A perspective from the Junior Bar: Zoe Chapman and Francesca Kirby write opinion piece for The Circuiteer

June 1, 2022

Zoe Chapman and Francesca Kirby have written an opinion piece for The Circuiteer from the perspective of the Junior Bar. The piece entitled “Barking up the Wrong Tree” examines the state of the Criminal Bar following a tree planting ceremony by HMCTS at Snaresbrook Crown Court in December of 2021. The tree planting images captured from the event highlight the odd timing of the ceremony against a background of a scaffolding-clad court building and crumbling court estate. Zoe and Francesca reflect on the timing of the episode, the Bar Council’s “Life at the Young Bar” report, ever growing workloads, poor renumeration and the exodus from the Bar which continues at an alarming rate. They note:

“The Bar is made up of hardworking, committed, skilled people who together work to keep our Criminal Justice System going, a system which is fundamental to the functioning of society. We want diverse talent to continue to join, and remain at, the criminal Bar, because it is a worthwhile and rewarding profession. But, in order to achieve this, we need to cut through the rhetoric presented by the MOJ, HMCTS and the Government, and we need those in power to commit to a properly funded and functioning justice system.”

Read full piece here pp 6-7: [The Circuiteer]