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Registration is now open for our webinar on 24/02/2022 @ 5:30pm. Join @felicitygerry and Associate Professor Beatrice Krebs discussing joint enterprise and causation. Register here: eventbrite.co.uk/e/empty-nexu…

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Latest News
Felicity Gerry QC – BBC Newsnight – Virginia Giuffre v Prince Andrew Felicity Gerry QC has given expert interviews on the Virginia Giuffre v Prince Andrew litigation this week on BBC Newsnight, Sky News, and on various BBC Breakfast shows. She was asked about Judge Kaplan’s ruling on the motion to dismiss and the next steps in the process. Broadly speaking she said the following: This was a ruling on a motion to dismiss which is an early method of stopping the case. The judge is bound by law to assume the allegations are correct and to consider whether (a) they are not too vague to proceed and (b) the agreement with Epstein on one interpretation is not binding. These issues were decided (a) as not vague enough to be thrown out early but that does not decide whether they will be successful at trial and (b) the application of the agreement can be interpreted as not binding but that will have to be decided at trial too. There will now be a timetable to trial which will include dates for discovery on both sides – VG will be asked for clarity and PA will be asked for details. This is a normal legal process and judges are often asked to decide if each party has complied so expect further hearings along the way. There are more legal arguments likely on jurisdiction (whether VG has sufficient connection with the US for the law to apply) and limitation (whether the time limit to bring a claim is validly extended). These are NOT technicalities but how the law works to be fair to all parties to litigation. On the BBC interview with Prince Andrew she said that often an interview given in relation to allegations will be admissible at trial. Clients often do not interview well but that does not necessarily mean they have done what is alleged. That will be decided on all the evidence. View the BBC iPlayer video here or by clicking the image below. The Prince Andrew story begins at 24 minutes and our very own Felicity Gerry QC appears from 27 minutes onwards. https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/ Prince Andrew to face civil sex case – https://news.sky.com/ Virginia Giuffre ‘on campaign to expose evils of sexual abuse’, says lawyer: https://news.sky.com/  
Libertas Chambers
Darren Snow appears in Article 2 Jury Inquest Darren Snow, instructed by the Royal College of Nursing’s Head Office Legal Team, recently represented a mental health nurse at an Article 2 Jury Inquest at Bedford Coroner Court. The inquest investigated the circumstances surrounding the death of a prisoner, Ezra Tamiem, who was on remand at HMP Bedford. He was found hanging in his cell on the healthcare wing on the morning of the 16th July 2020 having barricaded his cell door and constructed a mannequin from clothing and bedding to give the impression he was asleep in bed to those checking him overnight. There had been concerns for his mental health and use of ligatures whilst on remand but his condition was believed to be much improved by July 2020. When assessed a few days before his death he was considered to be stable and presenting a low risk of suicide. He remained on the ACTT programme for “at risk” prisoners but observations overnight were reduced to 4 random observations. Time of death was not established. The jury reached a finding of Suicide with a narrative concluding that failures with the prison’s care, risk assessment and overnight observations contributed to the death.
Libertas Chambers
Felicity Gerry QC Elected As ADC-ICT Council Member Libertas Chambers is delighted to announce that, in addition to her practice, Felicity Gerry QC has become a member of the Disciplinary Council of the Association of Defence Council practising before the International Courts and Tribunals (ADC – ICT). Felicity works internationally and specialises in domestic and international criminal law with a focus on complicity, including alleged joint criminal enterprise and command responsibility/ leadership liability.  
Libertas Chambers
Latest Insights
Changes to the Law Governing Criminal Damage to Monuments and Memorials As the ‘Colston Four’ stand trial at Bristol Crown Court this week, Fahrid Chishty assesses a new amendment making its way through Parliament that seeks to tighten the law on criminal damage to monuments and memorials in England and Wales.   Download Article now To stay up to date with insight articles, webinars and chamber news why not subscribe to Libertas Lens (our periodic newsletter) – Click here to register
Libertas Chambers
Do the challenges presented by Covid-19 call for further debate on Trial by Judge Alone? In light of the serious threat currently posed by the Omicron variant and the challenges this may present to the effective management of Crown Court trials in England and Wales in the months ahead, is it time to consider whether there might be a renewed appetite for judge alone trials in the Crown Court? Particularly, could accused persons be given the option to waive their right to trial by jury and to opt instead for a judge alone trial if they wish? Or might such change represent a dangerous thin end of the wedge to the erosion of jury trial for those accused of serious offences? In this article, we examine some of these issues while conducting a comparative analysis of the position in a selection of other common law jurisdictions. Adrian Kayne is experienced as both a Junior and Leading Junior in the following principle practice areas: Fraud and Financial Crime, Homicide, Organised Crime, Sexual Offences, Confiscation, Appeals & General Crime.   Download Article now To stay up to date with insight articles, webinars and chamber news why not subscribe to Libertas Lens (our periodic newsletter) – Click here to register
Adrian Kayne
Sentencing young people – the Scottish approach Effective from the 26th January 2022 the Scottish Sentencing Council have produced a sentencing guideline which changes the approach taken to children who find themselves before the criminal courts. The guideline requires the courts to have regard to rehabilitation as a primary feature of the sentencing process – acknowledging that the capacity for change is greater.  Crucially the guideline will apply to all those who are under the age of 25. This article looks at whether enshrining these principles for those who are aged 18-25 would consolidate the ‘cliff-edge’ approach to sentencing that has emerged from a number of Court of Appeal decisions notably in R v Clarke and others [2018] EWCA Crim 185. Marie Spenwyn is a criminal defence practitioner who frequently appears in serious cases involving defendants who are children.  She is a committee member of the Youth Practitioners Association (YPA) and is a member of an ICCA working group tasked with developing a national training course for the bar focusing on representing children in the criminal justice system.   Download Article now To stay up to date with insight articles, webinars and chamber news why not subscribe to Libertas Lens (our periodic newsletter) – Click here to register
Libertas Chambers
Latest Events
Maternal Sentencing & The Rights of the Child – Webinar Video We recently held a webinar considering the current state of the law on sentencing mothers, with reference to research on the experiences of children whose mothers are sentenced to imprisonment in England and Wales. Drawing on detailed empirical research with children, caregivers, and Crown Court judiciary, the research presented in this webinar provided insight into the reasons for the differentiated treatment and its implications, and asks why do we send mothers to prison at all? The Webinar was presented by Felicity Gerry QC and Dr Shona Minson Felicity Gerry QC defends mothers as accused persons, including recently appealing sentences for mothers whose children were shockingly taken into prison in the context of financial offending. Dr Shona Minson is currently a British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Centre for Criminology at the University of Oxford and author of the book Maternal Sentencing and the Rights of the Child.     To ensure you don’t miss out on future events please register for our newsletter by clicking here.
Libertas Chambers
The Use Of Rap Lyrics In Criminal Trials – Webinar This webinar presents the research of Dr Abenaa Owusu-Bempah on the serious concerns that arise when police, prosecutors and courts do not acknowledge or appreciate the artistic value of rap music. An analysis of over 30 recent appeals identified that most of the defendants in ‘rap evidence’ trials were black men and boys — particularly teenagers — which falls in line with the overwhelming over-representation of Black and minority ethnic boys within the prison population. We consider the disproportionate and discriminatory treatment of black people throughout the criminal justice process, and how the use of rap lyrics as evidence feeds into that. Presented by Felicity Gerry QC and Dr Abenaa Owusu-Bempah Felicity Gerry QC is well known as successfully defending black and minority ethnic people, including youths, accused of murder alleged to be ‘gang related’, where the prosecution sought to rely on rap music tropes. Dr Owusu-Bempah is an Associate Professor of criminal law and criminal evidence. She is a Fellow of The Higher Education Academy and an Associate Fellow of the Ghana Institute of Advanced Legal Studies. Register today – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/209802423697/ To ensure you don’t miss out on future events please register for our newsletter by clicking here.
Libertas Chambers
Criminal Justice Responses to Maternal Filicide – Webinar Video We recently held a webinar presenting recently published research that reveals, through an analysis of cases, that women suspected of killing their newborn children are some of the most vulnerable in society and that infanticide is not just a historical issue but one that has modern implications. Women are less likely to commit a violent crime, but maternal-infant homicide is an enduring form of offending that needs to be understood in a wider social context. We will discuss legal, policy, and gender issues that arise in criminal justice and the implications for legal professionals when women are suspected of killing newborn children or harming foetuses. The Webinar was presented by Felicity Gerry QC and Dr Emma Milne Felicity Gerry QC is well known for defending mothers, including those accused of homicide and endangerment offences in relation to their young children. Dr. Emma Milne is Assistant Professor in Criminal Law and Criminal Justice at Durham University Law School. The focus of her research is the social, legal, and cultural controls and regulations of all women. She is currently looking at attitudes and perspectives held by legal professionals to women suspected of causing the death of their infants. Her project is funded by the BA/Leverhulme Small Grants.   To ensure you don’t miss out on future events please register for our newsletter by clicking here.
Libertas Chambers