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Weekly Round Up 17.08.12

CBA News:

Chairman’s Update:

With all of the senior politicians rushing off for post-Olympic holidays, this has been a quiet week.

We have received the latest Bar Bulletin from the LSC. You can read it via the link HERE. Progress continues to be made towards paying us on time for completed cases. But the LSC is not there yet. We must all remember that payment within 30 days is slow enough, yet that is not being achieved. I know that my successors will continue to press our case. You may also read the limitations on the Commissions access to the court Exhibit system with interest. Surely there should be no limitation, and less burden upon barristers to provide information which is already ‘in the system’?

I do not comment on current cases, but I was angered by the Sun newspapers extremely thinly-veiled criticism of legal aid expenditure in the tragic case of Tia Sharp. The inference is that this important case is not worth the “£900 a day” services of CBA Committee member Lord Alex Carlile. You and I know that this sum is just about the maximum fee that any silk can ‘earn’ under the AGFS, yet there is a huge difference between gross fee income and the actual profit after tax and professional expenses for any barrister. Moreover, isn’t it time people recognised that criminal cases will fail to attract ‘top barristers’ such as Alex; particularly when we compare the ‘relatively modest’ (to quote Mr Justice Vos) fees of £600 PER HOUR at which leaders’ rates have been capped in the High Court civil phone hacking litigation? This country will only realise what a superb service the independent criminal Bar provides, when it is too late…

Have a good weekend. Please note the request from Radio 4, detailed below.



Radio 4 Request:

A programme called The Report on Radio 4 is making a programme which will examine the state of the forensic science industry in the wake of the closure of the Forensic Science Service.

One area they are keen to explore is that of cases similar to Adam Scott, where a DNA mix-up by LGC (a private laboratory) meant that Scott spent three months behind bars before he was exonerated.

Do any members have cases on a similar theme? Where there is concern that DNA testing processes might lead to miscarriage of justice.

There is a rumour in the industry that there is another case involving LGC? Has anyone heard anything?

If any member can help please contact Ben Carter by using the following methods –

Email – [email protected] or [email protected]

Phone – 07792 763712

Twitter – @Doubting Ben


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 14th 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.


Bar Bulletin – Issue 3:

The latest issue of the LSC Bar Bulletin has now been published on the LSC website, available 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


CBA Events:

Joint Debate – CBA/LRC:

Thursday 20th September 2012

Large Pension Room, Grays Inn

Booking details to follow.


A Dinner in Honour of Hooper LJ and the Retiring Bailey Judges:

Friday 28th September 2012

Stationers Hall, London

Online booking HERE


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.


The Kalisher Essay Competition 2012:

 The Criminal Bar Association Of England & Wales & The Kalisher Scholarship Trust Present:

The Kalisher Essay Competition 2012

1st Prize – £5,000 2nd Prize – £2,000

“Is there an imbalance in the extradition arrangements between the UK and US? If so, how might the rights of UK citizens be better protected?”

Entry Conditions

  • Maximum word length is 2,000 words on above topic (exc. reasonable footnotes)
  • Prize is open to all pupils in criminal sets in England and Wales
  • Pupils must be sponsored by their chambers to enter at a cost of £100 per pupil with no limit on entries.
  • Cheques to be made out to the Kalisher Scholarship
  • Chambers must indicate an intention to compete for the prize and provide sponsorship by Friday 29th July
  • Essays (showing an alias) must be sent  electronically to the Secretary by 1600 Friday 6thAugust
  • Prizes will be awarded by this year’s speaker at the Kalisher Lecture in October

All enquiries regarding entry to be made to:

Max Hardy

Secretary to the Kalisher Scholarship

Email: [email protected]


Other News:     


Criminal Law Week – updates (issue 32)

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

Bad character – whether evidence of an incident alleged to have created the motive for an offence is admissible as evidence that “has to do with” the offence:  R. v. Sule, C.A. (CLW/12/32/1).

Compellability – whether an offence which does not have assault, injury or threat of injury as one of its ingredients is one in respect of which a spouse is compellable under section 80 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984:  B.A. v. R., C.A. (CLW/12/32/3).

Contempt – whether breach of a restraint order is a civil or criminal contempt:  O.B. v. Director of the Serious Fraud Office, C.A. (CLW/12/32/8).

Defence statement – circumstances in which it is permissible to give copies of defence statements to the jury in a multi-defendant case:  R. v. Sanghera and Takhar, C.A. (CLW/12/32/4).

Terrorism notification requirements – compatibility with the European Convention on Human Rights of Part 4 of the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008:  R. (Irfan) v. Secretary of State for the Home Department, D.C. (CLW/12/32/35).

Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 – various provisions brought into force on August 10 (safeguarding vulnerable groups), October 1 (immobilising vehicles), and November 1 (surveillance) and 25 (stalking):  S.I. 2012 No. 2075 (CLW/12/32/37).


Biometrics Commissioner

The Home Office is seeking to appoint a Commissioner for the Retention and Use of Biometric Material. This is a new and part time role, reporting to the Home Secretary, that will involve taking independent decisions on police requests to retain biometric data in the interests of national security. For further information please visit quoting reference number 13836, or call Richard Heeks on 020 7932 4258. Closing date for applications is 5pm on Friday 24th August 2012.


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.


Other Events:       

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]

Please visit the BAFS website  for more information


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.


AWB Dinner

A date for your diary – the Association of Women Barristers will be holding their annual dinner in Manchester on 25th October 2012, with Lady Hale as the keynote speaker.  Further details to follow.

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