Skip to main content

Weekly Round Up – 23.02.12

CBA News:

Chairman’s Update:

I write to you a day early this week, because the new CBA website goes live today. Please have a look. We all owe our excellent Administrator Aaron Dolan and outgoing Secretary Nathaniel Rudolf a huge debt for working tirelessly over many months, leading to this vast improvement in the online service which we can now provide.

Most importantly, the CBA Survey is launched simultaneously with the website. The link to the Survey is HERE. Please complete it online within the next three weeks, i.e. by Friday 16th March. This is your long-awaited chance to express your view on many of the key issues which trouble criminal barristers throughout the country. I hope the issues are clearly set out, and that the Survey gives you space to say what you feel. If you are not sure about the meaning of any of the topics in the Survey (ie what is QASA? or what is OCOF?), please make contact with any member of the CBA Committee for assistance before you complete the Survey. That said, I hope that my weekly emails during the past six months mean that you are up to speed on all of the big issues. You will find Chairmans Reports and other materials from me elsewhere on the website.

The Survey is not only the most important issue for this message; it will set the tone and agenda for the remainder of my time as Chairman. It is therefore vital that every single member of the CBA completes the Survey, and on time.

I have been made aware of the mood on all of the Circuits I have visited this year. To that end, I received yesterday a letter from the bar in Manchester. It is important that you know about it straight away, so I attach it for you to read HERE. The DPP is to attend the Bar Council meeting in London on Saturday 3rd March. This is not a public meeting, but is for all elected members of the Council. It will provide an opportunity for me, and others, to press the DPP on the impending CPS new fee regime. I can assure you that the letter from Manchester will feature heavily.  Perhaps more on this next Friday.

I attended the inaugural Stephen Lawrence Criminal Justice Lecture on Monday, given by Lord Ian Blair with co-speakers Baroness Patricia Scotland and Daily Mail Editor Paul Dacre. I have written before about the inspirational Mrs Doreen Lawrence. The CBA is behind her all the way in the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust new initiative to promote the ‘forgotten middle’ urban youngsters into mainstream professions including the law. The criminal Bar must be genuinely representative of the society we serve. It lies with us to ensure that there is a criminal Bar for talented students to join in the future.

Enjoy the website, and please complete the Survey as soon as you can. This is my last communication during Nathaniel’s tenure as Secretary. He has been superb.

Website Launch:      

Several months ago the Committee commissioned an independent design company for the re-construction, layout and overall design of the current website.  The New Website launched today and has already received some very positive feedback.  You will notice that we have re-branded the Logo (as displayed in this round up) made the navigation user friendly and given the whole site a much needed structured feel. 

The majority of the site is Now only accessible by members of the Criminal Bar Association.  In order to log in for the first time you will need to have your individual unique CBA reference, those of you who have completed and returned your Direct Debit Mandate would have received this pin earlier this month.  If you haven’t then you will need to complete a form HERE and send back to me., upon receipt I can provide you with your reference by email.   

There are currently two areas of the site that cannot go live until certain provisions are in place, these areas are, Event Booking and Shop – both of which require us to have SAGE PAY installed and we are currently waiting on the Merchant Numbers before these can be opened.  Unfortunately this means that both the event booking page and the shop will be temporarily offline until 9th March 2012, 

Happy Browsing



Website Feature of the Week – follow the chairman on twitter!/TheCriminalBar


Legal Services Commission – guidance to barristers on fee claims

Barristers and clerks who undertake legal aid work will wish to be aware of the February issue of the LSC Bar Bulletin which gives advice on how to reduce the chance of fees being rejected or unnecessarily delayed.

The Bulletin includes advice on:

  • claiming for financial hardship;
  • civil payments on account;
  • Family Advocacy Scheme and VHCC claims;
  • crime travel expense claims and the Local Bar Rule;
  • acknowledging receipt of crime Advocates Graduated Fee Scheme claims;
  • the identity of the Instructed Advocate;
  • Pages of Prosecution Evidence, including paper evidence converted into electronic format;
  • Criminal VHCC claims.

Click here for the full bulletin (Pages 9-13 on Criminal)


CRIMINAL LAW WEEK – updates (Issue 10)

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

Cross-examination – circumstances in which a judge may permit departure from the fundamental principles that the defendant ought not to be ambushed and that the prosecution should present their entire case in one piece from the outset:  R. v. Grocott, C.A.

Keeping a disorderly house – the Court of Appeal describes the parameters of this ancient common-law offence:  R. v. Court and another.

Military offences – permissibility of charging conduct constituting an offence under ordinary criminal law as a military offence under the Army Act 1955, s.69 (conduct to prejudice of military discipline), and ingredients of this offence:  R. v. Armstrong, Ct-M.A.C.
Confiscation order – the Supreme Court rules on whether a defendant’s after-acquired assets can be taken into account under section 16 of the Drug Trafficking Act 1994 when determining whether to increase the amount to be recovered under a confiscation order:  Re Peacock.


CBA Events for your Diary:

Date: Saturday 21st April 2012
Title: The CBA Spring Conference, Northumbria University, Newcastle

Date: Friday 18th May 2012
Title: CBA Annual Dinner, Middle Temple Hall, Middle Temple, London


Other News:

Launch of the European Criminal Justice Observatory (ECJO) Website

A website devoted to training and networking on European criminal law for legal practitioners and others interested. For further information click here.


Other Events:

The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London, is pleased to announce the following free events:

Date: Thursday 22 March 2012, 2pm to 5.30m
Title: Serving Time in a Foreign Land: The Framework Decision on the Mutual Recognition of Custodial Sentences

Venue: Institute of Advanced Legal Studies 17 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DR. 
To register email:  [email protected].  Admission Free, All Welcome. 
(Organised in association with the European Criminal Law Association (UK).)


Middle Temple Member “Women’s Forum”

Middle Temple Women’s Forum aims to inspire and support female members of the Inn throughout the course of their careers.

You are warmly welcome to join us for our inaugural event from 6.00 to 8.00 pm on Tuesday, 6 March 2012, at which our keynote speaker will be The Rt Hon Lady Justice Hallett. Drinks will be served in an informal setting where you will have a chance to meet other Middle Templars and the members of our Women’s Forum Steering Group. Please do feel free

to bring a guest – male or female, practitioner, judge, head of chambers, clerk or other colleague.

The event is free, but registration is essential. To confirm your attendance, please contact Maria Aristidou at [email protected] or ring on 020 7427 4816 with details of your name, profession, place of work, and if you are a MT member. Please provide the same details for your guest.



A criminologist at Cambridge University is looking for volunteers to participate in a study seeking to examine lawyers’ experiences of working with clients with mental disorders. Participants would discuss their experiences with the researcher over the course of an hour’s interview taking place between the 19th of February and the 10th of March this year. This is an opportunity to communicate your views on the realities of working with clients with mental disorders: research of this kind is very rarely attempted and is important in ensuring that debates about changing law and procedure are informed by the people who have to deal with law and procedure every day.

The researcher would like to hear from barristers and solicitors who have either appeared in Crown Court cases in which the making of Hospital Orders was actively considered, or who have appeared before Mental Health Review Tribunals seeking the discharge of such orders. The researcher hopes to interview practitioners of varying experience – from those who specialise in this work to those who deal with one or two cases a year – and varying seniority – from trainees/pupils to senior practitioners. If you are interested in taking part in this research, or if you would like more information, please email [email protected] with your name, the type of tribunal before which you usually appear (Crown Court or MHRT), the number of years of post-qualification experience you have, and the dates on which you are free between 19.02.12 and 10.03.12.

Interviews can be conducted in Cambridge or central London. There is some flexibility over dates and times so please contact the researcher if you would like to participate and are available for interview at around this time. Participants’ on-going duties of confidentiality to clients would be respected, and only generalised information is sought. All participants who wish to receive a copy of the research findings will be sent a copy once the entirety of the study has been completed in July.


Invite for CBA members to Inquest Law conference

Wednesday 28 March 2012
Central London
A discount to all CBA Members is available
For further information on the Inquest Law conference click here


ECBA Spring Conference

Defence Rights in Europe
27 & 28 April 2012 –
For further information on the ECBA Spring Conference click here


The Health & Safety Lawyers Association

Manchester Event – 3 presentations – each approximately 30 minutes, Followed by drinks reception
DWF LLP, 1 Scott Place, 2 Hardman Street, Manchester M3 3AA
Tuesday 8th May 2012
For further information on the Health & Safety Lawyers Association click here


The 5th ICAC Symposium – Registration

Fighting Corruption in a Changing World
May 2012
Hong Kong
For further information on the 5th ICAC Symposium click here


Amicus Events

Assisting lawyers for justice on death row
US Death Penalty Training
Spring 2012 – London
Friday  16 (evening), Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 March 2012
Saturday 31 March and Sunday 1 April 2012
For further information on the Amicus events click here

View more news