May 30, 2018
We are now finalising details with the Host Organisations for the 2018 Training Contract positions. Details of the positions agreed so far can be seen at 2018 Opportunities.
Applications for these positions will open in August, see the Timeline.
May 25, 2018
The first ever cohort of Justice First Fellows has just returned from a learning exchange, where they met public lawyers working in New York.Nadia Hussain reflects on a busy and thought-provoking trip.
Information about legal rights available for visitors
Nadia (second left) and the rest of the Justice First Fellows visiting Red Hook Community Justice CentreOn Thursday morning we drove over to the Red Hook Community Justice Center. This used to be a busy port community, but after the 1950s there was a huge decline in employment and public services resulting in a high crime rate. It became a dumping site, with a large low-income population with high levels of drug use. We watched a live hearing and it was so refreshing to see what was happening in the courts. Alternatives to incarceration were used: for example, a defendant had carried out 10 weeks' of drug testing monitoring and this was reported back to the courts. The judge congratulated him, invited him to the bench, shook his hand, and handed him a certificate, while everyone in the courtroom applauded. We had the chance to speak to the judge over lunch. He said they are taking a problem-solving approach, where the judges have almost a social worker role and will look behind the crime, work out a defendant's social circumstances, and take these into account. Almost everyone was unrepresented, but the judge showed no prejudice and made the defendant feel respected. The judge told us how he had seen a reduction in crime and that the same clients were no longer being recycled through the justice system. It was a really refreshing to see this attitude in the judiciary. There are now approximately 70 community courts in the country and 13 internationally. This practice needs to be implemented in the UK, where the size of the prison population and cost to the taxpayer is always an issue. It a real public cost-saving exercise.
May 23, 2018
Applications for the 2018 Pupillage position on offer at Spire Barristers in Leeds close at midnight on Monday. Be sure to submit your application by then, late applications will not be accepted.
Details of this position, which comprises Pupillage at Spire Barristers following a year working as a Caseworker at the Bar Pro Bono Unit, starting in September 2018, can be found here.
Applicants will be notified of initial selection on 11th June, see the timeline.