Council will have a presence at some of the events it would be helpful for us to know if you are registering for this mission; please email [email protected].

Russian Law Week 2012, London

5 – 7 November 2012

The second Russian Law Week 2012 will take place in London from 5 to 7 November 2012. This event, of which the Bar Council is a co-organiser, will bring leading Russian and English practitioners together to discuss the latest developments in Russian Law. This is an excellent opportunity for any barrister wishing to develop their practice in relation to Russia.


You can register and view the draft programme here


Increasing Access to Justice through E.U. Class Actions: A Conference for Litigators and Policy Makers

12 – 13 November 2012 at the European Parliament Building in Brussels, Belgium

This is a two day conference in Brussels, Belgium and is jointly presented by AIJA, Brussels Bar Association, Netherlands Bar Association, New York State Bar Association International Section, NUIM Law, Pan European Organisation of Personal Injury Lawyers (PEOPIL), Public Interest Law Alliance (PILA); UIA; Universidad de Santiago de Compostela; and Universite Catholique de Lyon. Topics at the conference will include:  

  • Class Actions, especially as they relate to Enforcement of Basic Human Rights
  • Opt-In vs. Opt-Out Mechanisms in Class Actions
  • Collective Redress as it applies to the EU and US
  • Access to Justice as a Human Right

The conference will also feature several networking breaks as well as a social reception to be held Monday evening at the Renaissance Hotel.

For a full agenda, please click here

For further information regarding registration, hotel or sponsorship opportunities for this conference, please contact Curry Wilson at[email protected]


Other business development news and opportunities

Experts Needed for UNDP/Somalia: Court Case Management and Tracking (Nairobi based)

The ABA-UNDP International Legal Resource Centre (ILRC) has received a request from UNDP/Somalia for an expert to establish a pilot case management and tracking system in Somaliland and Puntland. The program is strongly focused on post conflict recovery and consolidation of peace and the work involves six main components: access to justice, civilian police, local governance, institutional development, constitution and armed violence reduction. The overall goal is to strengthen rule of law, governance and security. The expert will be supervised by the UNDP Access to Justice Project Manager and will be responsible for developing a functional case management and case tracking system in Hargeisa and Garowe.


Please find as an attachment a more in-depth summary of this opportunity and a P-11 form. Applications must include a P-11 form (see attached document), an updated CV and cover letter (each attached as word or PDF documents). The application deadline is 26 September at 17:00 US Eastern Standard Time. Completed applications must be sent to [email protected]


What makes a good witness? Presenting evidence in the courtroom

Visually-recorded evidence in chief is thought to produce the most comprehensive and accurate record of the interview process and be best evidence.  But is this really the case? We are currently conducting a research project examining views from criminal justice professionals regarding the issue of the medium in which evidence in chief is presented. A topic that has driven interesting debate nationally. The research concerns three inter-related areas; (i) your views regarding your perceptions of witness testimony and certain terms that are often used when determining its credence, (ii) your views on the way the police gather information and how this impacts on witness evidence in chief, and (iii) your perceptions of the medium in which evidence in chief is presented in the courtroom. As part of the on-going research we would be grateful if you could take some of your valuable time to complete the questionnaire using the link provided below. It should take about 15 minutes to complete and participation is anonymous. If you would like to discuss this further or for any other information relating to the research and for related publications on these issues please contact either Jemma Hodgkins, [email protected] or Dr Rebecca Milne, Reader in Forensic Psychology, Director of the Centre of Forensic Interviewing, Institute of Criminal Justice Studies, University of Portsmouth. [email protected] or on (+44) 2392 843 927. Thank you for your assistance.


Be part of a study to examine child witness credibility:

If you agree to participate, you will be asked to read a transcript of an interview with a child witness. We will ask you to rate the credibility of the witness and the interview using a number of different criteria.  All materials (including information about confidentiality and consent) will be sent to you by email.  Once the study is complete, you will be debriefed.  On request, we would be happy to send you a summary of the results.


I am an MSc Student studying Investigative Forensic Psychology at London South Bank University, supervised by Dr Anne Ridley.


To participate in this research, please contact Miss Vedrana Ilic on [email protected].”


Other Events:       

Institute of Advanced Legal Studies: 

School of Advanced Study, University of London,

Charles Clore House, 17 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DR



Thursday 18 October, 14:00 – 17:45

The European Institutions: OLAF, EUROJUST and EUROPOL. What are they, what use are they and could we manage without them? And do we need another one – the European Public Prosecutor?

  • Chair:  Professor Valsamis Mitsilegas, Queen Mary, University of London;
  • Robert Wainright, Director of Europol; 
  • Martin Wasmeier, OLAF; 
  • Aled Williams, former Chairman, EUROJUST; 
  • Dr Katelin Ligeti, University of Luxembourg.

Venue: IALS

If you wish to attend please reply to:  [email protected]  




Friday 16 November, 13:45 – 17:20

Conflicts of interest: the ethical thin red line between conflict and crime

  • Chair:  Rosalind Wright CB QC, Chair, Fraud Advisory Panel;  
  • William Dinan, ALTER-EU; Monica Macovei, MEP;
  • Philippa Foster Back OBE, Director, Institute of Business Ethics;
  • Professor Jean-Bernard Auby, SciencesPo, Paris; Director, Mutations de l’Action Publique et du Droit Public.

Venue: IALS

 If you wish to attend please reply to:  [email protected]  



Venue addresses:
Institute of Advanced Legal Studies

Charles Clore House

17 Russell Square

London WC1B 5DR

For further information, please contact: [email protected]


UCL Laws Events October 2012

A detailed list of UCL events and how to book is available HERE


The European Institutions: OLAF, EUROJUST and EUROPOL:

What are they, what use are they and could we manage without them? And do we need another one – the European Public Prosecutor?

Thursday 18 October 2012

14.00 – 17.45

Institute of Advanced Legal Studies

Further details and booking information can be found HERE


Vergeltungswaffen – Vengeance Weapons – V1, V2 Bombs




A photographic exhibition of my new work about the London sites and neighbourhoods where V-1 and V-2 bombs fell during the Second World War opens at the APT Gallery in Deptford on Thursday 25 October.

There will be a drinks reception between 6 and 9pm that I’d love you to come along to.

The address is: 6, Creekside, Deptford, London SE8 4SA

Open from 12 to 6pm, Friday to Sunday, the exhibition runs from 25 October until 11 November. Also, on Saturday 27 October, the architect Megan Williams will lead a walk around the bomb sites close to the gallery. We will meet at the gallery at 2pm and finish with tea at 4pm.


If you would like further information then please email:  [email protected]





The Society of Asian Lawyers (SAL) is proud to present its Annual Ball and Awards for 2012

The event will be taking place on 20th October 2012 at the Sheraton Hotel Park Lane. The Society would really appreciate your support for this event and would be delighted if you and your colleagues are able to attend the Ball.  For full details of the event please click here.


This year’s key note speaker will be “The Honourable Sir Rabinder Singh” the first High Court Judge of Asian descent.


SAL is the UK´s largest independent legal society, with in excess of 2000 legal and other professional members. In July 2009, the Society of Asian Lawyers and the Law Society launched its Diversity and Inclusion Charter – the legal profession’s flagship diversity initiative and has developed it to fruition.


Sponsorship details:

Option 1: Main sponsor – Advertisement on front and back page of brochure in full colour; 2 advertisements in brochure; signage at ball; acknowledgement of sponsorship by SAL at the ball; 3 VIP Ball tickets; and short presentation to audience.  Cost  £2500

Option 2: Sub sponsor (Large/Medium size law firms/enterprises) – half page advert in brochure; acknowledgement of sponsorship; 2 VIP Ball tickets.  Cost  £1500

Option 3: Award sponsor for categories below:

1.         Commercial lawyer of the year.

2.         Public Service/Human Rights Lawyer of the Year

3.         Criminal lawyer of the year.

Includes 1 ticket to the ball; acknowledgment by SAL of sponsorship (at the time of presentation).  Cost £500 per award.

Option 4: Lifetime Achievement award – includes 2 tickets to the ball; acknowledgment by SAL of sponsorship (at time of presentation).  Cost £1000

Brochure: Advertise in our brochure for £30

For further details on booking a table (£850 for a table), purchasing tickets (£90 per person) and/or for further details on sponsorship, please contact Shaista Hikmat at [email protected] 


The Slynn Foundation are delighted that The RT Hon the Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers KG, who will retire as President of the UK Supreme Court in September, has agreed to deliver the 10th Slynn Foundation Lecture on Monday 12 November 2012. More details will follow but please note the date.


View more news