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‘Who Breaks A Barrister Upon The Wheel Of An Eddie Stobart Lorry?

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As I prepare to commence pupillage at a leading criminal law set in September, the government’s assault on the criminal Bar is of great concern to me, writes OccupyTheInns.

Reluctantly, as I have accessed the internet in some very unlikely locations and read the latest developments during a continuing period of travel, I have come to accept that our non-lawyer Lord Chancellor is too out of touch with the workings of the Bar to understand that he is making a grave mistake.

As any lawyer worth their salt knows, the legal aid cuts will cost the taxpayer far, far more than is saved in the short term as thousands of catastrophic litigants in person wreak havoc upon the court system. It is also beyond argument that ‘one case one fee’ will lead to miscarriage of justice after miscarriage of justice as substandard advocates make blunder after blunder.

However, for a moment set aside the integrity of justice arguments and consider something else…

The Bar is one of the places in this world where the professional and the artistic collide. A good barrister is not a simple practitioner of law, but also a person of creativity, a performer, and in the case of the very best advocates whose ranks the most promising BPTC performers hope to join, an artist.

The unique structure of the Bar allows for this. Self-employment enables the creatively-minded to set their own schedule to accommodate their restless, unpredictable natures. It is in this environment that the barrister flourishes. The alternative that is being proposed under ‘one case one fee’ – employed barristers working for “legal services providers” such as Stobart Barristers or Co-op Legal – would be like forcing artists to produce their works in a call centre. Who, I ask you, breaks a barrister upon the wheel of an Eddie Stobart lorry?

I write these words on an aeroplane taking me east. Shortly we will commence our descent into Hong Kong, from whence I will continue my journey to Australia for some much needed rest and relaxation after a taxing few months working on an international human rights project followed by a period of travel in some of the world’s most challenging destinations.

In the city beneath me the pace of change continues at a rapid pace, I understand from the copy of The Economist which I have just been studying. But what price progress? In Britain’s obsession to become “more competitive” in a changing world, shaken up by a re-waken Chinese dragon, I fear very much that we may be in danger of losing what makes us special.

“Please make sure your seat backs and tray tables are in their full upright position…”  I must lay down my pen now. As I do, and I stare out over this Chinese sky, I am filled with a feeling that the campaign to Occupy the Inns of Court may not be over yet.

OccupyTheInns was called to the Bar in July 2011. He will commence pupillage in autumn. There’s more from OccupyTheInns here.

15 Comments

Adam Pie

Who uses the word “whence”?

Good luck at the Criminal bar. You’ll need it.

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DC

The parody suggestion has been made before and I think a lot of people came to the conclusion that it probably was a wind up, but that it was still awful and ought to be stopped.

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Paralegal

“Perhaps we’re all missing the point and OccupyTheInns is a parody of a pretentious, vainglorious (yet to be) pupil and we’ve all fallen for it?”

Faith in humanity slightly restored.

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J

And it’s not “from whence”. “From” is superfluous. “Whence” means “From what place or source; from which or where”.

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DRC

I also thought that J. If you’re going to use a ridiculously old-fashioned word, at least use it appropriately.

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Simon Myerson

I also consider you an artist…

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DC

Piss- or con-?

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Sandman

It would be nice to believe that Occupy the Inns is a parody but, sadly, the parody is a little too close to reality and it is eminently believable that he is a genuine Bar student with an overly inflated opinion of his own talents, bordering on a narcisstic personality disorder…

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The Chairman

I’ve been at the criminal bar for a long time.This job isn’t what you think it is and your views may not sit well with those like me, with families to support who work hard, get through and ultimately will decide whether you get tenancy or booted post-pupillage. Speaking as one who learned hard lessons from that form of indignity many years ago, these days there are precious few first chances, let alone second ones. Take some advice before you try to learn to give it. Enjoy your holiday and think hard about your future, now that you have your precious chance. Don’t blow it.

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Sandman

… having read over a few of OTI’s previous posts, he is clearly some kind of troll, whether or not he is also an aspiring barrister. I’m sure that Legal Cheek is aiming at satire, but trolling your readers does not make a satire. I agree with others who’ve said repeatedly in the comments that this should stop

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C

obviousy – its an attempt at a new “baby barrister”

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Nick Kaplan

Moreover, if your going to use words like ‘whence’ at least try to get their grammar right. The word ‘whence’ means ‘from where’ so the author’s use of ‘from whence’ makes no sense; it is as if he said ‘from from where.’

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OccupyMyEgo

This parody was reasonably funny the first ten or so times you wrote it. Get new material

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OccupyMyEgo

Bearing in mind that Occupy has given us quite a bit of info about his background (2i from a leading RG uni that isn’t Oxbridge in Languages, commendation on the GDL, VC on the BVTC, time spent traveling in Asia, called in 2011, begins pupillage in 2013), and that this background is probably quite unusual for someone at a ‘leading criminal set’, it might be possible to identify him if and when he gets tenancy. I’m sure criminal solicitors will love to know about those extra-curricular achievements that he has felt unable to put on his chamber biography.

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Mark

Oh God! Other than doing Languages at a RG uni, we have quite similar backgrounds! (I’d like to think i don’t sound quite as pompous or self-satisfied)

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