The South Eastern Circuit
Leader's Update

Instead of…
… a detailed message this week, may I simply invite you all to join the SEC Q&A with three of our Resident Judges on Tuesday next week between 6 - 7pm.  I am delighted and grateful that HHJ Usha Karu (Inner London), HHJ Christine Laing QC (Lewes) and HHJ Christopher Kinch QC (Woolwich) will be joining me to update you on their views of “Crown Court Trials in the Covid era”.  They will share their thoughts and be happy to answer your questions.  
Email Aaron and book your place now.
Those of you who are most worried about the absence of multi-handed trials may be particularly interested in the progress of a 7 handed custody case that is being tried in Woolwich in a sea of Perspex and microphones.  It shows what can be done… 
Circuit Elections
The closing date for nominations is 30th October.  I am keen to make sure that as many practice areas as possible are represented on the Exec next year and the make up is as diverse as possible.  Please consider how you or others could play a part in supporting the work of the Circuit, or expect to be “volunteered” to stand. 

Nights closing in.  
For those who may have missed it and are worrying about what January might bring, on 1st October, the Chancellor announced some
additional measures regarding tax and VAT deferral.  Your accountant will advise you, but it seems automatic deferral can be applied for online for self-assessment liabilities up to £30K. The existing time to pay arrangements apply for liabilities exceeding £30K – so that involves calling HMRC to negotiate a payment plan…
Over the last few months I have written to you every week.  Increasingly in recent weeks it feels as though there is less that is new to say and more that is rumbling on.  So please do not be surprised, much less disappointed, if the occasional Friday passes without one of these updates.  
Of course this does not mean that there is less to do, or that any of us are complacent about the autumn and winter ahead, for individuals and chambers alike.  We will continue to lobby HMCTS for more and better staffed courts, testing, and where necessary a more sensible balance of remote vs in person hearings.  We will continue to press the MoJ for progress on CLAR 2, and improvements to the range of defective areas in the system – from the leaking pipes to the poor IT.

There is no doubt that some of our politicians understand the challenges we face.  You can find yesterday’s debate on legal aid in Hansard here.

The Rt Hon David Lammy MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Justice and Shadow Lord Chancellor gave the Address at an Evensong for Black History Month held at Temple Church this week.  Mr Lammy acknowledged the progress made and described his hope of seeing white people using their privileged positions on behalf of a good cause, such as in the protests this summer and anti-apartheid marches in the past. He urged that all of humanity, not only black people, should become allies and move from conversation to action.
The service can be seen 
here (David Lammy at 15m50s). 

Whether you plan to mark the next week or so with baking your own pumpkin pie as compensation for
no trick-or-treating, ignoring the endlessly depressing news, watching the new Borat film, or getting lost in the bucolic bliss of The Repair Shop, I wish you all a very good weekend and half term week.


Mark Fenhalls QC
Leader of the South Eastern Circuit

ICCA Governors - Chair and Vice Chair Recruitment:
The Inns of Court College of Advocacy (ICCA) is seeking to appoint the ICCA Chair of Governors and Vice Chair (SBA’S). Closing date is Friday 30th October 2020.

Full details and to apply.

Law Care - Life in the Law research:
Law Care have launched a ground breaking research study, ‘Life in the Law’ and have asked  the membership for assistance.  

Law Care want to encourage as many people working in the legal profession, those in training, legally qualified and support staff, to take part, as the results of this study will pave the way for determining what we can do as a profession to improve the support available to people working in the legal profession by enhancing our understanding of the issues that affect mental health and wellbeing. The data will help us all drive long lasting cultural change in legal workplaces to benefit both the present and future generation of lawyers and staff. Law Care expect the results to also form the basis of an academic paper.
Your support in helping to promote the study would be really appreciated. 
To give you an overview of the study, please see the following links, a FAQ document will be uploaded and circulated once prepared.  attached  FAQ document. I am also attaching the following promotional resources:

Updated Snaresbrook Crown Court S28 Protocol:
Accessed here


Parental Talk with Noel Janis-Norton:
Recorded on 22nd July 2020

A copy of the this recording can be accessed here
SEC and Bar Mess Events:

SEC / Crown Courts in the Covid Era - Q & A:
Tuesday 27th October
17.00 - 18.30

Full details and to book

SEC/Recorder Exam Guidance - Virtual Lecture:
Postponed until 2021
17.00 - 18.30
A session focused on exploring how to approach the recorder application process.  This seminar draws on the expertise of sitting Recorders and Circuit Judges to explore prepare to make an application, how to navigate the application form and its pitfalls, and how to approach the final exam.  This session is expected to be very popular; please reserve your place as soon as possible.

Diversifying your Practice:
Postponed until 2021
SEC/CPS Form Filling Virtual Lecture:
Postponed until 2021
17.00 - 18.30
An intensive session designed to explore all issues surrounding CPS grading applications.  A panel of speakers will discuss how to tailor your experience to the CPS grading criteria, and to project your skills appropriately.  There will also be an exploration of common mistakes made in the application process, and how to best avoid these.
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