I hope that all those who attended the association?s Spring conference enjoyed the event as thoroughly as I certainly did. Many congratulations to all those involved in organising such a successful day. One of the conference themes was the necessity for criminal law lawyers to engage in the processes through which the criminal justice system is undergoing change.
In this issue, there is an interview with Michael Caplan, one of the first solicitors with a criminal law background to become a QC. Michael discusses his work on the committee presiding over the criminal procedure rules and strongly encourages criminal defence lawyers ? those who regularly attend police stations and magistrates? courts ? to fill the vacancy which is coming up on that committee.
The daily grind of the criminal defence lawyer?s life also includes visits to prisons. Keith Wood?s article on this subject may well make you smile ? as it did me ? while, at the same time, making it clear just how difficult it is for lawyers making prison legal visits. I hope that this issue of the Advocate finds its way to the desks of the governors of London?s prisons. Another vital part of our job is advocacy. Karen Hammond?s session on advocacy at the conference was extremely useful; and Sue Nelson?s advice, in this issue, on how to sparkle in court will, I hope, put some of the thrill back into life ?on your feet?.
The case of Firth ? and its implications as to how lawyers should fill in case management forms ? is so crucial that the Administrative Court has certified a point of public interest for the Supreme Court. Bruce Reid?s article and Richard Jefferies? letter on this subject will, I hope, prompt members to use future issues of these pages to further the debate.