Weekly Round Up 21.12.12
CBA Chairman’s Update: Michael Turner QC
- QASA: A Recipe for disaster
- Guidance on prosecutions: Joint Enterprise/Media
- Common Sergeant Appointment
- Chambers Membership Direct
1. QASA: A Recipe For Disaster
Delay in Implementation
The only good news is that implementation will be delayed. The new timetable will not be announced until end of January.
Timing of Announcement
The details of the scheme appeared on the BSB website after close of business yesterday. They were known and announced to GMC on Monday, but we were embargoed from making any announcement until a formal release had been made. Some people present asked for a delay in the announcement to enable Mike Todd QC and Maura McGowan QC to speak to the Lord Chief Justice and Thomas LJ. This was done at 11 am on Tuesday and immediately it was reported back that neither felt they had the power or the place to bring about changes in the scheme however contrary the scheme was to the public interest. Thereafter there has been silence form the BSB until late yesterday. You are a Regulator, you have a new scheme for the regulation of a profession and you choose to announce the details of it on the evening of Thursday 20th December, five days before Christmas with the holiday beginning at noon the following day. A bottle of Lambrini to any one savvy enough to work out why, that is providing you get the answer before reading on. If you only work it out having seen what the scheme contains, it’s a half a bottle of Baby Sham. If you do not work it out at all, you have past the most important competency for application to the Legal Services Board.
The Scheme Details: The Announcement in Full
Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (QASA), an update on the details
Following detailed consideration and analysis of the responses to the fourth consultation, the Joint Advocacy Group (JAG), which comprises representatives of the Bar Standards Board, the Solicitors Regulation Authority and ILEX Professional Standards, can confirm that the core components of the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (QASA) are now agreed in principle. However, some technical details are still being discussed by JAG members.
There were 348 responses in total to the fourth consultation. 39 came from representative groups, 34 from individual solicitors, 269 from individual barristers and chambers, although 200 of these were short endorsements of either the Criminal Bar Association (CBA) or a circuit response. There were two responses from equality groups and four other responses. A summary and analysis of the responses will be published in the New Year.
It was clear following analysis of these responses that some adjustments to the Scheme need to be considered. As previously announced, this means that the Scheme will not begin in the New Year and a more detailed timetable for implementation will be available by the end of January.
As there is considerable interest in the Scheme, the JAG members have decided to issue further details now.
What is staying the same as previously stated?
The core aspects of the scheme have not changed and remain as outlined in the consultation. These include:
What is changing?
Proportionality and operational feasibility
Further issues for consideration
In the light of the consultation responses, JAG agrees that the following aspects of the Scheme require further consideration. These include:
Detailed work on these adjustments will now proceed in January. JAG is hopeful that operational agreement on these aspects will be reached reasonably quickly. Details will be released in due course.
The JAG members continue to work together to refine the detail of the Scheme and finalise a revised implementation timetable. No further details will be available until the end of January 2013.
Putting it in Simply Terms
The CBA Lines in the Sand for Preserving the Public Interest: A Reminder
- Judicial Assessment for all advocates
- A unified code of conduct for all advocates.
- No so called plea only advocates
- Silks to be excluded.
- Final say in determing the grade of cse to be left with the court.
How the Scheme Measures Up to Our Bottom Lines
- Assessment centre route to QASA qualification permitted at Level 2.
- A unified code for all advocates to be considered not promised.
- “Plea only advocates” now to be tagged “non-trial advocates” permitted and to the subject of review over a two year period. They can qualify via an assessment centre at Level 2 and then act up to Level 3. If they wish to act up to Level 4, they must qualify at Level 3 via judicial evaluation, which requires two judicial competencies in a two year period.
- Silks to be included in the scheme at Grade 4 receiving the grade Level 4 QC.
- The judiciary having the final say in the grading of a case to be considered not promised.
The CBA re-action and the attitude of others
The CBA together with all Circuit Leaders and the Bar Council take the view that the scheme as drafted is not in the public interest. Indeed the BSB themselves take the view that the scheme is not in the public interest if plea only advocates are included. Some at GMC, inspite agreeing that the scheme was not in the public interest, suggested that strong leadership should advise their membership to sign up to the scheme for fear of something worse. In my view it is precisely that attitude that has taken us to the edge of the precipice in the first place.
What is to be Done?
The Bar Council will support any member who refuses to sign up the scheme. However, they can not and will not support any member who continues to practice without a QASA grade as they will be committing a crime and seeking to operate in breach of the code of conduct. In consequence, anyone not signing up forgoes their right to practice. Are we going to allow the public to be subjected to a scheme that in reality has nothing to do with preserving quality but everything to do with paving the way for OCOF and wiping out the distinction between leading juniors and silks? The answer to that question very much lies in your hands. I will not force my troops into battle if they do not have the stomach for it. However, there comes a point, does there not when an ignorant public need our protection from those who seek to steal a cornerstone of our democracy from them. Let me know you views in the forum HERE
2. Guidance on prosecutions: Joint Enterprise/Media
New guidance has been issues from the Directors office on prosecuting in case of joint enterprise and media cases. For the latest guidelines HERE
3. Common Sergeant Appointment
I have been asked to publish the competition for the appointment of Common Sergeant. I am happy to do so HERE.
4. Chambers Membership Direct
There has been fantastic co-operation from chambers with this scheme. It will triple the CBA membership, give us a proper fighting fund and allow us to comply with strictures should industrial action be required. Thank you.
Despite the depressing news I have imparted I wish you all a very happy and well deserved Christmas break.
Chairmans Report – December 2012
You can read it HERE
CBA/Bar Council Joint Response to the Crown Court means testing consultation joint response
You can read it HERE
These were mailed out, week commencing 17th December – each diary will arrive over the next 10 days.
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.
Those of you who are already using the site are reminded that when you make your purchase the billing address should match the address where your credit/debit card is registered, otherwise the payment will fail.
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
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.
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