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Irish Legal News: 8th November 2016

Events, CPD & Courses
NI: Expert Witness Training for Court or Arbitration (4, 11 & 16 Nov)
The Regulation of Social Workers (12 Nov)
Law and the Idea of Liberty in Ireland: From Magna Carta to the Present (25-26 Nov)

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Events, CPD & Courses

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NI: Expert Witness Training for Court or Arbitration


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The Regulation of Social Workers


The Professional, Regulatory and Disciplinary Bar Association of Ireland (PRDBA) is delighted to invite you to attend its conference on "The Regulation of Social Workers" at 10.00am on Saturday November 12, 2016, at The Honorable Society of King's Inns.

Click here or on the image above to download the brochure.

Register at ti.to/bar-of-ireland-PRDBAconference

For further information and queries please contact prdba@lawlibrary.ie.

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Law and the Idea of Liberty in Ireland: From Magna Carta to the Present

The Irish Legal History Society will mark the 800th anniversary of the transmission of Magna Carta to Ireland with a conference entitled:

‘Law and the Idea of Liberty in Ireland: From Magna Carta to the Present’.

25 – 26 November 2016

Magna Carta
is one of the most famous documents in the history of the world, credited with being the first effective check in writing on arbitrary, oppressive and unjust rule — in a word, on tyranny. The fame of Magna Carta spread across the world as England, and later Britain, came to girdle the globe in its power.

What is the place of Ireland in the story of Magna Carta’s global dissemination? Four centuries before the Great Charter crossed the Atlantic, it was already implanted across the Irish Sea. A version of the charter issued in November 1216 in the name of the boy-king Henry III was sent to Ireland, where it became fundamental to the English common law tradition in Ireland that survives to the present.

The conference will explore the legal-historical background to Magna Carta in Ireland, the reception of the charter into English law in Ireland, the political and polemical uses to which the charter was put, and its twentieth and twentieth-first century invocations as a living presence in contemporary Irish law. Professor Paul Brand (All Souls, Oxford) will deliver a keynote address on the impact of Magna Carta on the development of English law in medieval Ireland.

A particular concern of the conference will be to explore the paradoxes presented by the reception of Magna Carta into Irish law, above all the contested and often highly restrictive-idea idea of ‘liberty’ that developed in Ireland from the Middle Ages onwards.

This conference will be held in the Music Room of Christ Church Cathedral, which boasts its own copy of Magna Carta in the Liber Niger held in the cathedral treasury.

Academic Directors: Dr Peter Crooks TCD & Dr Thomas Mohr UCD

Other speakers will include

Claire Breay, Seán Duffy, Ian Campbell, Coleman Dennehy, Sparky Booker, Colum Kenny, Adrian Empey, James Kelly, Patrick Geoghegan, John Larkin, Blathne Ruane.

A full copy of the programme is available on www.ilhs.eu
 
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Court of Appeal awards rapist €17,225 in damages for assault by prison officers in Castlerea Prison

A three-judge Court of Appeal has awarded a convicted rapist €17,225 after he sued the State for assault, negligence and breach of constitutional rights arising from an assault while he was a prisoner in Castlerea Prison. Overturning the finding of a High Court jury that had initially awarded the man €225, Mr Justice Gerard Hogan stated that it was “very difficult to avoid the conclusion that some of the witnesses tendered by the State told lies… in the course of their evidence”.
 
Background
 
In May 2013, Mr Darius Savickis sued The State for assault, negligence and breach of constitutional rights arising from an assault while he was a prisoner in Castlerea Prison. In the High Court, the jury found that he had been assaulted by prison officers and awarded him €4,500 in damages, reduced to €225 after finding 95% contributory negligence on Mr Savickis’ part.
 
Mr Savickis had been convicted of rape in February 2009 and was serving a six-year prison sentence when the assault took place in Castlerea Prison on 29th September 2009, resulting in Mr Savickis being taken to hospital.
 
A prison officer confronted Mr Savickis and placed his head in a headlock while Mr Savickis clung to the railings in an effort to resist being moved towards the exercise yard. At that point perhaps four to five more prison officers quickly arrived and prised Mr Savickis from the railings and totally subdued him.
 
Mr Savickis did not respond to the actions of the prison officer in an aggressive manner; he did not attempt to strike out at the prison officer and did no more than cling to the railing. It was clearly evident in the CCTV footage that as he was being subdued by the prison officers using control and restraints (C & R) techniques, he was struck three to four times by a particular prisoner officer with punches to the chest.
 
Mr Savickis was subsequently brought to Roscommon County Hospital later evening and the medical and nursing notes on admission showed bruising on his face and forehead, trauma injury to his chest and traces of blood in his urine – consistent with “a blunt blow to the patient.”
 
High Court
 
Mr Savickis subsequently commenced proceedings for damages for assault, negligence and breach of constitutional rights.
 
In summary, the jury found that although Mr Savickis had been assaulted, he was guilty of 95% contributory negligence. The jury also found that the State authorities had been negligent in the manner in which they had provided training for staff in control and restrain techniques. All other claims were rejected by the jury.
 
The jury ultimately awarded Mr Savickis the sum of €225 – representing a gross award of €4,500 reduced by 95%.
 
Court of Appeal
 
The Court of appeal upheld the jury’s conclusions that the State authorities were entitled to use appropriate force against Mr Savickis once he had refused to obey a lawful direction from the prison officer; and that the use of the C & R techniques was appropriate, but that these techniques had been applied in a negligent fashion due to inadequate training.
 
Justice Hogan was satisfied that the excessive force used in the circumstances must be understood as amounting to a finding (clearly supported by both the CCTV evidence and the relevant medical evidence) that Mr Savickis was unlawfully struck three or four times by a prison officer while he was subject to a C & R restraint.
 
Justice Hogan considered that the jury’s award of damages in respect of the negligent use of the C & R techniques could not be disturbed, but that the jury’s finding of 95% contributory negligence was disproportionate.
 
The jury’s award of a gross figure of €4,450 damages in respect of this assault was manifestly inadequate, and should be substituted by an award of €10,000.
 
Setting aside the finding of contributory negligence in its entirety, Justice Hogan stated that, while it was clear that the principles of contributory negligence provided for in s. 34(1) of the Civil Liability Act 1961 can apply to an intentional tort such as assault, there was no basis at all for the jury’s finding that there had been contributory negligence on the part of Mr Savickis so far as the assault was concerned.
 
Contrary to the jury’s finding, Justice Hogan found Mr Savickis’ case to be one which called for an award of  €5,000 exemplary damages for breach of constitutional rights – as per the principles articulated by the Supreme Court in Conway v. Irish National Teachers Organisation [1991] 2 IR 305.
 
Conclusion
 
Allowing the appeal to the extent indicated in the judgment, Justice Hogan set aside the original sum of €225 and awarded Mr Savickis €17,225 in damages.
  • by Seosamh Gráinséir for Irish Legal News
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Former solicitor stole €260k from clients following series of “catastrophic” investments

A former solicitor who was €6.5 million in debt stole €260,000 from her clients after she made a series of “catastrophic” investments during the property boom, a court has heard.

Jacqueline Durcan (47) previously from Co Mayo but with an address in Rue Laubespin, Brussels, Belgium, pleaded guilty to one count of stealing €260,000 between February 21, 2008 and January 27, 2011.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard yesterday that Durcan, a mother-of-five, was running the family business, Durcan Solicitors in Castlebar, Co Mayo, at the time of the offence. She had taken over the practice, which was set up by her grandfather, from her father after he had a stroke, the court heard.

Garda Noel Brown told Sean Gillane SC, prosecuting, that between 2008 and 2011, Durcan made five withdrawals of sums of up to €100,000 from mixed client deposit accounts.

The court heard Durcan and her husband owed €6.5 million to the banks at the time. Some of the money was spent on office expenditure and professional indemnity insurance, Gda Brown said. However, in September 2010, Durcan used €51,500 of the money to pay for the purchase of her own home, the court heard.

Upon hearing her practice was due to be audited in early 2011, Durcan contacted the Law Society and told them there would be a deficit in the accounts. The garda bureau of fraud investigation was informed in 2013 and Durcan was interviewed by gardaí in 2014.

The court heard it was extremely difficult to ascertain which clients had money stolen from them, as the funds were taken from mixed accounts. In 2014, the Law Society paid out €206,184 in compensation claims, which Durcan has since repaid.

Durcan was struck off in 2011 and moved to Belgium with her family, where she now teaches English as a foreign language. She has no previous convictions.

Defence barrister, Patrick Gageby SC, said his client and her husband were in the difficult position of owing €6.5 million to the banks at the time of the offence.

“This young couple overreached themselves during the property bubble,” he said. “They made a series a ventures which brought catastrophic circumstances on themselves and their family.”

The couple now live in “egregious” financial circumstances in Belgium and struggle to support themselves and their five young children who are all aged under 14, Mr Gageby said.

“This is not a case in which anybody set out to enrich themselves,” he said. “It's not a case where she set out to defraud her clients.” The thefts took place at a time when Durcan had a young family and was trying to run a practise with two full-time and four part-time workers, Mr Gageby added.

He said Durcan was extremely remorseful and has had to close the family practice that was “at the forefront of Mayo legal circles for 90 years”.

“My client is aware of what she has brought on herself and her husband and her family,” Mr Gageby said, adding Durcan's mother was in court to support her. She was extremely unlikely to re-offend, he added.

Judge Melanie Greally said she would need some time to consider sentence. She adjourned the matter to November 21.

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Justice Minister announces appointment of new Legal Aid Board

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald (pictured) has announced the appointment of a new Legal Aid Board with a term of office to end on 1 November 2021.

The outgoing Board’s term of office had expired recently.  In keeping with the Government’s policy, the appointments were dealt with through the Public Appointments Service portal www.stateboards.ie.  
 
The chairperson is Mr Philip O'Leary, solicitor, a partner with FitzGerald Solicitors, Cork.  The other members appointed to the Board are: 
  • Anne-Marie Blaney, solicitor, Legal Aid Board staff representative
  • Thomas Brennan, chartered accountant
  • Deirdre Burke, solicitor
  • David Gilbride, Officer of the Minister for Justice and Equality
  • Nuala Jackson, Senior Counsel
  • Gordon Jeyes, former chief executive of Tusla, the Child and Family Agency
  • Maurice Lawlor, Officer of the Minister for Social Protection
  • Freda McKittrick, assistant director, Barnardos,
  • Ellen O'Malley Dunlop, former CEO, Dublin Rape Crisis Centre; Adjunct Professor, UL School of Law
  • Michael O'Connell, Legal Aid Board staff representative
  • Evelyn O'Connor, Officer of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform 
Making the announcement, Ms Fitzgerald said: "I am very pleased that people of such calibre are willing to undertake this public service. There are many challenges ahead for this new Legal Aid Board, including delivery of the new scheme to help people who are in mortgage arrears on their home to access independent expert financial and legal advice, and the transfer of responsibility for the statutory Criminal Legal Aid scheme to the Board. I am confident that the new Board members will bring their considerable skills and experience to this important work."
 
She added: "I want to thank all the members of the previous Legal Aid Board for their outstanding contribution. I especially want to thank the outgoing Chairperson, Muriel Walls, for her leadership, tireless commitment and dedication to the work of the Board.  All of the members have helped to ensure that the Legal Aid Board remains an effective and respected body that is well placed to continue its good work."

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NI: Number of recorded offences of viewing child pornography rises sharply

In the past five years the number of police recorded offences for viewing child pornography has increased by 292 per cent to 231 offences in Northern Ireland.
 
The numbers have more than doubled in all four nations of the UK, the NSPCC reports.
 
In England the number increased by 134 per cent to 7,324 between 2010/11 and 2014/15. In Wales the number increased by 184 per cent to 587. In Scotland the number increased by 168 per cent to 603 recorded offences.
 
These figures are the maximum number of possible offences which have been recorded in relation to indecent images of children. Some of these offences will relate to adults. The Obscene Publications Act covers both online and offline material. However the way the data is collected by the police prevents the NSPCC from splitting out online and offline offences.
 
Neil Anderson, head of the NSPCC in Northern Ireland (pictured), said: "The sheer numbers of people viewing child sexual abuse images online must be addressed as a social emergency."
 
He added: "We recognise that progress has been made. For example, the work of the National Crime Agency and the police has safeguarded record numbers of victims and arrested hundreds of suspects in the UK.
 
"Industry is working with partners such as the IWF to identify and remove child sexual abuse images. But these efforts alone will not solve the problem.
  
"We should be long past the point where there are dark corners of the internet where these terrible crimes against children are hosted for the pleasure of paedophiles."
 
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Dillon Eustace bolsters new Regulatory Investigations Unit

Dillon Eustace, a law firm specialising in financial services, has launched a new Regulatory Investigations Unit, which has been bolstered by the newly appointed senior associate Muireann Reedy (pictured). The Unit will focus on helping companies address regulatory enforcement issues and has been created in response to the Central Bank of Ireland’s increased enforcement actions.
 
The financial services sector has seen ever increasing levels of regulation and inspection as well as more intrusive and robust regulatory interventions. Over the last decade the Central Bank of Ireland has taken action against 91 entities and 16 individuals, imposing fines of over €39 million on regulated entities/individuals under its Administrative Sanctions Procedures (ASP). This excludes the fines of €5 million each which were imposed on Quinn Insurance and INBS in 2013 and 2015 respectively, but which were waived/not collected for public interest reasons. In 2013, the Central Bank of Ireland’s sanctioning powers increased substantially seeing a doubling of maximum fines on individuals and entities from €500k to €1 million and from €5 million to €10 million respectively.
 
In her position, Ms Reedy will be working closely with lead partner Andrew Bates and the specialist team to further assist clients, acting on behalf of insurance companies, investment firms, funds and fund managers, credit unions and individuals. She will advise on investigations by the Central Bank of Ireland, the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement and the Chartered Accountants Regulatory board.
 
Prior to joining Dillon Eustace, Ms Reedy spent over five years working in the Central Bank’s Enforcement Division, where she was responsible for all aspects of running regulatory investigations under the Central Bank’s Administrative Sanctions Procedure, including leading regulatory interviews, settling enforcement cases and referring a case to Inquiry. She was involved in the Investigation and settlement of an Administrative Sanctions Procedure with Quinn Insurance in 2013, and the Central’s Bank first settlement with a credit union since the ASP was fully extended to credit unions.
 
Commenting on Ms Reedy’s appointment, Mr Bates said: “We are delighted to announce Muireann’s appointment as a senior associate to the new Regulatory Investigations Unit. Muireann’s appointment and the creation of the Unit has been motivated by an increasing level of regulatory inspections and Administrative Sanction Procedures being undertaken by the Central Bank of Ireland and other cross border regulatory enforcement agencies.

"Her addition to the team will help us build on our strong reputation as a market leader providing regulatory enforcement and compliance services domestically and internationally.”

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NI: Brexit case listed before Belfast High Court as leapfrog appeal considered

Raymond McCord’s Brexit case has been listed before Belfast High Court to determine the method of appeal and could result in it being heard directly by the UK Supreme Court.
 
Solicitor Ciaran O’Hare of McIvor Farrell Solicitors (pictured), who represents Mr McCord, said: “Never before has Belfast High Court permitted a case to leapfrog appeal from the Judicial Review Court to the Supreme Court in London. Normally an appeal from the Judicial Review Court is heard in the Court of Appeal.
 
“Given the magnitude of this case, we believe that it should proceed as a leapfrog appeal to the Supreme Court, along with the cases before the Divisional Court of England & Wales.”
 
Mr Justice Paul Maguire previously ruled that there was nothing to suggest the UK government could not activate Article 50 without the consent of the people of Northern Ireland.
 
Further, he said that parliamentary approval was not necessary to activate Article 50 as “the actual notification does not, in itself, alter the law of the UK” but merely represented “the beginning of a process which ultimately will probably lead to changes in UK law”.
 
In his judgment, he said: “On the day after the notice has been given, the law will in fact be the same as it was on the day before it was given. The rights of individual citizens will not have changed – though it is, of course, true that in due course the body of EU law as it applies in the UK will, very likely, become the subject of change.
 
“But at the point when this occurs the process necessarily will be one controlled by parliamentary legislation, as this is the mechanism for changing law in the UK.”

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NI: Five drug amnesties lead to only one drugs recovery

Five drug amnesties at Northern Ireland prisons this year have only led to one recovery of drugs, The Irish News reports.

A small amount of cannabis was given up during a 72-hour amnesty at Maghaberry Prison in September.

However, nothing was recovered this year despite another three-day amnesty at Maghaberry, a four-day amnesty at Hydebank, a further five-day amnesty at Hydebank, and a three-date amnesty at Magilligan.

A spokesman for the Northern Ireland Prison Service told The Irish News: “Although no-one came forward in the amnesties in Maghaberry, Hydebank and Magilligan during 2016, significant quantities of drugs have been confiscated this year by the Northern Ireland Prison Service, using a range of mechanisms."

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NI: 'Impossible' to know how Pearse Jordan was killed

The parents of IRA man Pearse Jordan, killed in 1992, have said they are considering further legal action after a coroner ruled it was "impossible" to say what happened.

Mr Justice Horner, sitting as a coroner, yesterday delivered his findings at the inquest into the death of Patrick Pearse Jordan, who was shot and fatally wounded by an RUC officer on the Falls Road in Belfast on 25 November 1992.

In his judgment, Mr Justice Horner said: “The deceased was shot and fatally wounded on 25 November 1992 on the Falls Road. At the time of his death he was on a mission for PIRA. He was unarmed. The Ford Orion which he was driving had been used earlier that day to carry substances used in the making of improvised explosives, namely ammonium nitrate and sugar. At the time of the shooting the Orion car was not being used to ferry guns, explosives or other munitions. 

“It is now impossible with the passage of time to say with any certainty what happened on that fateful afternoon. At the remove of a quarter of a century I am simply unable to reach a concluded view which is fair and just as to whether the use of lethal force was justified or not. I remain profoundly unsure as to what happened. Neither side, for the reasons I have set out, have been able to convince me that what they say did occur immediately prior to the deceased’s death.

“On the balance of probabilities if the events did happen as the PSNI contend, and as I have said I have been unable to determine that issue on the balance of probabilities, I am satisfied that Sergeant A acted in self-defence and that there was no breach of Article 2. However, in so far as the onus lies on the PSNI to provide a satisfactory and convincing explanation to the inquest for the use of lethal force it has failed to do so.

“But how precisely the deceased met his death on that fateful afternoon has not been proved to the satisfaction of this inquest and remains unknown.”

Solicitor Fearghál Shiels (pictured) of Madden & Finucane Solicitors, acting for the late Mr Jordan's parents, told The Irish News they would closely study the findings and consider taking further legal action.

He said the only avenue available "would be a judicial review".

A number of judicial reviews have already taken place concerning Mr Jordan's death, and the findings of a previous inquest in 2012 were quashed after legal action.

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High-achieving law graduate awarded Chancellor’s Medal at Dublin City University

Trina Mawuena Dzidonu

Dublin City University has awarded its Chancellor’s Medal to Trina Mawuena Dzidonu, a BA in Economics, Politics & Law graduate for achieving excellence in both academic and extra-curricular aspects of university life. Ms Dzidonu was presented with the medal at her graduation ceremony last week.

Professor John Doyle, executive dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, praised Ms Dzidonu for her success and contribution to the University: “Trina’s passion for law, intercultural and intergenerational issues is very evident from the decisions she has made through participation in societies and external volunteering programmes. The two key themes that can be discerned from her extra-curricular involvement are using law to help people, and working to bridge divides between different communities.”

On arriving in DCU, Ms Dzidonu joined the Free Legal Advice Centre society, a group that trains students to provide legal advice clinics to other students. In subsequent years, she became a key member of its committee and in final year held the position of chairperson. 

She also worked as an intern in the Children’s Rights Alliance, the Office of the Attorney General and completed a work placement with Frontline Human Rights Defenders.

Ms Dzidonu also found time to teach IT skills to older members of the local community through her involvement with the Intergenerational Learning Programme. As part of her involvement with DCU’s Africa Society, she visited her home country of Ghana as a volunteer working her to help children of the country – a trip which led to her becoming involved with DCU Breaking Borders Committee (Intercultural Society).

Professor Doyle added: “Trina is a driven, committed and hugely determined individual who has a long standing passion for law and justice.  She has nurtured and developed this passion into actively helping people to the very best of her ability, both within the DCU community and beyond.

“She has not only had a significant impact through her voluntary work, but has managed to do so while remaining a dedicated and high achieving student with DCU. This combination makes her, in our opinion, a very worthy recipient of the Chancellor’s medal.”

Ms Dzidonu graduated with a 1.1 degree at her graduation ceremony last week and is currently working as a teaching assistant in the DCU Business School.

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NI: Fewer parking tickets issued annually as Hazzard considers sliding scale for offences

The number of parking tickets issued annually in Northern Ireland is declining, the Assembly has heard.
 
In 2015, 110,00 fines were issued – about 300 a day. However, this total is a drop of more than 50,000 on 2007’s peak figure, the Belfast Telegraph reports.
 
Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard said: "The number of penalty charge notices issued has fallen from an all-time high of 163,000 in 2007 to 110,000 in 2015, despite the number of vehicles rising in that same period by up to 5 per cent." 
 
He will now consider a sliding scale of fines for different parking offences after a vote urged him to look again at the flat £90 fine.
 
However, Mr Hazzard dismissed suggestions of a significant reduction, to £15.
 
He said: "If we reduced it to that, I would be very worried at the impact it might have on urban clearways and main arterial routes.”
 
Mr Hazzard added that he would consider different fines for different offences, saying: "Parking two or three inches outside a parking bay should not carry the same weight as blocking a main arterial route into the city. I am more than happy to look at that.”

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UK: Geoffrey Bindman and Lord Judge unimpressed with Lord Chancellor's defence of Brexit judges

A former Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales and a top solicitor have criticised the Lord Chancellor over her response to the media outcry against judges in the High Court following their judgment in the Brexit case.

Lord Igor Judge told the BBC’s Newsnight programme that the UK government had been too slow to defend the judges and that Liz Truss, who has a "statutory obligation" to defend them had done "a little too late and not a lot".

He said: "To say you believe in the independence of judges is fine but it doesn't actually address why this matters at a particular time.”

Meanwhile, Sir Geoffrey Bindman QC, of Bindmans LLP (pictured), wrote to The Guardian to lament the decline in quality of recent Lord Chancellors.

He wrote: “The belated response of the Lord Chancellor to the shameful attacks on three senior judges by the Mail, Express and Telegraph  was the bare minimum required of her by the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 and by her oath of office: to ‘defend the independence of the judiciary’. It fell far short of the forceful condemnation which she should have delivered to those who seek to undermine the crucial role of the judges as guardians of our democracy against the abuse of executive power.

“The fault originates in the 2005 act itself, which robbed the office of Lord Chancellor of its stature at the head of the judiciary with the added authority of a cabinet minister. By relegating the office to a purely nominal adjunct to the political function of justice secretary, Tony Blair’s government (against the advice of his mentor Lord Irvine) paved the way for a succession of inadequately qualified appointees. Public appreciation of the vital role of the judges in protecting the rule of law has been diminished. This is especially sad at a time when the judiciary is probably as able and impartial as it has ever been.”

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England: Solicitors rack up hours of 'involuntary' pro bono rather than drop clients unable to pay

Solicitors are accruing hours of “involuntary” free work for clients unable to pay their fees, it has emerged.

The Law Society is to undertake a survey to determine how many in the profession are doing unrecorded pro bono work for clients in dire straits.

Anecdotal evidence suggests many firms are routinely putting the hours in rather than dropping clients.

Forced pro bono has increased dramatically since the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 came into force and reduced eligibility for state funding considerably.

The Law Society also published a pro bono charter and manual.

President Robert Bourns (pictured) said: “Pro bono must never be viewed as a substitute for a properly funded legal aid system.

“The Law Society will continue to underscore the importance of appropriate levels of investment in the justice system, which is a key public service like the NHS and education, in order to protect access to justice for all. To this end we also promote public legal education, a regulatory objective.”

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“Where Modern Justice Lives”: UK Supreme Court architecture exhibition opens

Modern supreme court buildings across the world are in the spotlight this winter, as a new temporary exhibition opens at the UK Supreme Court in central London.
 
Contemporary architectural designs, photos and models from countries including South Africa, the Netherlands, Singapore and Albania go on show today at the UK’s top appeal court.
 
Visitors will have the chance to see how leading international architectural practices have tackled the brief set for them by senior judges around the world in the 20th and 21st centuries.
 
They will also be encouraged to reflect on the role that court buildings have in supporting public confidence in democracy and the rule of law. For instance, the material on the Constitutional Court of South Africa quotes Nelson Mandela, opening the South African Constitutional Court in 1995: “The last time I appeared in court was to hear whether or not I was going to be sentenced to death...Today I rise, not as an accused, but on behalf of the people of South Africa, to inaugurate a court ...on which hinges the future of our democracy.”
 
The display is the second in a rolling programme of special exhibitions curated by the Supreme Court Arts Trust, an independent charity established in 2015 to promote understanding of legal institutions through art installations and other educative projects.
 
Admission is free, and the exhibition is open to the public from 9.30am – 4.30pm Mondays to Fridays until 16 December 2016.
 
Architect Elsie Owusu OBE, a trustee of the Supreme Court Arts Trust, lead designer and curator of the exhibition, said: “Seeing such diverse ways of handling the complex challenge of Court architecture is inspiring. This exhibition gives remarkable insights into collaborations between judges, architects, interior designers and artists to create places and spaces which are secure and comfortable, and functional and accessible to the public”.
 
Sir Anthony Salz, chair of the Supreme Court Arts Trust, said: “We hope the exhibition will encourage visitors to think about how the built environment of courts helps reflect, promote and influence the work that goes on inside them – as well as shine a spotlight on the exciting work being undertaken in this area by architects around the world.”
 
The architectural practices which generously provided exhibition material, on a pro bono basis, include: Foster + Partners (Singapore Supreme Court); Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg); Janina Masojada, Andrew Makin and Paul Wygers (South Africa Constitutional Court); KAAN Architecten (Netherlands Supreme Court); Grimshaw Architects (Palace of Justice, Tirana); and Studio Sadar+Vuga (Supreme Court of Albania).

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And finally... in the doghouse

Two dogs were "arrested" by gardaí after chasing a cyclist through Dublin on Saturday, the Irish Independent reports.

The "noisy howlers" were barking at a bike when gardaí picked them up and locked them in a cell at Finglas Garda Station.

They were collected by a dog pound in the early hours of the morning and eventually reunited with their owner on Monday morning.

Photos of the dogs went viral on Twitter.
 

But some commentators were critical of the tweets.

One user wrote: "Should you not blur out there faces? Also should they not be described as 'accused', they haven't been prosecuted yet!"
  • Contributions from ILN readers to our “And finally” section are welcome – they should be sent to: newsdesk@irishlegal.com
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NI Advertorial: Expert Witness Training for Court or Arbitration

The NI Chapter of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators are constantly seeking to assist members with continuing professional development and have identified the need for proper Expert training at a reasonable cost. Following the introduction of the Practice Direction 2015 the Commercial Courts in Northern Ireland now ask that all experts appearing have completed some form of training on the Directive and the obligations of an Expert. Failure to complete such training will adversely affect the evidence that the prospective Expert may wish to present.

If you are a practicing Expert / hope to act as an Expert in the future / or use the services of Experts the importance of receiving adequate training cannot be understated.

The proposed training will allow you or your expert to confidently deliver evidence without the risk of being questioned on adequate knowledge of your obligations to the court.  Failure to obtain such training will undoubtedly effect the likelihood of success.

See the flyer on the upcoming training to be held over 3 Fridays in November. This will culminate in a court session in front of the Honourable Mr Justice Horner where some participants will experience cross-examination with the assistance of local barristers.

The numbers are limited and we would ask that you send through your expression of interest to Tim Hopkins as identified in the flyer.

If you use any of the local experts available in Northern Ireland I would emphasise that they all should have adequate training and perhaps you could circulate as necessary so that you are confident any evidence you are receiving does not get dismissed on the grounds of poor presentation of lack of training.

For further information you can contact the Chair of the CIArb NI Chapter, Jarlath Kearney, email JPK@ElementalConsultants.com tel. (028) 90434883

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Advertorial: Stewart Title at LAW 2016 Belfast




Stewart Title Limited are delighted to sponsor The Solicitors Group Conference LAW 2016 Belfast 9th and 10th November 2016 at the Europa Hotel. Please come along and say hello. We look forward to seeing you there.

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