Bar Soc Blog

‘Becoming a Barrister’

Come along to our second event of the year on Wednesday 26th October!

Warwick Bar Society will be holding a set of talks and workshops that cover all aspects of the route to becoming a barrister. From BPTC applications to getting a mini pupillage and even a talk from 43 Temple Row barrister Michael Trevelyan the event will give you an insight into the necessary steps.

This is an event open to all course disciplines and year groups, we can ensure it will be helpful at any level!
Come along on next week from 15:15-17:00 in OC1.08 to find out more!

Advertisements

Welcome to Warwick Bar Society from your 2016/17 executive committee!

Introducing our new team for 2016/17:

President: Alice Newman

Vice President: Nathan Baylis

Publicity Officer: Karanvir Sagoo

Events Officers: Demi Joannides & Anisha Shah

First and foremost, thank you to everyone who attended our meet and greet on Wednesday! It was incredible to see so many of you turn up with such passion for the Bar.

This blog will be used to keep you in the loop about upcoming events, as well as any other information relevant to the Bar!

This website, in general, will be a platform for our new members to gain as much knowledge as possible about becoming a barrister, so watch this space for more news!

BPP Law School- From Research to Reality Event

Hi everyone!
This post will be about the hints, tips and tricks passed down by BPP Law School from their event, ‘From Research to Reality’ and how you can help yourself, as an aspiring barrister, decide on what areas you might like to practise in, to what type of chambers you want to belong to, and much more.

Quote of the night- “The Bar is an extraordinary place”

(Vincenzo Esposito, barrister and BPTC tutor at BPP Law school, Birmingham)
5 Steps to Success
BPP outlined the 5 steps you can take to gain a better understanding of yourself and where you need to push yourself in the future as a BPTC law student and advocate. The five steps are as follows:
  1. Self evaluation– Think about yourself, what you are like as a person. Are you confident at public speaking? Are you a good negotiator or mediator? Perhaps you like to take more of a back seat, analyse and draft documents. Think about your strengths and weaknesses, whether you are more emotional or more analytical and practical in dealing with problems. This will help you to identify particular areas of law that might suit you best as a barrister.
  2. Decide on your criteria– The colleagues you want to work with, the training you need, what work/life balance you want, how much responsibility you wish to take on and when, the type of clients you want to deal with, whether your future employer can subsidize your training etc This will help you to identify what kind of barrister you want to be and where you want to work in the future, to really help you focus your research in future employers/chambers.
  3. Match your criteria to an employer– There are a number of ways for you to find out about chamber sets that suit the priorities and criteria you have already thought about. Some suggestions are looking at: Chamber Student, Legal 500, LawCareers.net, attend employment fairs, attend employer panel sessions, workshops etc and attend insight days, both for chambers and Inns of Court. You can also look on individual chamber websites to get a feel for the set, and maybe apply for a mini-pupillage in one or two that interest you.
  4. Complete your skills analysis– Think about your working strengths and weaknesses. Some things to consider are: problem solving, adaptability and flexibility, leadership, team work, business understanding, IT and numeracy, communication etc Think about how strong or weak you are in these areas, and this will help to refine further in your head what areas of law you might be best at, and, depending on this result, find chambers that offer you the best potential in those practise areas.
  5. Mind the gap!– Thinking on these skills, think about how you might improve in some areas. Barristers need to be able to market themselves, so having some ideas on how to build up your practise is essential to a long and successful career at the Bar.
Great, you’ve now put yourself through some existential crisis and are thinking to yourself, ‘Well, what now?’ Well below we have included some general tips on how you can gain more information about the Bar, and what steps to take as a University student.
Tips for Picking Areas of Practise
  • Think about your skills, what you like to do, and how these might translate to an area of law
  • Think about what you like to study, your interests, the issues you are passionate about
  • Think about the nature of that area of law; is it organic and constantly changing, is it volatile, is there a demand for it, are there chambers that are experts in that area, is it publicly funded or privately so
  • Get work experience; pick an area and run with it. Shadow a barrister in the area, shadow a solicitor in that area, ask to visit sets of chambers. See that law being used in practise!
  • Look at employer websites, the skills they expect of you and trainee profiles to find out what they did to succeed
Tips for Finding Inns of Court (An Inn is for Life, not just for Christmas)
Every barrister needs to join an Inns of Court, and there are 4 altogether; Inner Temple, Gray’s, Lincoln’s and Middle Temple. All of them are unique, all of them gravitate towards different areas of law, and each of them require you to under go training and qualifying dinners post graduation. You can join them as early as your first year, but you must join them before you commence your BPTC. So here are some tips for considering which one to join:
  • Look at the areas their members tend to practise in
  • Look at their opportunities to fund you
  • Look at their training/educational opportunities
  • Take tours of them, get a feel for them
  • The social events they put on (which has the best food? The best alcohol selection?)
Tips for Finding a BPTC Provider
Sorry to say, but the hard work doesn’t end when your higher education studies do. The BPTC is the training course for all barristers, or the GDL if you are converting your degree (God speed to you) So here are some tips when thinking about which provider to choose:
  • The employment rate post qualification
  • Where their centers are located; are you Birmingham born and bred, or prefer the bright lights of London?
  • What opportunities do they offer if you don’t attain pupillage immediately?
  • Take tours of their facilities
  • Do they have a lot of student/tutor contact
What can you do right now?
  1. Join an Inn- take the tours, research them
  2. Get minis/work experience in areas of interest
  3. Observe court sessions
  4. Get non-legal work experience
  5. Volunteer
  6. Join societies (yes, they like people who have lives)
  7. Compete in law competitions
How you go about these steps is completely up to you, and at what stage you do them is completely up to you. This is just a general guide on what you can do to help yourself, and to start planning what you might like to do post graduation. The key is to get as much insight and experience as possible, and that does require you to put yourself out there. Find your own personal brand and market yourself!

 

 

 

 

Inner Temple Debating IV Competition

Hi everyone,

The mooting season is well and truly underway at Warwick, and to add to all of the opportunities, Inner Temple are running a Debating Competition on the 22nd and 23rd January 2016.

Key Information

  • Spread over the Friday and Saturday with the competition, drinks reception and 3 course dinner, with 2 socials in London
  • Competition consists of 4 rounds of 5 minute speeches
  • Prizes are up for grabs including; Best team, best speaker, best novice team, best novice speaker, best ESL team, best ESL speaker
  • Winning team will be awarded the silver Harrison Plate, named after the later Inn educator and trainer, Master Peter Harrison
  • This is TEAM event with each time having to pay £65 for entry, which will also cover the cost of the dinner
  • Accommodation can be provided, and can be applied for on the team registration form below

Additional Information

  • Dress code for in rounds is suits
  • Out of rounds dress codes (semi final, final and novice final) is back tie preferred, or “dress fancy”

Registration

Please follow the link to the team registration and accommodation application form:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1SGK3U0xy9VbdfDa_MP6D4EbYlVI98i_S4nW-W3OM03A/viewform?c=0&w=1

The deadline to register is the 15TH JANUARY 2016

 

To keep up to date with their event, follow it on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/events/702486603185522/

 

Any competitions of this nature on your CV is bound to impress at interviews, so this is an opportunity very much worth considering!

 

 

 

 

 

Barrister Insight Days

As well as the opportunities we provide here at Warwick Bar Society, it is always worth getting involved in external events, and the latest ones to attend are being provided by the University of Law!

They are offering a number of Barrister Insight Days, which will inform you of the BPTC and how to excel beyond your training. The days on offer are:

  • Birmingham- 18th November
  • London Bloomsbury- 25th November

The days will include:

  • Cross-examination: have-a-go at one of the core components of the BPTC and see how you fare ‘on your feet’
  • Find out about the BPTC: speak to tutors and ex-students about the course itself and our unique Selection Process which guarantees you’ll be studying alongside only the best and the brightest students 
  • Attend a CV and mini-pupillages workshop: make sure your CV ‘Bar-ready’ and discover some of the secrets behind crafting the perfect mini-pupillage application
  •  Meet barristers and pupils based in the region: an opportunity to ask all of your questions and gain an insight into what life at the Bar is really like.

 To book your place for an insight day at any of the 3 listed ULaw centres visit http://cc.law.ac.uk/personal/events/book

Attending external events is another way of proving your commitment to the Bar, and can only further your skills, advance your knowledge about the profession, and make your CV glow at interviews. These are definitely worth getting involved with!

 

The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple Opportunities

Hello everyone!

Everyone here at Warwick Bar Society hopes that you have settled into university life, be you a new student or returning to your studies.

As the academic year continues, the Inns of Court will continue to offer aspiring barristers very exciting opportunities, and they are events that definitely should not be missed! Here are some key events that The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple are very generously offering this year:

Inner Temple Logo

The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple

Insight Evenings

Throughout the year students will have an opportunity to attend their insight evenings, comprising of of panel discussions with practitioners from within the Inn, followed by opportunities to network. These will be taking place at a number of different venues, all of which have been listed below.

London

Venue: The Inner Temple, EC4Y 7HL

Time: 18:00 to 21:00

Book for free here

http://hsit.live.thankqcrm.co.uk/public/event/eventBooking.aspx?id=EVT00076

Oxford

Venue: Examination Schools, 75 High St, 0X1 4BG

Time: 18:30 – 21:00

Book for free here

http://hsit.live.thankqcrm.co.uk/public/event/eventBooking.aspx?id=EVT00080

Bristol

Venue: The Royal West of England Academy, Queen Road, BS8 1PX

Time: 16:30 to 21:00

Book for free here

http://hsit.live.thankqcrm.co.uk/public/event/eventBooking.aspx?id=EVT00081

Cambridge

Venue: Peterhouse College, Trumpington Street, CB2 1RD

Time: 18:30 to 21:00

Book for free here

http://hsit.live.thankqcrm.co.uk/public/event/eventBooking.aspx?id=EVT00079


Law Fairs

During the year, students can attend Law fairs which allow you to meet members and practitioners from the Inns of Court, and attain further information about the Bar. The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple will have representatives at the following fairs during the year:

  • University of Liverpool, 14 October 2015, 10:30 to 15:30
  • City University, London, 21 October 2015, 10:00 to 16:30
  • University of York, 21 October 2015, 12:00 to 15:00
  • University of Northumbria, 03 November 2015, 11:00 to 15:00
  • University of Brighton and University of Sussex, 04 November 2015, 11:00 to 15:00
  • University of Leeds, 04 November 2015, 11:00 to 15:00
  • University of Reading, 11 November 2015, 14:00 to 16:00
  • University of Manchester, 17 November 2015, 12:30 to 16:00
  • University of Exeter, 18 November 2015, 13:00 to 16:00
  • University of Sheffield, 18 November 2015, 12:30 to 15:30
  • University of Southampton, 19 November 2015, 18:00

Pegasus Access and Support Scheme

This programme provides support to finalists and penultimate year students apply for mini-pupillages, which are a crucial step in making during your path to the Bar. Further information about the programme can be found on their website. Just follow this link: http://pegasus.me/


Tours

This allows students to explore the Inn and gain further insight into the Bar and find out how you can gain support during your journey to becoming a barrister. Information about these can be found on their website.


Should you choose to go to one or more of these opportunities, do get in touch with us at Bar Soc, we would love to here about your experiences!

Have a fantastic weekend everyone,

Bar Soc Love x

A Brand New Year and an Exciting Opportunity for Finalists

Hello to all Bar Soc members and new visitors! A new academic year is nearly upon us and along with it, a new Bar Soc Executive Team that will see to all of your aspiring barrister needs. You can find us and all of our details under the ‘Executive Committee’ heading, and you will be able to meet us and introduce yourselves at the Fresher’s Societies Fair alongside Warwick Law Society.

Now, on to the exciting opportunity being kindly offered by the Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn.

Gray's Inn Logo

University Advocacy Day

Gray’s Inn

Saturday 24th October, 11am-7pm

Law finalists are being offered the opportunity to gain insight into what it takes to be a good advocate, to foster these skills, and network with barristers and judicial members of the Inn who practise and sit in different areas of law, at many different levels. In total, the day will include the following:

  • Meeting and listening to barristers who will offer their insight into the key elements of good advocacy
  • Participate in and facilitate case analysis
  • With guidance from accredited advocacy trainers, perform some advocacy yourself

Who will be involved?

A range of leading practitioners and judges such as:

  • Mukul Chawla QC, Head of Chambers at 9-12 Bell Yard
  • Mark Ellison QC, Head of Chambers at QEB Hollis Whiteman
  • Marion Smith QC, of 39 Essex Street
  • Her Honour Judge Rosa Dean
  • Christopher Russell, Head of the Personal Injury Group at 2 Temple Gardens
  • Siobhan Grey, of Doughty Street Chambers
  • Gelaga King, of 2 Bedford Row.

Why attend? 

Are you aware of what it is a barrister does? Do you know what it takes to pursue a career at the Bar? This event will certainly offer you the answers. Whilst a strong academic record is of huge importance, chambers and employed organisations need to see if you have the motivation to become a barrister, and have demonstrated a commitment to obtaining the skills required to be a good advocate. Events such as this will give you the necessary experience to prove this commitment, and your commitment to the Bar.

How to apply 

To apply for a place for the Gray’s Inn University Advocacy Day, please complete and submit the application form located here:  https://www.graysinn.org.uk/university-advocacy-day-application-form

The application deadline is 9am on Monday 5 October 2015
The Inn will confirm by email that week whether your application has been successful.

IMPORTANT DETAILS

  • The event is free of charge
  • Dependent on location and need, the Inn will contributefunding for travel.
  • Lunchwill be served and a drinks/canapés reception will follow the training day
  • Due to physical space restrictions and the need to limit the number of students in each advocacy group,places available are limited.
  • If you attended our University Advocacy Day or Advocacy Weekend in 2014 you can still apply to attend this event.
  • You may apply on this occasion and not be successful in gaining a place.  Don’t let that put you off.  Should we be oversubscribed for 24 October, we will endeavour to run another advocacy day in the near future.
  • This advocacy day is provided for 3rd year law students only.  A similar day will be offered to 2nd year law students in the Spring 2016.

Contact Information:

Rachel James, Deputy Director of Education, The Education Department,

The Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn, 8 South Square, Gray’s Inn, London WC1R 5ET

Tel Dept 020 7458 7900  Tel Direct 0207 458 7903

rachel.james@graysinn.org.uk

Good luck to all who apply, and please do get involved!

Season’s Greetings from Warwick Bar Society

Christmas is finally here! This means it’s time to relax and eat a few mince pies…as you’re frantically typing away doing essay number 2 of 4.

After a successful Autumn Term, Warwick Bar Society would like to thank Warwick Law Society, all our members, barristers, clerks, and of course our sponsors who have made such a triumphant term possible.

We are well aware that students are extremely busy over the Christmas break trying to complete the copious amount of work that has been set.

However if you do take some breaks from essay writing, there are several things you can do to help you on your path to the Bar:

  • Get writing another essay! However instead of slogging away over essays for your modules, you can earn a prize! St Philips Chambers are kindly sponsoring our annual essay competition. They are offering a mini-pupillage for the best entry with a £50 runner up prize, kindly provided by the University of Law. The title is ‘Has the time come for the Supreme Court to have a power to overturn primary legislation (other than in EU cases)? Discuss with reference to the Supreme Court’s case law since its inception.’ The word limit is 3,500 and the deadline is 5pm on the 9th of February. Referencing style is up to the writer but it is to be reminded that you should be consistent in your approach. Send your submissions to president@warwickbarsociety.com. Best of luck!
  • Now is a good time to apply for mini-pupillages, either for the Easter holidays (though remember you’ll have essays and revision to do) or for summer. Remember to check out our London mini-pupillage spreadsheet for loads of info on the chambers offering minis: https://warwickbarsociety.com/mini-pupillages/.
  • Keep up to date with legal current affairs. Aspiring solicitors aren’t the only ones who need commercial awareness, so make sure you keep up to date with the latest legal developments. A great place to start is the Inner Temple ‘Current Awareness’ feature (a daily list of legal news), which can be found on their Twitter or their Facebook page. You may also want to check out LawCareers.Net’s synopsis of 2014’s most important legal developments, which can be found here. Also for those of you heading into commercial law, you can find the most important developments here.
  • Write for the BarSocBlog (open to non-members too)! If you aren’t too keen on the idea of writing for a magazine or student-run academic journal, the BarSocBlog provides an informal means for you to write about legal issues, whether on academic points of law, current affairs, or the Bar itself. Send in your article (there is no minimum or maximum length) to executive@warwickbarsociety.com and we’ll consider posting it on the blog. Don’t forget the BarSoc Blog is open to both law and non-law students, so get writing!
  • Get involved with mooting on behalf of the Bar Society. Next term we are hosting a speed moot. If you want to brush up on your advocacy skills but don’t have much time to do the preparation for a normal moot, you should enter yourself into our speed moot competition. Participants will be provided with all the relevant materials for the day and all you need to do is be present. Speed mooting is very much like receiving a brief at the last minute and rushing to the local court to present. So if you fancy a go at presenting under pressure and seeing how good your skills are then you should watch out for our competition.

Finally, here is our Christmas Newsletter giving details of our successes in the past term. Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays and all the best for the new year!

2014-15 Christmas Newsletter

____________

Yasmin Hughes Pugh

President

‘Does the Internet pose an unmanageable threat to the jury system?’ – Lola Okuyiga

The following essay was the winning entry in the 2014 Red Lion Chambers Essay Competition. The author, Lola Okuyiga, was the winner of the competition, receiving £125 and a mini-pupillage at Red Lion Chambers.
_____________________

DOES THE INTERNET POSE AN UNMANAGEABLE THREAT TO THE JURY SYSTEM?

I. Introduction

During a lecture in 2010 Lord Judge, former Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, carefully scrutinised the magnitude of the threat the Internet posed to the jury system. He warned against turning a ‘Nelsonian blind eye’ to juries improperly influenced by vitriolic rhetoric discovered online, or information pertaining to a prior conviction of the accused.[1] In language reminiscent of a Hobbesian return to primal chaos and anarchy, Attorney-General Dominic Grieve described the nature of the prejudice faced by the defendant thus: ‘the jury will no longer be able to deliver a verdict based solely on the evidence adduced before them; the role of the judge has been usurped, the defendant’s right to a fair trial is prejudiced.’[2] In assessing the question posed at the outset, this paper shall determine the extent to which this threat to the jury system may be regarded as an unmanageable phenomenon. With a special focus on the United Kingdom, the dimensions of the term ‘unmanageable’ will be explored through a consideration of the nature of the risk presented by the Internet and the basis for online research despite judicial admonition to the contrary, before concluding with some recommendations on how courts might address the issue.

II. The Importance of Trial by Jury

The birth of an independent jury in possession of a conscience-based jurisdiction to determine the guilt or innocence of the accused can be traced back to the seventeenth century in Bushell’s Case.[3] It is perhaps the last bastion of direct democracy, reflecting the sentiment of the community and granting ordinary men the power to ‘extend unarticulated mercy’[4] to citizens who have acted in clear violation of the law. However, the institution has not escaped criticism: Mark Twain described it as ‘the most ingenious and infallible agency for defeating justice that human wisdom could have devised.’[5] Furthermore, trial by jury does not automatically square with developments in human rights law, such as Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which provides for the right to a fair trial before an impartial tribunal.[6] The Convention was incorporated into UK domestic law through the Human Rights Act 1998 and the fair trial provision is reflected in Section 6(1) of that Act.[7] It would seem that this section precludes perverse decision-making. Therefore, that jurors are not required to give reasons raises concerns about the rationale underlying their decisions. The rise of the Internet has refocused attention on this issue, as it highlights the ease with which extraneous, prejudicial information can improperly influence juries during the fact-finding process.

III. The Nature of the Risk

Online media coverage of cases can lead to ‘trial by media’, whereby information leaks, hearsay and individual biases lead to judgment being cast in public, prior to its delivery through established legal procedures. The Oscar Pistorius trial in South Africa is a case in point, with many online news sources failing to publish news on the case objectively and their readership given free reign to speculate as to the guilt or innocence of the defendant. One gets the impression that the overwhelming majority believe he is guilty, and online comment sections are replete with forcefully opinionated arguments thereto. Admittedly, South Africa does not have a jury system – this was abolished in 1968.[8] However, much empirical evidence indicates that, in countries such as the UK, where trial by jury does feature in the legal system, any juror who encounters such information is at risk of being influenced by the rhetoric of a skilled and opinionated writer, the musings of an individual who possesses greater knowledge of the subject matter, or even friends.[9] A particularly ominous example of the dangers of trial by jury in the modern era can be seen in a sex abuse case, where a juror posted the factual matrix of the trial and conducted a poll to determine her verdict.[10]

IV. The Impetus for Research

A key question in regards to intra-trial Internet searches is, what motivates jurors to supplement the directions they receive in the courtroom with information – or misinformation, as the case may be – online? Could this point to a deficiency in the guidance provided by judges or perhaps, a mistrust of the legal system? Professor Morrison of Georgia State University College of Law attributes online factual research by juries to a frustration with ‘the fact that they are barred from considering all available evidence.’[11] Furthermore, jurors are ‘not always satisfied with the legal explanations they receive from the court.’[12] Grieve aptly employs the needle-in-haystack analogy to express the nature of the risk posed by the Internet. With the needle representing the prejudicial content available and the haystack signifying the Internet, search engines such as Google are instrumental in enabling a juror to ‘locate the haystack, find the needle, pull it out and ascribe significance to it that it simply would never have had otherwise.’[13] In light of the information I have considered, I advance a number of proposals, which may go some way towards meeting the threat posed by the Internet to the jury system in its present incarnation.

V. Recommendations for Meeting the Challenge

1. First, I believe defendants in high profile cases should be granted the right to be tried by a judge rather than a jury. It is assumed that, where a defendant’s reputation has been tainted in the press, they will select the avenue most likely to guarantee a procedurally fair result, that is, trial by an independent and impartial judge.

2. Second, I would recommend that jurors give reasons for their decision. Arguably, giving reasons reduces the suitability of trial by jury as a soundboard for dissatisfaction with the law. However, transparency in the administration of justice is key to ensuring equality in the application of the law. Far from undermining the system, an obligation to give reasons will enhance the utility of jurors in the justice system, as any flaws in their reasoning can be identified upon review, thus enabling bias to be weeded out more efficiently. The lack of accountability associated with ‘palm tree justice’ – in that trial by jury lacks reasoned judgment – simply cannot be reconciled with the notion of fairness and the interpretation of legislation in accordance with human rights law. Defendants should have a right to know what evidence is being used against them, so that they can defend their case. This traditional trajectory has imbued a great measure of stability and certainty into the administration of justice, and desirably so. Therefore, frustration with individual laws ought to be evinced through civic actions such as protest and the ballot box; reason in the legal process must prevail so laws are not applied arbitrarily.

3. Third, to the extent that Internet research by juries reflects a lack of comprehension, written directions may be required in addition to oral directions, in order to ensure jurors can adequately process the directions not to peruse sources such as the Internet. It may be necessary to introduce professionals who assist jurors requiring further clarification on highly technical or specialised legal terminology and concepts necessary to conduct the task expected of them.

4. Fourth, it is imperative that judges explain the importance of jurors not accessing information online carrying a substantial risk of bias and notifying the judiciary the moment they encounter such information. If judges ensure that in their directions they express the reason why fairness demands that only admissible evidence is considered in the fact-finding process, jurors may be less inclined to disobey the procedural rules. In addition to this, in light of a study conducted by Tanford in 1990, it is also recommended that jurors be required to make public pledges that they will disregard extraneous information.[14]

5. Fifth, I would argue for the introduction of criminal penalties for violating judicial admonitions. I believe that criminalising the breach of such a pledge may effectively dissuade jurors from using the Internet. In Australia, for example, Internet inquiries about the accused by jurors could potentially lead to a maximum of two years imprisonment, under s 69A of the Jury Act 1995.[15] This is a considerable disincentive, particularly if combined with the right of advocates to research participating jurors. The criminalisation of this conduct should explicitly reference Internet research and should be accompanied by a duty to inform the court immediately of any indication that a fellow juror may have come across prejudicial information whether intentionally or otherwise.

6. Sixth, in the future it may be necessary for judges to ban technological devices, particularly in high publicity trials, where there is a great likelihood that jurors having encountered prejudicial information.

VI. Concluding Thoughts

The conundrum faced by courts is that inadmissible evidence undermines the integrity of the jury system. The ease of access the Internet provides to a wealth of prejudicial information may ultimately lead to the erosion of trial by jury, as public confidence is diminished in the legitimacy of juries as independent, impartial arbiters of fact. In future, the rise of the Internet may point to the move towards a system of trial by jury whereby jurors are given a questionnaire, which breaks down questions of fact, ultimately providing a conclusion independently of the juror’s own considerations. At present however, we ought to make every attempt to preserve trial by jury in the form in which it has been revered.

_____________________

[1] Lord Judge, ‘Jury Trials’ (Judicial Studies Board Lecture, Belfast, 16 November 2010) 5 http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/Resources/JCO/Documents/Speeches/speech-lcj-jury-trials-jsb-lecture- belfast.pdf accessed 15 February 2014.
[2] Dominic Grieve, ‘Trial by Google? Juries, Social Media and the Internet’ (6 February 2013) https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/trial-by-google-juries-social-media-and-the-internet accessed 18 February 2014.
[3] (1670) 124 ER 1006.
[4] William L Dwyer, In the Hands of the People: The Trial Jury’s Origins, Triumphs, Troubles, and Future in American Democracy (St Martin’s Griffin 2002).
[5] Simon Jenkins, ‘Juries? It’s time they went the way of the ducking stool’ (The Guardian, 21 February 2013) http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/feb/21/juries-time-ducking-stool accessed 21 February 2014.
[6] European Convention on Human Rights, art 6.
[7] Human Rights Act 1998, s 6(1).
[8] Abolition of Juries Act 34 1969.
[9] Duncan Stark, ‘Juror Investigation: Is In-Courtroom Internet Research Going too far?’ (2011) 7 Wash J L Tech & Arts 93; Caren Myers Morrison, ‘Can the Jury Trial Survive Google?’ (2011) 25 Crim Just 4; Neil Vidmar, ‘Case Studies of Pre- and Mid-trial Prejudice in Criminal and Civil Litigation’ (2002) 26 Law & Hum Behav 73; Christina A Studebaker and Steven D Penrod, ‘Pretrial Publicity: The Media, the Law, and Common Sense’ (1997) 3 Pscyhol Pub Pol’y & L 428.
[10] Guy Patrick, ‘Juror Axed for Verdict Poll On Net’ (The Sun, 24 November 2008) http://www.thesun.co.uk./sol/homepage/news/article1963544.ece accessed 18 February 2014.
[11] Caren Myers Morrison, ‘Can the Jury Trial Survive Google?’ (2011) 25(4) Crim Just 2.
[12] ibid 3.
[13] Grieve (n 2).
[14] JA Tanford, ‘The Law and Psychology of Jury Instructions’ (1990) 69 Nebraska Law Review 71, 69.
[15] Jury Act 1995, 69A.

____________

Lola Okuyiga
University of Warwick
LLB Law, 3rd Year

BarSocBlogo

 

Winners of the RLC Essay Competition

Red Lion Chambers logo

_____________________

We are delighted to announce the winners of the Red Lion Chambers Essay Competition!

Winner: Lola Okuyiga (LLB Law, 3rd Year)
Runner-up: Francesca Esposito (LLB Law with Year Abroad in English, 3rd Year)
Runner-up: Luke Tallis (LLB Law, 2nd Year)

Congratulations! Thank you to everybody who entered the competition, the title of which was, ‘Does the Internet pose an unmanageable threat to the jury system?’

The winner was given a mini-pupillage (plus £125 expenses) at Red Lion Chambers, which is one of the country’s largest and best criminal and regulatory sets. The joint runners-up received £50 each.

The competition was judged by:

  • Max Hill QC (Head of Red Lion Chambers)
  • Carey Johnston QC (barrister at RLC and Warwick alumna)
  • Tom Forster (barrister at RLC and Chambers’ Treasurer)
  • Hannah Willcocks (barrister at RLC and Associate Lecturer at Oxford Brookes University)

Thank you to our kind sponsors, Red Lion Chambers, for their generosity and time.

____________

Anthony Searle
Founder and President

BarSocBlogo