Weekly Round Up 31.08.12
As everyone returns from their summer break, I am encouraged by the run of media coverage this week on the disastrous effect of government cuts to the justice system. From the senior judiciary, to the National Association of Probation Officers and County Court District Judges, all are loud and clear on the damage government proposals are having on courts and cases. To modify the boast of the Labour administration when it came to power in 1997, ‘things can only get worse’, with the current governments attitude to the criminal justice system. To those who have lodged their protests this week, I say keep it up. I have done all that I can during the past 2 years, now others must have a go.
And so farewell. My thankyous and goodbyes are in the new edition of CBQ. Just as I have tried to serve you whilst Chairman, I shall now do what I can for my own chambers as incoming Head of 18 Red Lion Court from next week. But first I am off for a handover meeting and a drink with Michael Turner and Nigel Lithman. I will give them my full support in their new roles. I hope you will do the same.
I finish with an unashamedly personal reflection. In this Paralympic week, we should all be inspired by the immense courage and determination of Martine Wright, severely injured in the 7/7 bombings, yet competing for GB in the sitting volleyball team. Having acted for the Met Police throughout the 7/7 Inquests last year, I am lost in admiration. Good luck to her and to all the Paralympians.
Thanks and best wishes
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.
The document for the Sussex area as sent by The List Officer at Chichester Crown Court can be found HERE
New offence of squatting in a residential building – commencing on the 1st September 2012:
Guidance on the offence has been published on the Justice website here. This is targeted at criminal justice agencies but the advice will be of interest to a wider audience, covering the following:
- elements of the offence – points to prove
- relationships to other offences
- support for homeless and vulnerable people
The offence, which comes into force on 1 September 2012, will be committed where a person is in a residential building as a trespasser, having entered as a trespasser, the person knows or ought to know that he or she is a trespasser and the person is living in the building or intends to live there for any period. The maximum penalty for the offence is 6 months’ imprisonment, a £5,000 fine or both.
The offence will protect owners and lawful occupiers of any type of residential building. This includes homeowners and lawful occupiers who might have been excluded from their homes by trespassers, but it will also protect landlords, second homeowners and local authorities who discover trespassers in any residential property that they own or control even if no one is living there at the time the trespassers occupy the building.
The offence will not apply to tenants who entered a residential building with the permission of the property owner, but later withhold rent or refuse to leave at the end of their tenancy. Such persons are not ‘squatters’ for the purposes of this offence. Landlords should continue to follow established eviction processes to regain possession of their properties in such circumstances.
The offence will not apply retrospectively. People who are known to have squatted in the past will not be liable to prosecution. The offence will only apply to people who are squatting in residential buildings on or after 1 September 2012. This includes trespassers who entered the building prior to commencement if they remain there on or after the 1 September.
The offence is found within Section 144 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 and will apply throughout England and Wales. The Act can be viewed on the UK Parliament website at the following link: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2012/10/section/144 .
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:
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 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 www.veredus.co.uk 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.
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.
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.View more news