A leading chambers has warned the government that remaining goodwill from barristers is running at ‘dangerously low levels’.HM Courts and Tribunals Service was planning to test late night courts this month in an effort to understand how to make the system more flexible for all users. However the pilot scheme is currently on hold pending the general election.The pilot, in six courts over six months, will rely on the assistance of lawyers who have already been subject to public funding cuts and a flood of civil justice reforms in recent weeks.In a statement released this month by Garden Court North Chambers, the Manchester set condemns the idea and warns that ministers should no longer rely on lawyers to toe the line.‘The MoJ and HMCTS need to understand that the remaining goodwill of the bar on which the entire court service depends is running at dangerously low levels,’ the statement says. ‘Morale has never been lower at the publicly funded bar after years of cuts to fees together with rising expenditure, for example on electronic equipment as the courts have gone digital.‘Barristers in Garden Court North Chambers are in no mood to co-operate with this scheme and we urge the MoJ and HMCTS to withdraw this pilot before it collapses in chaos.’The chambers sets out a host of reasons for opposing late-night sittings, including the knock-on effect for preparing the next day’s cases, the impact on the family lives of barristers and the disproportionate effect on parents who take on the bulk of childcare in their families.The Criminal Law Solicitors’ Association has already questioned how the late-night pilot was conceived and why defence practitioners were absent from discussions.The Law Society warned that any proposal would require robust evaluation to assess the impact, while the Bar Council claimed that extended hours would be ‘almost impossible’ for parents with childcare responsibilities.Under the scheme, Crown courts at Newcastle and Blackfriars will be open until 6pm, civil courts in Brentford and Manchester until 7pm and magistrates’ courts in Sheffield and Highbury, London, until 8.30pm.A spokesperson for HM Courts and Tribunals Service has said: ’We are exploring flexible operating hours in six pilot courts to test how we can improve access to justice for everyone by making the service more convenient for working people. These pilots will help us understand how flexible hours affect all court users and will be fully evaluated before any decision is taken on rollout.’
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInOfficers in Gretna want to trace the following described man after he was seen with what appears to have been an air pistol in the Sarkfoot Road area of the town on Tuesday 13 February 2018. About 5.55pm the man was seen cycling from the cycle path coming from Sarkfoot Farm onto Sarkfoot Road with what appears to have been an air pistol in his hand. Witnesses speak to the man intimating that he had been shooting rabbits with the gun. At one point he was seen waving the gun about in what has been described as a reckless manner.Constable Callum Ruddick said “The man we want to speak to about this incident is described as being a Gretna man, and had a Gretna accent. He is described as being about 5’5″ tall, slim build, in his late 50s, had stubble on his face and was wearing a black beanie hat, dark jacket and dark jeans. The bike he was on was a silver coloured one, described as being a classic style road bike. Anyone who can help us identify this man is asked to call us on the 101 number quoting reference number PDG 0032500218. Or, if the man himself wishes to come forward to clear the matter up we would be only too happy to speak to him”
MELBOURNE, (Reuters) – The IAAF will elect its first female vice-president at its congress in September as part of minimum gender targets to bring parity to athletics governance, the global governing body said yesterday. The IAAF said it would also add an extra woman to its executive council after elections at the congress in Doha before the World Championships. The congress is currently comprised of 27 members, including six women, according to its minimum quota.“On International Women’s Day, I’m absolutely delighted to reinforce our commitment to gender balance in the governance structures of our sport,” IAAF President Sebastian Coe said in a media release.The IAAF said that two of its four vice president positions would be filled by women in 2027, while the council overall would have 10 female members by 2023 and parity by 2027.