Weekly Round Up 14.09.12
CBA Chairman’s Update: Michael Turner QC
- I encourage the use of the Forums on the Website
- I encourage you to provide examples of delays caused by the cuts.
- I discuss the Governments U-turn of cutting the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund.
- CPS Guidelines on Joint Enterprise: We give you a chance to comment
- I provide a checklist for LSC billing purposes.
- I remind you of the on going consultations and link you to the new Bar Counsel Consultation Website.
- I remind you of the need to appoint CBA chambers representatives.
- I give a plug for a book “The Court of Appeal Criminal Division: A Practitioners Guide”.
- I remind you of forthcoming events.
1) Forums on the Website
For years many of you have said that you were kept in the dark and had no opportunity to have your say. The advent of the Friday Newsletter and the interactive website has changed that. We very much want your views so please give us the feedback.
2. Delays Caused by the Cuts
Last week I pointed out to the Shadow Minister for Justice, Emily Thornberry, that the delays in the system caused by the cuts were actually costing more money to the tax payer. Delays in our system caused by disclosure problems, the failure of GEOAMY to deliver defendants to court on time or at all and the failure of Applied Language Solutions to supply sufficiently qualified translators, mount up on a balance sheet hidden from public eye… “Prove” it was her response. We all know it because we experience it on a daily basis. I can only bring home the point to the public, the Government and their counterparts in the Opposition with your help please post examples on the Forum HERE.
3) Government U-Turn ? on Cuts to Criminal Injuries Compensation
The revised Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICS), which would have slashed or axed altogether the compensation paid to almost 90% of innocent victims of violent crime, was due to be approved by a Parliamentary committee this week.
The newly appointed Justice Minister Helen Grant withdrew the proposal before a vote could be taken. The revised scheme would have denied compensation to many of the most needy and vulnerable in our society. Did the Government have a last minute pang of conscience? Or was it only because they feared a public outcry? The very fact that the scheme got as far as it did proves that the u-turn had nothing to do with conscience. The fact that the revised Scheme was devised in the first place demonstrates that any claim by this Government to want to protect the victims of crime is utter nonsense. If this u-turn is to mean anything the Government should consider the effect on the victims of crime of the pointless cuts in Legal Aid and the slashing of police resources. Given it is highly unlikely their conscience with take them to that conclusion it is high time we raised the public outcry maybe then a Government that appears incapable of any joined-up with turn away from the destruction of our publically funded justice system.
4) CPS Guidelines on Joint Enterprise
5) LSC Billing Checklist
I promised you a checklist from the LSC for billing purposes to see it click HERE.
5) On Going Consultations
The following Consultations are open:
CPS Guidelines on Joint Enterprise: See para 2 above,
The Bar Council have set up a very good web site with all consultations and published responses. To view go to: http://www.barcouncil.org.uk/for-the-bar/consultations.
6) CBA Representatives
Since last week 15 chambers have provided us with their nominated CBA representation. I am grateful to them for responding to the call so quickly. I hope those from whom we have not yet heard will follow their example.
7) “The Court of Appeal Criminal Division: A Practitioners Guide”. Sweet & Maxwell
I will not indulge in book recommendations in the Newsletter very often. However this is a must for all Chambers Criminal libraries. It is the first practitioners guide to the Court of Appeal Criminal Division in many a long year. It has been written by Alix Beldam and Susan Holdham, two of the most experienced CACD lawyers. It is well set out and researched and I get no perks for providing the recommendation.
Forthcoming CBA Events:
Joint Debate – CBA/LRC – This event has been postponed until further notice.
Thursday 20th September 2012
Large Pension Room, Grays Inn
A Dinner in Honour of Hooper LJ and the Retiring Bailey Judges:
Friday 28th September 2012
Stationers Hall, London
Online booking HERE
Tickets are selling fast with only 75 left.
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
Booking details to follow
CBA Autumn Conference:
Saturday 3rd November 2012
Venue to be confirmed
Booking details to follow.
Old Bailey Lecture:
Work of the Sentencing Council
Tuesday 6th November 2012
The Old Bailey
Booking details to follow.
Old Bailey Lecture:
Research on Juries
Tuesday 4th December 2012
The Old Bailey
Booking details to follow.
Criminal Bar Association Bursary Fund 2012:
Applications are invited for awards from the Criminal Bar Association Bursary Fund.
Major Bursaries of up to £5,000 will be awarded to successful applicants. Other bursaries will include annual subscriptions to the leading practitioners’ textbooks.
The Bursary Fund is generously supported by leading legal publishers Thomson Reuters (Sweet & Maxwell) and Oxford University Press.
The award competition is open to members of the CBA who have been in independent practice for no more than 3 years from the start of pupillage. The fund is designed to assist those who are from financially disadvantaged backgrounds.
Please complete the application form HERE and return it, together with a reference from the applicant’s Head of Chambers, to the CBA Administrator, Aaron Dolan [email protected] by 21st September 2012. The application form requires details of background and means together with a reference from the Applicant’s Head of Chambers (or pupil supervisor if a reference from the Head of Chambers is unavailable).
The assessment will be primarily means-tested; poor performance in school exams will therefore not be determinative but will assist the panel in assessing the applicant’s suitability.
The 8 most deserving applicants will be invited to compete in an advocacy exercise to be held in October, judged by the Chairman of the CBA. The bursary awards will be presented at the Old Bailey after the Ann Goddard Memorial Lecture on 6th November.
The document for the Sussex area as sent by The List Officer at Chichester Crown Court can be found HERE
The document for the Leeds, Bradford and York area as sent by The Resident Judges at Chichester Crown Court can be found HERE
Bar Council/SIAC seminar 28th September-call for applications for speaking slots:
We are looking for speakers for a joint Bar Council and Singapore International Arbitration Centre seminar that will focus on international arbitration, taking place on 28 September at 4pm.
More information on the seminar topics and speaker selection criteria is available HERE. Please note that the application deadline is 5pm on Wednesday 12 September.
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:
Criminal Law Week – updates (issue 33)
Key updates from this week’s issue of Criminal Law Week:
Assisting suicide – whether active voluntary euthanasia can provide a defence to murder by way of necessity: R. (Nicklinson) v. Ministry of Justice; R. (A.M.) v. D.P.P. and others, D.C. (CLW/12/33/9).
Improper use of public electronic communications network – whether tweeting is caught by the offence under section 127(1)(a) of the Communications Act 2003: Chambers v. D.P.P., D.C. (CLW/12/33/11).
Procedural irregularities (mode of trial) – whether a failure to follow the mode of trial procedure in Schedule 3 to the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 will render subsequent proceedings a nullity: R. v. Gul, C.A. (CLW/12/33/6).
Deprivation order – whether an owner of property can bypass the provisions of section 144 of Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 by bringing a civil claim in conversion against the police: O’Leary International Ltd v. Chief Constable of North Wales Police and C.P.S. (interested party), D.C. (CLW/12/33/16).
Private prosecutions – whether private prosecutor acting for reward on behalf of a third party was carrying on a “reserved legal activity”, contrary to the Legal Services Act 2007: Media Protection Services Ltd v. Crawford, D.C. (CLW/12/33/5).
Rectification of mistakes etc. – whether a judge has power to remit a conviction for rehearing under the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980, s.142, where a defendant has pleaded guilty as a result of flawed legal advice: R. (Williamson) v. City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court, D.C. (CLW/12/33/7).
Thomson Reuters Professional Pioneers – Leading Criminal Chambers:
Thomson Reuters is looking for criminal barristers to join a Professional Pioneers group. As members, you would meet as a group for evening drinks twice a year to exchange views and ideas, on a variety of subjects ranging from current challenges and trends to new opportunities as well as how you use legal information and products. At each gathering, Thomson Reuters plan to facilitate a speaker and discussion around a chosen topic and look forward to hearing your views.
If you would like to be a part of this, or would like further information, please contact Sian Lefort at [email protected]
CPS Guidance on Rape Specialist Advocates:
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
Rape specialist advocates – new guidance:
The CPS have recently issued guidance to their staff on the approach to be taken when instructing rape specialist advocates, particularly when the instructed advocate is not available and a stand-in has to attend an interim hearing. The guidance is not contentious and should be helpful to Chambers. The guidance was issued by Charlotte Triggs, CPS policy advisor on 28 August 2012.
The guidance states:
Rape Specialist Prosecutors and paralegal officers/caseworkers responsible for briefing advocates in rape cases are asked to note an amendment to chapter 16 of the CPS Legal Guidance on Rape and Sexual Offences.
The new section headed ‘The Instructed Advocate’ emphasises that wherever possible the instructed advocate should conduct the hearing, including defence applications for bail and other interlocutory hearings. Where they are not available another accredited advocate from the same Chambers (or a CPS rape specialist in the case of an in-house HCA) should conduct the hearing having been briefed by the instructed advocate. Where no such alternative advocate is available, a non-accredited advocate (or non-rape specialist HCA) may be instructed but only where the instructed advocate is able to speak directly to their replacement and ensure they are fully briefed on the circumstances of the case.
The aim of this guidance is to ensure that rape cases are prosecuted to the highest possible standard and if not by the instructed advocate by an alternative advocate who is fully briefed by the instructed advocate on all relevant matters.
Secretary of State for Justice:
Chris Grayling has today been announced as the Secretary of State for Justice following a Ministerial reshuffle. He was previously Minister of State for Employment at the Department of Work and Pensions.
Speaking about the appointment, Permanent Secretary Ursula Brennan said: “I’m delighted to welcome Chris Grayling to the Ministry of Justice, who joins us in the midst of a radical programme to reform the justice system. I’d also like to pay tribute to our previous Justice Secretary, Kenneth Clarke, for the leadership he has given the department and the extent of the reform that he has delivered”.
International News & Events:
For the latest upcoming international Events and opportunities click here
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.
The Bar Council and Singapore International Arbitration Centre seminar that will focus on international arbitration:
28 September at 4pm at Gray’s Inn, London
The seminar is In follow up to a successful seminar run jointly with SIAC in Singapore in March this year. A panel of Singaporean and English Counsel will examine financial services disputes, fast track remedies and ethical debates in international arbitration. The International Committee Chairman, Chantal-Aimee Doerries QC will Chair the session and the Hon Justice Sundaresh Menon, judge of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Singapore, will give an opening address. The speaker panel members will be announced closer to the time.
The seminar will be followed by a drinks reception at 18.30.
The event is credited by the BSB with 1.5 CPD hours and is free to attend. If you are interested in attending, please register by email by 21 September.
The event is sponsored by COMBAR.
Further details found HERE
Science and Justice Conference: The Criminal Court:
Guy’s Hospital, London Bridge, London SE1, Robens Suite
For further details and to register your attendance please contact Lesley Nott, BAFS Administration on: [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