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Dismissed: Wannabe Barrister’s Claim That Minimum Pupillage Award Is Discriminatory To Black Africans

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Like many Bar graduates, John Iteshi couldn’t get a pupillage – or even an interview for a pupillage.

Having completed the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) in 2007, Iteshi made about 150 pupillage applications but did not receive a single interview.

Pupillage Portal, the Bar's state-of-the-art interweb application system

In common with the thousands of pupillage and training contract seekers out there, he found the competition for other law-related jobs intense, too.

Since 2008, Iteshi has made over 200 applications for legal case worker and administrative roles, but only received about 5 interviews, and has not been successful in finding employment in the legal field…

Iteshi, who is from Nigeria and would have been happy to do pupillage in the UK unfunded, reckoned things would have been different if he’d qualified before rules introduced in 2003 that made it obligatory for chambers to pay pupils. And he noted from the available statistics that there have been less black African people obtaining pupillages annually between 2004 until now than in 2000-01. So he decided to take the matter to court.

First, he tried to bring judicial review proceedings against the Bar Council, but he was refused leave to do so. As a result, he brought proceedings in an employment tribunal, lost, and then appealed to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) – where on Friday he lost again.

In reference to the statistics cited by Iteshi, the EAT said:

“the information that we have is patchy and in our view unreliable. For example, we do not know what the statistics were before 2001. More crucially, we do not know what effect withdrawal of unfunded pupillages has had on the statistics. That is because there are no statistics showing the breakdown by colour/ethnic origin of those undertaking unfunded pupillages..statistics are of little help. Applying our general knowledge we would expect that the dramatic reduction in unfunded pupillages would benefit black Africans in the same way as it has benefited people from other ethnic minorities.”

Certainly Iteshi did himself no favours by sending an email the day before his appeal to his MP, Simon Hughes, in which he copied in the tribunal members, accusing the first instance judge in front of whom he’d lost of “fraudulent manipulation of evidence” and the lay members who sat with her as being “dubious”.

The email also accused the EAT of having operated a scam at the earlier sifting stages, as being a “self constituted panel of deities” and stated that its chair, Lady Smith, was “a woman famed by ordinary victims for being manipulative and conscience ridden”.

54 Comments

Anon

This man has a history. He’s a serial litigant who runs repeat baseless race discrimination claims. Google him and you’ll find plenty.

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Anon

Is this the same guy who tried to sue his BVC provider?

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[…] Firstly one unfortunate BPTC graduate found his claim that the minimum pupillage award is racist dismissed unceremoniously. And then came this nonsense about trainee solicitors getting paid a mere £2.60 an […]

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HL

I must say that the claim by this guy is groundless. I am a Chinese. My son made 24 applications. He got 23 intereviews and was finally offered at 4 top sets of commercial chambers. I don’t see any racial discrimination from his experience.

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squawkparrot

He may have ‘suffered’ from positive discrimination as the UK law firms might wish to exploit his Chinese-ness for Anglo-Chinese commercial reasons?

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squawkparrot

K. CROSSLAND v UNIVERSITY OF GLAMORGAN [2011] EWHC 2809 (QB)

This judgment is available on bailii.

Barristers may not be discriminatory, but, what about our judges? The claim was in defamation. If the defendant was found to have behaved improperly, then that would have destroyed qualified privilege, and the case would not have been struck out.

This is what the Nicol J said at para 82 of his judgment;

82. “The Claimant alleged that the first publication of which he complains was searching for a way of excluding him that would avoid liability under the Disability Discrimination Act. But it is not improper for an institution such as the University to take advice from its Equalities Manager as to the impact of legislation such as the DDA and courses of action which might be adopted which would not attract liability. Likewise, there is nothing improper in the Equalities Manager responding to such a request.”

The above quote, perhaps, does not jump out as being discriminatory, but if the words concerning disability discrimination are substituted to be related to racial discrimination, then the discriminatory sentiment behind these words become more obvious. That passage can be written as;

“The Claimant alleged that the first publication of which he complains was searching for a way of excluding him that would avoid liability under the Racial Discrimination Act, i.e. because the Claimant is black (or disabled, as the case may be). The University wishes to exclude the Claimant because of the colour of his skin, (or because he is diabetic and had a hypoglycaemic episode), says the Claimant. But, it is not improper for an institution such as the University to take a course of action which would not attract liability, even if the real reason they wanted to be rid of him is because he is black (or disabled). They are perfectly entitled to ask advice on a course of action that would not attract liability, even if the real reason is discriminatory, i.e. because he is black (or disabled).”

Nicol J was discriminatory. Had he found that it was improper for the University to look for other reasons for excluding the Claimant, even though these reasons could not have been the real reason, because the real reason was because the claimant had a hypoglycaemic episode on a count of his diabetes, the claim would not have been struck out.

Another irregularity in this case, but not the only one, is that the claimant asked for the claim to be reopened because the Order of Rimer LJ was not complied with in the Court of Appeal because the bench did not comprise of a judge with “experience in defamation law”, and/or it was bias. Either way it deferred to Nicol J’s opinion. The supervising judge in the Court of Appeal was Richards LJ. But, Richards LJ was also the judge who assessed whether the case should be reopened. He, effectively oversaw the appointment of the bench and judged whether he was wrong in those appointments. He was not impartial.

Is anyone out there experience in defamation? An application for this case is about to be submitted to the ECtHR. I need a pro-bono Opinion of all the Article 6 and 14 rights that were violated in this case and whether or not the case was strong in defamation law and evidence. Please help. contact me on keith_crossland@hotmail.co.uk

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dave

Your analogy is entirely wrong.

There are obviously absolutely no occasions when anyone should be excluded due to race. However, the difference between race and disability discrimination is that there are often circumstances that justifiably mean that a disabled person cannot take a particular role or undertake a particular activitiy even with reasonable adjustments (e.g. would it be discriminatory to say a blind person cannot be a driving instructor, or a life guard?), so it is entirely fair for someone to take advice on whether the a course of action is fair based on anti-discrimination law, due to these shades of grey that may not be clear to them as a lay person.

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squawkparrot

The discrimination was at a university where I achieved a 1st in law, never having had a hypoglycaemic episode, and then took an M.Sc in HRM part-time. At my induction for the second year of the HRM (or the start of the fifth year at that university) I had a hypo’ and acted oddly, i.e, I became a little stupid and could not understand what the tutor was telling me, in part because she was telling me I had to enrol, and I was trying to tell her that I already had, and that the method she was asking me to do was the wrong method. becoming stupid, is what happens if one is having a hypo, because the brain is shutting down. At the time, I realised what was happening, and I took some lucozade to increase the sugar level in my blood, which brought me out of my hypo. The university did not wish to take me, despite, knowing that it was a rare event, i.e. the first in 5 years. It was discriminatory to look for other reasons to justify the exclusion. Dave, you appear to sanction the use of reasons to exclude people from life by trying to find other reasons, even though those other reasons they attempted to find (which they could not), did not enter the universities thinking prior to my hypo’. I was not applying for a job flying a jet airliner (which is a legal exception allowing discrimination in any case), I was joining the second year of a course. Your extreme examples do not fit the circumstances of the case, and therefore your examples of, for example, the blind being a driving instructor is bogus. Nicol J was discriminatory, and the race/disabled comparison is perfectly correct in the circumstances. This was an example of many irregularities during the course of my claim. Are you a barrister? Take a look at the evidence I have and then decide if the judges have questions to answer. I have a letter from my MP supporting my application to the ECtHR, as he can see that many irregularities, not just the two outlined have occurred, including impartiality, have been perpetrated by the judges.

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DC

It seems fairly clear from the judgment that the University did not want to take you because of your behaviour at that event and your history of behaviour at the University. This is something the judge explicitly acknowledged, shortly after your very selective quotation. The University staff became aware of a suggestion by you that your behaviour at that event was due to a hypoglycemic episode, and they took advice on whether they could properly refuse you admission based on your behaviour given that you had made that suggestion. They concluded that they could, and the University appeals process later concluded that they couldn’t, and offered to enrol you. You were also offered, it appears from the judgment, a fee waiver, but chose not to take it and pursued instead a defamation claim against the people involved in the decision making process.

Obviously I wasn’t present at that enrolment event, so I do not know whether your behaviour was as you describe or as the staff have described it. Nor could I know if it were genuinely down to the effects of your illness. However the description you have given of the university not wanting to take you because you are diabetic bears no relation whatsoever to the evidence cited in the CoA judgment, and is, I suggest, a wilful misrepresentation of the actual position, particularly given that you were later offered enrolment on the basis that the correct procedures had not been followed.

This looks a lot like a misguided crusade rather than a genuine complaint.

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squawkparrot

There are exceptions, I believe, where someone can be excluded due to race, for example, a black actor could be excluded from playing David Cameron. The exceptions are clearly dependent on the factor under consideration; old people might not be able to join the fire brigade; females until recently, I think, could not be submariners, or even now play Nick Clegg.

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squawkparrot

The judgment is not correct in many respects, in part because Nicol J should not have taken any evidence from the defendant unless it proved my evidence to be indisputably false, see Bataille v Newland, to find it on bailii search for “Eady Page QC smoking gun”. And, that is the point of an action in defamation, the university attempted to defamed me; Nicol J using their evidence to hide participation wrong wrong.

The university tried to find out things about me, spread by Ms Daunton that were untrue, that is why they went on to enrol me, because nothing surfaced and Ms Daunton’s allegations were proven by the university to be unfounded. But, I then complained. That complaint of mine led to the university restating Ms Daunton’s allegations, even though the dean could not find any evidence of this behaviour you talk about in the law school. All the subsequent allegations were in respect of the induction evening. But, Ms Daunton’s first email describes by behaviour as “making people feel uncomfortable”. She then 5 days later starts to use the words “threatening” and “aggressive” just after she finds out that I was diabetic and, as the dean told her, “it will now be even more difficult to bar him”. Indeed, the dean sent Ms Williams to see the head of the law school to find out the truth of the allegations perpetrated by Ms Daunton about my time in the law school, who I alleged was malicious. She could find nothing, and it was after that talk with the head, within two days that I was invited to join the course. But, as I said, when I issued the complaint of discrimination, the Ms Daunton allegations resurfaced.

This was at a strike out hearing, you will see from reading the judgment that Nicol effectively held a mini-trial, which is also against the rules, he introduced hearsay evidence, which is against the rules. As far as Ms Daunton’s participation in the libels is concerned, the reason for striking out the claim, he said, at para’s 41-43, that the author of the 1st and 2nd causes of action had to “attribute” her words in her email to Ms Daunton, because the evidence I had was not enough, I summarise.

This is a completely unlawful level of proof that he introduced, as all that I had to bring to the court at a Part 24 application is enough the the jury could infer participation. To have to have the author attribute her words to Ms Daunton is a level of proof that no person has to provide in either the civil or criminal courts at such an early stage.

Indeed, the authority of Parkes v Prescott (1869) L.R.4 Ex at 169, specifically cautions that the real perpetrators of the libel will escape liability by hiding behind the words of the intermediate agent they told the libel to. His need to attribute the words to Ms Daunton was therefore a bogus reason for not finding participation. Then, in the sixth cause of action, at paragraph 57, he says that the Panel heard evidence from Ms Daunton. That sounds like she participated. Indeed, in the 6th cause of action the author states on about 8 occasions that “Ms Daunton told the Panel” that I was, “threatening and aggressive”, or similar. That is the author attributing the words to Ms Daunton. Therefore Ms Daunton did participate. Yet he ignored that and said something like the words did not match earlier words. That was also not true and his contention was a red herring. The question was did she participate in the 6th cause of action. She clearly did, and she is often quoted in it.

We have on this occasion the author attributing her words directly to Ms Daunton. Nicol J has attempted to hold a mini-trial in a case that is complex, but has also been disingenuous in the way he has done so.

And then, for example, there are paragraphs 74 and 76. Putting those together, the would read, if we were to get Ms Hole to testify, then that could be a strong rebuttal to the evidence that Ms Daunton did not honestly believe that Mr Crossland was threatening and aggressive. So what he appears to be saying is that there is evidence that Ms Daunton did not believe what she said, especially the exaggeration of what she says Ms Hole told her between 25th (actually the 24th) and the 29th, i.e. from making “people feel uncomfortable” to “threatening, aggressive and disruptive”. But, he does not know what Ms Hole will say, as she has not produced a witness statement, and the other evidence I have doesn’t support Ms Daunton’s later assertions at all.

There is a whole lot more that is dishonest in this judgment and contrary to the rules that govern a Part 24 application. And, as you can see, the case is appearing to be complex, complex cases are not suitable for a strike out. Another rule broken.

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Dee

How do we know for sure that his race claims are baseless, unless we know all the facts. Racial discrimination is a very difficult thing to prove anyway, most people would like to believe that they are not racist. However, this man must be ever so frustrated following his studies not to be able to work in the field. I have met so many Nigerian mini cab drivers who have law degrees, maths degrees etc. They say things did not work out for them. As a people, Nigerians work very hard, and believe that studies improves your life chances. It is crippling to find that bettering your options leads to absolute nothingness would break any human being down. Let us not judge this man, lets see that he is clearly reacting, and perhaps sensitive to discrimination. Sadly, to get on in society many people have to turn a blind eye to discrimination, and go on to grin and bear it. But when you have children, you have a responsibility to make a stand. I do not claim to know the full extent of these cases, but from what I understand from merely having casual conversations, is that Black people are under represented in this field, and there are certain criteria that has made it more difficult for people of colour. Discrimination is a very strange phenomenon, with the fact that every race, sex, ethnic group, class experience differing levels of discrimination.

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Not Amused

“Black people are under represented in this field, and there are certain criteria that has made it more difficult for people of colour”

Statements like these need to be challenged.

When we say barrister we mean the Bar of England & Wales. The Office of National Statistics says that England and Wales has 3.3% Black/African/Caribbean/Black British population – http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/census/2011-census/key-statistics-for-local-authorities-in-england-and-wales/sty-enthnicity-in-england-and-wales.html

Even if you include ‘Asian and Asian British’ as black – and lots of Asians do not self identify that way then (they represent 7.5% of population) the total would be 10.8%

The Bar Standards Board ethnicity data says that there are 13942 barristers in practice in 2012 about whom we have diversity data. Of those 1716 self identify as BME. That’s about 12%. https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/media-centre/research-and-statistics/statistics/practising-barrister-statistics/

So when it comes to being barristers it is not true to say that Black people are under represented. When you say things which are not true you enforce prejudice in the minds of victims and that is JUST AS BAD as racism. It is extremely important that flippant and off hand comments about racism are challenged. Why? Because I do not want a SINGLE BME student to be put off applying to the Bar just because someone WRONGLY suggests that it is harder to become a barrister based on race – it is not, it must not ever be, it will not ever be.

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dave

Erm, you could check this out: http://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/barristers-avalanche-of-vexatious-race-and-sex-claims-sees-him-barred-from-ever-taking-legal-action-again-9628397.html.

He’s been banned from taking any cases to the EAT and not one of his cases has succeeded. Pretty sound evidence that his claims are baseless.

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squawkparrot

The claimant has to prove that the defendant was discriminatory. If the claimant does not succeed it does not mean that the defendant was not ‘guilty’, it means that the claimant could not prove it. Proving it can be fraught with difficulty, for example, it is difficult for the claimant to garner the support of people who are employees, and who do not wish to upset their employer. Furthermore, unsurprisingly managers, will lie in court, partly to cover their own arse, and because they have much to lose if they do not, and they might lose documents, or the judge will not order their production etc.

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dave

See DC’s comment below. He/she put it better than I could.

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Ayshia

It is very easy to be judgmental, and it does frustrate me to see so many people are willing to look at things superficially. There are much bigger issues to consider here, for example:
1. Why are so many students being permitted to take a very costly course when it is KNOWN that there is next to zero prospects of a career in the profession. It seems to me that the law schools are lining their pockets;

2. Racism is very discreet nowadays, for years no one believed there was any racism linked to the murder of Stephen Lawrence, and look what it has taken to prove this is the case, yet we are informed the same actions continue by even the professionals involved as recent as this week;

3. Many of the claims brought by Mr Iteshi from what I understand were on behalf of other parties. Should we not consider why so many people perceive racism exists, if there is no merit on this? Clearly, if things are so harmonious then there would be no cause for such legal actions, as the whole process is stressful and there is no funding for such matters.

4. Judge not lest thoust be judged…. Well, having undertaken the same oath as Mr Iteshi, I can confirm that racism DOES exist within the legal profession and public bodies, even though I cannot believe after all this time such backward steps could be taken. I can recall being failed for subjective assessments when the lecturer had some issue with me, then when a new lecturer took over the next week, suddenly being rated as outstanding. I was even offered bananas at dining (which is part of the process to become a barrister), and told this was to remind me of my origins. Some of you may still find this incredulous, but it happened and this was from someone very senior within the Inn.

I am writing this just to highlight that racism is there, simmering under the surface, and more people should listen to those ethnic minorities who experience this and BELIEVE. Mr Iteshi is clearly an educated man, surely he would not waste his time and energy if he did not know what had happened to him, and these others. It should be noted going to court or tribunal is not an easy process, as it involves tedious work and much stress during the process. Most people would shy away from even raising these issues, so it should concern us all that these brave people have highlighted what is truly a growing issue in the UK!

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Not Amused

It is not right to say that racism is “truly” a growing issue in the UK when every single one of Mr Iteshi’s claims has been proven false and when he has been restrained from issuing further proceedings. The allegations of racism were not true and were instead false.

You make several other disconnected points. It is normal and even important to feel emotional about racism but it is not helpful to be emotive or to falsely claim things are true which are not true. It is not helpful to individual or community cohesion for individuals to over state racism or to seek to build up tension.

You make a very serious allegation about an event at dinning. If it is true then you must report it. Please do so immediately to the Under Treasurer of the Inn concerned. No Inn will tolerate such behaviour.

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squawkparrot

Not proven to be false, it is respectfully submitted, Mr Not Amused, but, what he could not prove is that his allegations were true. There is a difference.

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DC

That’s only really the case in criminal matters, where failure to reach the very high standard of proof still leaves a lot of room for an allegation to be true but unproven. In a civil matter, such as an EAT hearing, the failure to prove that an allegation was true means, necessarily, that the judge thought on the balance of probabilities that it was untrue. There’s still room of course for it to be factually true but unproven, just as an allegation which is proven could in fact be untrue. As a matter of commonsense though, someone who brings repeated claims of discrimination against different parties, all of them so lacking in merit that he has to be restrained from bringing more claims, is probably making false allegations.

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Ayshia

I will reply as it is important to make sure that the TRUTH is voiced. It does NOT give me any pleasure to say that racism is on the increase, as my background is one of mixed ethnicity. However, I see it and have experienced it as have many others who know that if they air this viewpoint, then it will be swept under the carpet and more often than not they will be victimised for expressing what has happened. Sadly, this is the reality!

Yes, the incident did occur and I was angry, upset and humiliated. However, I know that if I ever reported this incident, then any future prospects at the Bar would be zero. I would simply be quietly sidelined, and how could I challenge this. Of course, racism does not exist remember!

Racism is subtle and underhanded, and those who do not believe we are all equal deserve to be punished but sadly this is not happening. Recognition that there is a problem must happen first, before the problem can be addressed. The mere fact that several people perceive this is happening is concerning to me. A climate of suffering in silence, and fear is rising, where people know that if they assert this, then they will be ostracised and victimised for making the allegation. Look at Mr Iteshi as an example of how the system deals with individuals who assert racism exists. I am sure that many believed for years that there was no racial element to the murder of Stephen Lawrence.

I am still optimistic that people with strong morals will realise that this does exist, but should never be tolerated. We are all flesh and bones at the end of the day, and the colour of a man’s skin should never dictate that he is treated differently or less favourably.

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Not Amused

No.

You must not carry on as you are. You must report the incident if it occurred. Reporting racism will not harm your prospects at the Bar. Please do not tell people that racism exists if you are not willing to fight it or to have your allegations tested. Do not simply put the word truth in capital letters – that lacks plausibility.

Do not equate yourself with Mr Iteshi. Mr Iteshi lied about racism. That means he is the opposite of truth. He pretended it was there when it wasn’t. This is a bad thing because it wastes time and resources which could be used to fight genuine racism.

It is not true to say that something must be real just because some people perceive it as real. Sadly there are many motives for lying about racism – Mr Iteshi was in each case asking to receive a large amount of money and that can motivate people to lie.

We have never lived in a less racist country. It is highly likely that there has never been a less racist country in humanity’s history. It has never been easier or more encouraged to report racism. Therefore if you do not report racism, but instead tell people it exists (in a vague and unspecified way) then you are not really helping. If you do not report racism or have the courage to have your allegation tested then all you do is promote a concept of ‘secret’ racism. This in turn because a form of victimhood and reverse racism where BME people are taught to distrust all white people. This is far far worse because it is pernicious and difficult to fight.

We must not forget that throughout history the desire to believe in racism is prevalent in another race has itself been the justification for a lot of racist violence and hatred.

You make a specific allegation against a barrister at an Inn of Court. As a barrister I can tell you that if that happened then I want that barrister reported and punished. Only you can do that.

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Ayshia

I will reply as you say it is important to be factual!

Let me firstly say that I do not say what I say without experience or without having tried to report the various incidents. I will give you some examples of racism that I gave faced which come to mind:

1. Why don’t you wash referring to my skin colour!
2. Your lot are taking our jobs.
3. Who do you think you are when reporting crime (reference to me specifically)
4. Being offered bananas to remind me of my origins.
5. Being spat at whilst on a date with a different ethnicity.
7. Being victimised for reporting crime relating to racism.

I gave you some of the highlights but there are more. I was born in the UK even though I am an ethnic minority, and as I have said it gives he no pleasure to highlight this but these incidents have ALL happened. Equally, and I experienced this, there is a tendency to disbelieve this is occurring or to investigate. Finally, my highlighting this has already cost me dearly, so there does not seem to be any mechanism to properly investigate and treat this behaviour with the contempt it deserves,

I am probably more educated than most, and did not experience this so much until I was in my twenties. However, it is definitely more noticeable and the frequency more “memorable” than I would like. It is with the greatest of sadness that I highlight this, and I have no monetary motivation. My honesty and frankness are qualities that I pride, so please understand that I have reported various incidents and have experienced the consequences of doing so.

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lgp

I am not of a different race, however I am an immigrant of a different culture. Sadly, I have encountered a lot of obstacles because of my origins and my name which is clearly not British.
I have encountered hatred towards my being here, preconceptions regarding my means and motives and hurdles when it came to employment, legal work experience and career.
Had I not been mentored by the great tutors I had at the law school of University of Portsmouth, I would not be where I am today.
Racism and bigotry are on the rise in UK and my fellow immigrants and I have experienced it numerous times. The only difference between now and half a century ago is the fact that nowadays everything is subtle and many times masked under a crude joke situation.
I don’t know the story of the man in this article, but I know the story of racism and bigotry. So please, do not dismiss what we say if you haven’t experienced it. If it didn’t happen to you or your close ones, it doesn’t mean it’s inexistent.

Ayshia, I feel for you. I hope you’ll encounter less and less of this kind of behaviour. Good luck in the future!

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Not Amused

It is extremely important that any instances of racism are reported. The UK is one of the most tolerant societies in the world and I for one am very proud of that. There are numerous ways of reporting racism and most racist acts are more than one criminal offence.

That said we cannot start to live in a culture where people:

a) do not report racism; or,
b) make up allegations of racism which are not true.

This is because such a society would become unbearable. Each racial or ethnic group would secretly believe the other was racist – and this in turn causes racism.

Any specific allegations MUST be reported. There are no negative consequences to the victim for reporting racist crimes – if any occur then they too must be reported. There are people who make up, lie, or fabricate claims of racism – they must also be reported. They do so for a variety of motives and reasons. If we want, as I want, to live in a racism free and equal society then it is incumbent upon us all to report racism. When due process is followed (as it was in Mr Iteshi’s cases) and the result is that no racism occurred then it is ALSO incumbent upon us to support that process and not to pretend there is somehow ‘secret’ racism when there was not.

I am confused as to why Ayshia only makes more allegations on an anonymous comments board rather than report the incident. I again urge her to report the allegation to the Inn concerned – please report it directly to the Under Treasurer – you can find the contact details on the website of the Inn.

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Oh come off it!

Oh come off it Not Amused! Welsh, Scotch, Irish, Cornish and Manx are all regularly laughed at in London. That’s no secret.

Do you know what foreign tourists call London these days?

Neo-Soweto. Remember the riots?

Racism is more real than you think.

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Not Amused

I’m not sure whether you are complaining of racism or just being racist. Either way, I think you are a troll.

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Oh come off it!

So an observation of our society is trolling to you? What I wrote was an observation of our society at work. There’s not a country in Europe that doesn’t do this, so don’t think we are much better.

The tourists call us Neo-Soweto because of these very problems!

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DC

The only people I’ve hear come out with this nonsensical and, yes, quite racist “Soweto” remark are you, Barrister Balls, Uncle Solicitor and Niteowl. I am increasingly convinced these are all one and the same second-rate lawyer-baiter.

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(Not) Not Amused

The average tourist in the gift shop is well aware of our riots and the problems. DC, Uncle Solicitor, Noddy, and Big Pants are one and the same. And they MUST be reported for writing these words and telling the British public of our problems or using the expression Neo Soweto.

It is quite the nonsensical and hilarious thing to say and it MUST be reported.

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B. A. Balls

Sire there have been little more pointed remarks than yours. You say I am an imposter now and yet you and others routinely impose your views upon me and others. It is wrong! Nay! It is unctuous also!

You may be surprised to learn that living in Neo-Soweto has its advantages. This term ought not give you concern – London is what it is. Living here means if I ever want some ebony booty after a particularly difficult day in Crown Court, I need not go far. Embrace our identity, even if it does mean being likened to a township in South Africa.

B.A. Balls
Barrister

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Not Amused

The above exchange is not me (such that I have an identity as a nick name). It is not helpful to pretend to be someone else.

I agree with DC that the same individual who believes they are amusing is behind a lot of comments.

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Barrister Balls

I am being impersonated here, not just others. I have never signed off “B A Balls”, and I don’t know which one of you did. Whoever it was : Begone from the Internet! It is also quite obvious that DC, Not Amused and Uncle Solicitor are the same person.

Yes, I have used the expression “Neo-Soweto” – an accurate description of our rich/poor divide – to describe London on my twitter, but only people with evil in their hearts have made it an issue about race and by impersonating me and others have made it worse.

B B Balls
Barrister

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David Hughes

Using the sort of language he does to describe the EAT is perhaps indicative that the Bar may not be for him.

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SirFluidHat

Wonder when this ridiculous culture will disappear in a puff of contradictions ?

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Tom Jefferson

Everyone knows western societies are inherently racist. Look at all the young black men incarcerated unfairly due to skin colour. How many black Judges are there at the Supreme Court eh? Someone above pointed out about the amount of black barristers, then why no black supreme court judges eh? Black people are discriminated against at every turn unfairly. The only answer to this, to balance things, is affirmative action. This should be reflected in university admissions and in every public sector job. It should then become law for the private sector also. Together we can defeat racism.

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Not Amused

We do not incarcerate anyone because of their skin colour.

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Tom Jefferson

“We do not incarcerate anyone because of their skin colour”

Then why are so many black and ethnic minorities in our jails eh?

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DC

Because for historical reasons, including historical discrimination, ethnic minorities are disproportionately represented in lower socioeconomic groups, particularly in inner-cities, and members of lower socioeconomic groups, particularly in inner-cities, tend to commit more crimes than those in higher socioeconomic groups. This is a serious problem that society needs to deal with. It is not the same thing as imprisoning people for their skin colour.

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Ayshia

Apologies for not replying sooner, but I was attending to other matters.

I wish to firstly correct the statements made above by “Not Amused” referring to my reasons for not reporting further racism. It is easy to make comments when you perhaps have not experienced racism, and as I stated before it does deepen me sadly that the society I have grown up in, has eroded away the work of so many to make all men equal despite race, skin colour and creed.

I am someone who has reported racism to my detriment, and then faced victimisation for doing so. I have worked very hard professionally to achieve my personal goals, however I have faced racism both professionally and socially. I am not a statistic, but even the statistics prove there is a problem.

There is a further note to add to that point, in that the practise of labelling people serial complainants or vexatious complainants is sometimes used to silence such assertions.

I have experienced the same name issues expressed above, but where a client refused to speak to me because my skin colour did not match their expectation. Minorities do suffer with the criminal justice system, in terms of under representation in the professions and in terms of navigating the legal system.

It is so upsetting to hear people suggest that anyone facing racism would not want to do something about this. Of course they would ALWAYS want to challenge this, however the consequences can be very harsh and harrowing as those responsible realise the consequences for themselves, so when placed under the spotlight they attack. My fighting these matters has indeed cost me dearly, and my family also. Some days I do ponder as to whether it was worth it, but try to reconcile that I would not be the person that I believe I am, had I not challenged these matters!

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Not Amused

I understand that you are upset but you have not understood what I have been saying.

A lot of what you say does not make much sense and that too might be because you are very upset – which I understand and sympathise with.

You say “Minorities do suffer with the criminal justice system, in terms of under representation in the professions and in terms of navigating the legal system”

But I have already shown how BME people are not under represented at the Bar. Navigating the legal system is tricky for people of all ethnic groups – that is why we have professional lawyers.

You have again not addressed the specific complaint you made against a barrister at an Inn while dinning. I would really like you to report this if it is true. I don’t know how to convince you but there are no recriminations if you report this incident and it actually happened. Please tell me which Inn it was and I will post the relevant contact details.

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Ayshia

Sorry, I forgot to answer one other comment.

I only posted on this message board because I saw the initial comments about Mr Iteshi, and well given my experiences wanted to highlight that racism does exist. I felt quite angry and upset to see the judgements being made, without understanding of the other side of the situation. Hence, I highlighted some situations that I had personally experienced to demonstrate that these very real things had happened to me from even professionals who should know better.

Finally, may I say thank you for the supportive words expressed above, as belief and support are the way forward to deal with these very real issues.

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Tom Jefferson

Well if the reasons for the incarceration includes ‘historical discrimination’ then people of colour are incarcerated because of their colour no matter how it’s dressed up in little twists of causality.

And what exactly are you trying to say? That black people and people from ethnic minorities commit more crime? Why not just come out and say it if that’s what you mean.

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DC

I didn’t say the reason for the incarceration included “historical discrimination”. I said the reasons for black and ethnic minority people being overrepresented in lower socioeconomic groups included “historical discrimination”. That’s not the same thing. The immediate cause of anyone being incarcerated is that they committed a crime and got caught. It is not a “little twist of causality” to say this. There are frequently factors relating to their committing that crime that relate to their subjection to social injustices, that are not by any means exclusively related to race. For example, white males from deprived backgrounds are far more likely to commit crimes and as a result be incarcerated than the average person. Would you say that they are imprisoned “because they are white, male, and from a deprived background”? Would you say that someone who goes through the care system and subsequently commits a crime and ends up in prison is imprisoned “because they went through the care system”? It is far too bald a statement which diverts attention away from the very serious social issues that lead to commission of crime and places all the blame on the criminal justice system.

And of course I wouldn’t say something like “BME people commit more crime.” I am saying that people who are deprived and subjected to social injustice commit more crime, and black and ethnic minority people suffer more than their fair share of deprivation and social injustice. They are also, which is another serious issue, more likely to be caught and arrested when they do commit crime, due to the discriminatory application of policies like stop and search. Again though, your bald statement that “people are incarcerated because of their skin colour” doesn’t allow for any proper exploration of those problems.

All I am suggesting is that you might want to be a bit more nuanced with your language if you want to constructively contribute to a debate. I am not sure why you are attacking me and trying to back me into saying things that you would no doubt use to suggest I was one of the bad guys.

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Replay

The judicial system is authorized to confine people convicted of crimes.
If you feel BMEs are incarcerated in excessive numbers perhaps it would be more advantageous to discuss the vicious cycle of poverty; why people turn to a life of crime rather than pursue education and employment etc.

Regarding Mr. Iteshi, I wonder if people would think he was such a buffoon had he attended a more prestigious university.

Ayshia, your decision not to report this incident is understandable as such an act of bravery or integrity may cost you your career. However, such an act would allow the Inn to deal with the matter accordingly.

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Not Amused

No one suggested Mr Iteshi was a buffoon. He is simply someone who makes false allegations of racism. It is pathetic to pretend the university he attended (I don’t know which one that is by the way) has any bearing at all. He made up untrue allegations and/or brought false claims.

Making a complaint about a racist action by a barrister at Inn dinning, if it is true, will not EVER cost anyone any career they may be seeking. People need to come forward. This culture of believing in secret racism and telling people not to complain is insidious – it is itself promoting racism and it must stop now.

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Replay

Where have I advised her not to complain?
I am saying it is the brave and the right thing to do although she may be afraid of any consequences.
She should complain and let the Inn deal with the matter accordingly.

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squawkparrot

Well DC, have you read the judgment with a critical eye. The reason the judge is not to consider any evidence, except mine or their evidence that proves mine to be indisputable false, is because at a short strike out hearing he might find something in a document that he has not asked me about at the hearing. If he assumes that to be true, when I could have rebuttal evidence, then he is making assumptions that he is not entitled to make. CPR 24.2.3 is absolutely clear on that.

Bare in mind that the Defence states that Ms Hole spoke to Ms Daunton and then Ms Daunton sought advice from Academic registry and the words in the 1st cause of action could have been the exact words Ms Daunton used, i.e. “disruptive and aggesssive” but she cannot remember them precisely.

So, as to the question of participation and malice, the only evidence of concern is did Ms Hole tell Ms Daunton, and did Ms Daunton exaggerate what she was told to the author of the 1st cause of action.

Now, have a look at paragraph 49. Ms Hole, says Nicol J, describes by behaviour as “incongruent”, which I guess means that she could not get a handle on it. But any way, it is miles from the threatening and aggressive behaviour described by Ms Daunton. In fact I could be right that the allegation of “aggressive and irate” (in para 49) comes from Lyn Daunton, because it is on his scrap of paper ready to ask Ms Hole, but as Ms Hole appears to reject this description, as it was not in his report, then my evidence taken at its highest suggests that I was correct, Ms Daunton wholly exaggerated in blacker and stronger terms my behaviour on induction night.

Now, it could be that others, and I say could be, described my behaviour in similar terms to Ms Daunton. But, that still does not address the question of Ms Daunton’s malice or participation.

Ms Daunton’s malice has to be based upon what she knew. The question of my behaviour is another matter, and I have much proof that it was not how Ms Hole described it.

So, in this paragraph he, Nicol J, admits that the terms “aggressive and irate” do not appear in the report, and therefore on the evidence it would appear that Ms Hole rejected that description of my behaviour.

But, then he introduces hearsay evidence negativing this very important piece of evidence by saying, “However, it does record Phil Cribbs, a student administration manager, saying that he had been present in another room on 23rd September, several staff members had expressed concerns about the Claimant’s behaviour that night and Rhian Griffiths had mentioned “aggressive behaviour” to him.”

This is hearsay evidence from a person who was not there, but heard another person say “aggressive behaviour”.

And, I have emails that prove that Mr Cribbs was part of the cover-up. For example, he was in charge of enrolling students. Before the induction I had enrolled with the university, and I have emails acknowledging that I must have been, and emails showing that his department received that enrolment form in good time. Yet, as a result of the 1st cause of action, the university asked me to enrol for the first time (again), because, he said, I had taken an interest in the course I had done nothing about it. This is completely untrue, as not only did I complete an enrolment form pre-induction, I completed another at induction whilst arguing with Ms Hole that I didn’t need to. So effectively he was asking me for a 3rd application form, which had to be completed in about two days, and with references from the law school otherwise I would miss the deadline for the enrolment. Ironic that because there was already a superb reference on file at the law school from a senior lecturer. to quote…

“Mr Crossland is a very intelligent and perceptive person who can master copious material… and often approaches problems from an unusual angle… With regards to Mr Crossland’s character and relationships, I can assure you he is courteous, helpful to others, gregarious, hardworking, punctual and consequently very trusted by other students and excellent relations with staff… he is one of life’s memorable people.”

I know all the because I have hundreds of emails/documents setting out the events as I have described brought to me by a conscientious DPA manager of the university who would not let anything escape.

But, a little further on in his judgment at para 51 he quotes Rhian Giffiths as saying that I was a “little aggressive”. I guess if a was arguing in a stupid way about by enrolment, a 6ft 4 in man in a room of females, then I guess I could be, could be, described as a “little aggressive”, but that is still a long way from Ms Daunton’s “aggressive and threatening” and later, “intimidating”.

And, not “aggressive” as Mr Cribbs describs, but as a”little aggressive” as Rhian Griffiths says I was to her.

But, anyway, Nicol J has introduced bogus evidence because all that matters is what Ms Daunton believed. She did not speak to anyone else except Ms Hole. So even if I was in fact an axe murderer in my spare time it would avail Ms Daunton nothing if she did not know what I was or that’s how others were describing me.

Pick through the judgment, and you will/should see very many similar problems with this judgment very often indeed. The Civil Procedure Rules are there to ensure a fair trial. Being an LIP does not mean that judges are entitled to break these rules that are there to ensure my Article 6 rights are not trampled upon. These rules are there to ensure that the correct result is reached by a fair process.

Are you a barrister, or do you know of one that might wish to take a look for a ECtHR hearing? You are/were sure that your allegations about me stand up. You have taken a strong position against what I say, mainly based on what was a flawed or dishonest judgment. Your position is precisely why the rules governing a strike out are in place, the other side’s evidence cannot be taken into account because you, or the judge cannot know everything and whether I can rebut these allegations. I did not behave badly at the law school. And, of course these allegations are going to be rife, as that is what a libel essentially is, the university will try to smear me to justify their allegations. The case should have gone to trial, it should never have been struck out. My access to justice was denied, as per the Supreme Court Act section 69, I believe, another breach of article 6 considering the evidence I have that supports my claim. Oh, yes, don’t forget about Richards LJ’s bias. And, the lack of specific reasons in the CofA judgment, to name but a few more indications that the whole process was highly irregular.

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squawkparrot

Mistake above, should read “not how Ms Daunton described it”

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DC

It does you no good to make submissions to me. All I have to go on is the judgment, which seems pretty fair. You obviously think differently, as do many litigants when they get a judgment that goes against them. As I said before, this seems like a misguided crusade. Pursuing it further will not make you happy. Give it up.

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dave

Exactly. Lengthy, irrelevant posts on an internet page won’t help either.

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Juan Pertayta

“…he is one of life’s memorable people.”

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Fanshawe

Interesting discussion. I have never seen/experienced anything myself, but I have anecdotally heard stories of appalling racist comments (invariably in the form of ‘humour’) at Inn events and during pupillage (a racist joke about a pupil made to a client while the pupil was present). The comments sounded like the kind of thing people whose exposure to minorities was limited to reading about them in newspapers or in popular culture of a certain type might say. I should add that I’ve also been told many, many stories about horrific sexist behaviour at Inn events (towards Bar students specifically).

Generally there is a problem because being a victim of racism, just like being a victim of sexism or other discrimination, does tap into certain culturally prevalent degrading stereotypes which understandably creates an effect beyond that of the immediate comment. This in turn can lead to communication problems with victims not talking about what happened and the result is a gulf of perception, sometimes with distortions on both sides, between those who have experienced or heard of racism and those who have not. I think it’s important to keep this gulf in mind when discussing the issue, obviously while maintaing a robustly logical approach to the matter. I think Not Amused’s comments are generally spot on (as they usually are) and the statistics on representation in the Bar should be widely disseminated. However, in my view the confidence with which the assertion that making a complaint would not have repercussions for the complainant is made appears a little problematic. I also think there is a risk that the tone of the assertion(s) could be misinterpreted as skepticism.

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Not Amused

“However, in my view the confidence with which the assertion that making a complaint would not have repercussions for the complainant is made appears a little problematic. I also think there is a risk that the tone of the assertion(s) could be misinterpreted as skepticism.”

I see it this way – if we want to live in a world without racism then we are going to need people who believe they have experienced racism to come forward. I am sceptical about complainants who do not come forward generally in life. Firstly because it is deeply unproductive and unhelpful to society and secondly because clearly a certain amount of complainants who do not come forward are afraid of their false claim being exposed as false.

It is therefore in both senses easier to not complain. Firstly because you don’t need to make any effort. Secondly because if you are lying then you make yourself much less likely to be caught.

So in order to balance that I need to live in a country where coming forward and raising a complaint is normal. Part of achieving that is that we should all confidently assert that no harm will come to a complainant. Next is doing what we can to ensure our assertion is correct.

But at the moment it is all a bit Schrodinger’s cat – because no complaint has been made the box has not been opened.

If the complaint is true – I am certain that no harm can come to a complainant who genuinely suffered the treatment complained of. Firstly each of the Inns would be horrified. Secondly each Inn would react with real vigour and determination to root out that behaviour and the individual would be severely reprimanded (up to the loss of rights, the loss of any future promotion to bencher and disciplinary action such as suspension). Thirdly whichever set the individual is at would also punish the individual. Fourthly the press would (rightly) publish his/her identity and I would encourage Alex to do so. I would also disseminate the knowledge. Conversely no set would hold it against a pupillage applicant that this had happened to them; it just wouldn’t happen.

If the complaint is false – then I want it exposed and I want the dissemination of untrue rumour to end (because I think it has very negative effects on race relations). I am conscious of a temptation to lie about being a victim of many things. We cannot dismiss that possibility. But as with the cat in the box it is only by opening it (which requires a proper complaint to be made) that we can have any resolution – currently I would be wrong to either believe or disbelieve the complaint, all I can do now is urge it to be made.

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