Weekly Round Up 14.12.12
CBA Chairman’s Update: Michael Turner QC
- Fat Cats: The Government spin machine begins. Your help needed.
- Maura McGowan QC takes over as head of the Bar.
- QASA: An Update.
- G4S: The MOJ clears things up.
- Government Contracts: Is privatization cost effective? Your help needed.
- Bad Character page count: Your help needed.
- Sentencing Council: New Consultation.
- In House Juniors prosecuting: How wide is the policy?
- Chairman’s update shutting down for Christmas.
- Up-Coming Events
1. Fat Cats: The Government spin machine begins
Following the usual but tired format the Government attempted this week to make out that barristers were milking the system. Two “Fat Cat” articles appeared in the Telegraph and the Mail which were picked up by The Global Lawyer. Tellingly, the story failed to run and journalists I spoke to said they knew that this did not represent the reality at the Bar. Felicity Gerry sought to put the record straight in her “Scuttlebutt” column in “Criminal Law & Justice Weekly” HERE. I have spoken to two of the named silks who tell me, unsurprisingly, that the figures represent at least two years earnings, date back two years, and are gross figures including VAT. We need to counter this nonsense. In order to do so I need representative earnings figures at all levels. You can post them anonymously on the forum HERE. However we must be vigilant that there are not some who seek to take unfair advantage of the system. If you are aware of any within our profession whose practices are conducted in breach of our rules and to the unfair detriment to both the client and the tax payer we hope you will alert us. You can email me in confidence at [email protected] or post the information anonymously or otherwise on the forum HERE.
2. Maura McGowan QC takes over as head of the Bar
Maura McGowan QC gave her inaugural speech as Chair of the Bar on Monday. The theme of her address was “Taking Control”. She recognised the need to re-build the trust of the profession with the Bar Council and I honestly believe she will carry on the good work of Mike Todd QC who steps down as head of the Bar. She is wedded to using Bar Council funds more efficiently and her door will be forever open. The Bar Council does in fact do a lot of very good and selfless work and you will begin to find that out if you engage with it. It is time that all of us got engaged unless you want to sit and contemplate what happened to our profession in 3 years time. You can read her address in full HERE
3. QASA: An Up date
In their ever helpful spirit the BSB will not make any announcement to the Bar until Monday 17th December at GMC. Despite their best efforts we will not be caught on the hop. We have re-scheduled our last executive meeting for the 18th December and I have invited all circuit leaders to attend. You will be informed of what has taken place and the attitude of all in the last email of the year.
4. G4S: The MOJ clears things up
Those of you who pay attention to my rants will know that I have published the fact that the Government’s contract with G4S for the front of house Court security allows G4S to scoop a healthy gross profit of almost £42 m over the life of their 5 year contract, by paying their workers £6.45 per hour whilst receiving £11.49 per hour, per employee, from the Court Service. Neither the MOJ nor G4S have even attempted to deny those figures. In an effort to get some response a journalist I know sent off a freedom of information request. The ever transparent MOJ responded as follows:-
“The contract price to the MOJ has been submitted based on the provision of output specifications to a required standard and not on hourly rates”
The Tax Payer will be pleased that the Government pays such close attention to how it spends their money.
5. Government Contracts: Is privatization cost effective?
The G4S contract is but one example of the Government’s profligacy with the Tax Payer’s money. It cannot have escaped your notice that it is their intention to hand over publicly funded criminal work to the private sector when and if “One Case One Fee” is introduced. Those bidding for this work will be the likes of Tescos, Eddie Stobbarts and many others. Not a lawyer in sight. They have only formed themselves in new alternative business structures because they can sniff a tasty profit. My sources tell me that successful bidder for public contracts manage to achieve such profits by stripping all the risk out of the contract and leaving the uncertain overheads to be fielded by the tax payer. I am sure this is true but I need examples of existing contracts which do exactly that. Whilst I work tirelessly on your behalf my powers of research are limited. I would welcome some digging from the troops on this one. Email me your results or alternative post them on the forum HERE.
6. Bad Character page count.
It has been reported to me that the CPS are refusing to included Bad Character material in the page count even when the prosecution seek to rely on it. Is this a wide spread practice? Let me know by email or on the forum HERE and I will take it up with the powers that be.
7. Sentencing Council: New Consultation
The Sentencing Council has issued a new consultation on sexual offences. We will be responding but if you wish to input you views the deadline is March 2013. You can view the consultation on line HERE. Let us know you views on the forum HERE.
8. In House Juniors prosecuting: How wide is the policy?
It is becoming increasingly apparent that the prosecution of cases by in house counsel is becoming the rule as opposed to the exception. This is not what we have been led to expect from the Director. Let me know your experiences HERE.
9. Chairman’s update shutting down for Christmas
My last email of the year will be on Friday 21st December. My up-dates will recommence on Friday 11th January, as I do not suppose even this Government can contrive to do much damage between 22nd December and the week of the 7th Jan.
We are expecting these to reach all members by 21st December.
CBA Bursary Fund:
The Chairman and Committee are pleased to announce that the Bursary Scheme, which was launched in September, has already proved beneficial to several of our members. The scheme is already being supported by the following Criminal Sets who have kindly agreed to pay £500.00 each year for the next three years in order to support the scheme.
- 2 Bedford Row
- 25 Bedford Row
- 9 Bedford Row
- 23 Essex St
- Garden Court
- 18 Red Lion Court
- 3 Raymond Buildings
- 9/12 Bell Yard
- 2 Hare Court
If you Chambers would like to contribute and assist with the Bursary Scheme, please contact the Treasurer, Ed Vickers at [email protected]
Remember you still have time to claim your CPD via our website and entering your log in details to gain access. If you are unable to log in please complete the application form and DDI HERE and return to me. Forms received after Wednesday 19th December are not guaranteed to be processed before the Christmas Break!
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
CBA NEWS FEED
Criminal Law Week – updates (issue 46)
Key updates from this week’s issue of Criminal Law Week:
Fraud – whether “representation” in the Fraud Act 2006, s.2 (fraud by false representation) includes an assurance as to future action: Government of the United Arab Emirates v. Allen, D.C. (CLW/12/46/6).
Consumer protection – the European Court of Justice gives guidance on interpretation of a directive, implemented by offence provisions in the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008: Purely Creative Ltd and others v. Office of Fair Trading (CLW/12/46/4).
Extradition – circumstances in which court will exercise discretion to extend time limits: Lumenica v. Albania; Demkowski v. Poland; Ratajczak v. Poland; Ragul v. Azerbaijan, D.C. (CLW/12/46/33).
Commonwealth (and wider) – a selection of recent cases from Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong, including reviews of the law on manslaughter and kidnapping (CLW/12/46/36-42).
Annual International Rule of Law lecture
18 December 2012 at 18:00 in Inner Temple Hall, London
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. Mark will speak on, “Global terrorism and the rule of law- a global problem from a Northern Ireland perspective”.
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 lecture is free to attend but registration is required. If you are interested in attending please register with the international team secretary, Juliette Hargreave (0207 611 1455)
The event is accredited with 1.5 CPD hours by the Bar Standard Board.
London Art Fair Private View Invitation
16 – 20 January 2013 | Business Design Centre London N1
London Art Fair is the UK’s premier Modern British and contemporary art fair.
Galleries from across the UK and overseas will present the work of over 1,000 artists covering the period from the early 20th century to the present day. You will see museum quality British art presented alongside exceptional contemporary work from leading figures and emerging talent.
The Fair provides a uniquely welcoming atmosphere in a spectacular venue in the heart of Islington, attracting visitors with a genuine passion for art; from experienced collectors to those buying their first original work.
PATRICK HERON 1920-1999
Three Blues in Red 1962 Oil on Canvas
183 x 152cm Courtesy of Agnew’s Gallery
Girl on Bike 1986 Photographic Print
30” x 40” Courtesy of Crane Kalman Brighton
ADRIAN HEATH 1920-1992
Curved Forms – Yellow & Black 1952 Oil on Canvas
91.5 x 61 cm Courtesy of Jonathan Clark
London Art Fair would like to invite the Members of The Criminal Bar Association to our Private View on Wednesday, 16 January 2013, from 6pm – 9pm.
This is an exclusive invitation-only evening reception and it’s a perfect place to catch-up with clients and friends in the New Year and enjoy a complimentary glass of wine in the informal and welcoming atmosphere of Private View.
To receive your complimentary Private View invitation, simply visit http://www.londonartfair.co.uk/criminalbar before 07 January 2013.
To purchase advance tickets for any other day please visit www.londonartfair.co.uk/criminalbartickets
For more information please see www.londonartfair.co.uk
Suggestibility in Legal Contexts – and how to avoid it
Date: Thursday, 21 March 2013 (09:30 to 16:30)
Venue: London South Bank University
This is a one-day training session for lawyers, police, expert witnesses, social workers, and other interested parties.
Join us to learn more about the theory, research and forensic implications related to “suggestibility” in legal contexts. Topics covered include “immediate” versus “delayed” suggestibility, the relationship between suggestibility and vulnerability factors, as well as witness interview techniques.
- Fiona Gabbert is a Reader in Psychology at Goldsmiths University of London. She is an expert in the area of social influences on memory, and has published widely on this topic. Another of Fiona’s interests is developing methods to obtain reliable evidence from eyewitnesses. She received an Academic Excellence Award for ‘Outstanding Achievements in the Area of Investigative Interviewing’ in 2011.
- David La Rooy is a Reader in Psychology at the University of Abertay Dundee, UK. He is also a Scottish Institute for Policing Research Lecturer and his research focuses on issues surrounding the forensic interviewing of children. He teaches evidence-based investigative-interviewing and oversees the university’s degree course in Forensic Psychobiology
- Anne Ridley is a Principal Lecturer in Psychology at London South Bank University, UK, with particular interest in individual differences in witness suggestibility as well as strategies for supporting vulnerable witnesses in the legal system. In 2008 she was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship by the Higher Education Academy. Anne teaches on the university’s MSc in Investigative Forensic Psychology.
To book – visit http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/event/4882274013
Evening lecture – at 5.00 pm there will be an evening lecture “Illusions of Memory, Illusions of Justice?” by Elizabeth F. Loftus, Distinguished Professor, University of California. Loftus’s groundbreaking research has transformed our understanding of suggestibility and false memories. Attendees are invited to stay on for this event with our compliments. When you book a place at the training day, please indicate whether you will join us for the talk as this event will be ticketed and we anticipate a waiting list.
CRIMINALS OR VICTIMS? A Necessary Guide to the Non-Criminalisation of Victims of Human Trafficking
- Peter Carter QC
18 Red Lion Court
- Parosha Chandran
1 Pump Court
- Pam Bowen
Head of Trafficking Policy, CPS
An expert seminar aiming to bridge gaps in knowledge concerning the criminalisation of victims of trafficking.
Principally for Judges, Barristers and Students with an interest in criminal law and public law, the seminar seeks to raise awareness of how to identify possible victims of trafficking and how to protect the legal rights of such persons (further details below).
Monday 4th February 2013
Gray’s Inn Hall
6.15pm – 8.15pm
Seminar followed by a drinks reception
(2 CPD for barristers & solicitors / 1 QS for Gray’s Inn students)
Pre-registration and payment required – form attached
£15 for Judges, Barristers and Solicitors
£10 for new practitioners up to 3 years Call
£10 for pupils and students
For further information please call 020 7458 7900 or email [email protected]
American Bar Association (ABA) Section of International Law
7 February 2013 at Southern Methodist University (SMU), Dallas, Texas
SMU Dedman School of Law and the ABA Section of International Law are co-hosting a day-long symposium, entitled “The Arab Spring: Doing Business and the Rule of Law”. The event will include panel discussions on topics such as judicial independence and the rule of law in the Middle East and North Africa, energy matters and dispute resolution. For further information and registration, please click here.
Commonwealth Law Conference 2013
14 – 18 April 2012, Cape Town, South Africa
Registration for the 18th Commonwealth Law Conference to be held in Cape Town is now open. For further information regarding the event and registration, please click here.
The Bar Council will have a presence at this event and it would be helpful for us to known if you are attending; please email Chika Muorah at [email protected]
ABA Section of International Law Spring Meeting
23 – 27 April 2013, Hyatt Regency, Washington DC
The next International’s Spring Meeting is an excellent opportunity for barristers to meet international practitioners from other jurisdictions. There will be a keynote address by US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. The Bar Council is a non-financial sponsor and our members will benefit from the ABA members’ rate. For further information, please click here.
Other business development news and opportunities:
The Bar Council’s international professional and legal development grant programme
The Bar Council is now accepting applications from SBAs and Circuits that would like to participate in the 2013 international professional and legal development grant programme. The grant scheme is designed to encourage junior barristers to gain an international perspective on legal issues and help them thrive in an increasingly globalised legal market. The programme encourages young barristers to participate in international events which contribute to their professional and practice development by covering two thirds of the total costs associated with attendance at the chosen event. The costs are shared equally between the applicant, his or her SBA and the Bar Council Scholarships Trust.
SBAs and Circuits that are interested in the scheme are encouraged to contact Natalie Darby, Senior International Projects Officer at [email protected] ahead of the deadline of 7 December 2012.
Bar Council new training scheme for Korean lawyers; opportunity for chambers to host lawyers in 2013
The International Committee is seeking chambers to host Korean lawyers from 6 May to 17 May 2013. Interested chambers must be in the commercial field (in the broader sense), have an international element to their practice, and should be able to offer one or two mentors to guide the Korean lawyer through their placement. We are particularly interested in received applications from chambers that have strong arbitration and litigation practices. Placements are similar in substance to a mini-pupillage.
This is an excellent opportunity for the host chambers to gain a unique insight into the Korean legal market and develop useful business contacts. If interested, please email Natalie Darby at [email protected] by 17:00 on 7 January 2013.
UKTI online service for small business
The UKTI have launched a free online service to provide small and medium-sized enterprises with information, advice and guidance on exporting overseas. For more information, please clickhere.View more news