The law’s broken. Here’s how to fix it.

As has been widely reported, in light of Justice Secretary Dominic Raab’s refusal to implement the urgent recommendations of the government-commissioned Independent Review of Criminal Legal Aid, criminal barristers have voted in record numbers in favour of an unprecedented indefinite walkout. Barristers defending in legally aided criminal cases will no longer be attending Crown Courts,…

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The Criminal Bar on strike – 9 things you need to know

Today, hundreds of criminal barristers across the country will not be going into court. Images of us dressed in our traditional absurd courtroom dress and standing outside the country’s most famous court buildings will be plastered across the papers and piped into the nation’s tellyboxes. There has already been – and no doubt will continue…

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Nothing But The Truth: A publication day post

Today marks publication of Nothing But The Truth, my third foray into the world of publishing. It’s a different type of book to what has come before; less angry, more reflective and, hopefully, thought-provoking in its own meandering way. The book charts my own journey to the criminal Bar, and in particular the fairly radical…

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Guest post: You Can Tweet If You Want To (So Long As You’re Polite About It): The Current State of Regulatory Oversight Over Social Media

I am pleased to host this guest post by Vanessa Reid, a barrister at Mountford Chambers specialising in criminal and regulatory law. ********************************************************************** A controversial barrister’s successful appeal of a £500 fine imposed for a tweet found to have the potential to promote hostility towards Muslims helps clarify the extent of free speech protections for…

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Why are criminal barristers taking part in an “unnecessary and irresponsible strike”?

According to Justice Secretary Dominic Raab, today I, along with thousands of my fellow criminal barristers, am taking part in an “unnecessary and irresponsible strike” which will “cause delays for victims and the wider public”. This comes as something of a surprise to me. It’s an odd sort of “strike”, given that we will, today…

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Why on earth would the Metropolitan Police ask Sue Gray to redact key parts of her independent report?

This has been the question reverberating around Twitter all day. It’s the first question I asked myself when I saw the story, and was a question that appeared several hundred times in my mentions from people understandably confused by the Met’s curious statement, released this morning: “For the events the Met is investigating, we asked…

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A thought experiment on criminal damage

Following the ongoing fallout from the trial of the Colston Four, and amid much confusion caused by the way in which the complicated issues have been presented by commentators and politicians, it may help to say a little more about criminal damage. I would like to take a hypothetical situation, wholly unrelated to the Colston…

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Do the verdicts in the trial of the Colston 4 signal something wrong with our jury system? 10 things you should know

1. What happened in this case? On 7 June 2020, in the course of a Black Lives Matter protest in Bristol, a monument of 17th-century slave trader Edward Colston was pulled down and thrown into the harbourside. Consequently, four of those involved, Milo Ponsford, Sage Willoughby, Rhian Graham and Jake Skuse were charged with criminal damage….

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