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Felicity was instructed by the Australian Centre for International Justice and led Daye Gang of the Victorian Bar You can read the JFM press release here justiceformyanmar.org/press-r…

About 5 months ago from LibertasChambers's Twitter via Publer.io

Latest News
Acquittals at York Crown Court – Historical Sexual Offences Case In a significant legal victory at York Crown Court, barrister Jonathan Page successfully defended a client accused of historical sexual offences. The jury acquitted the defendant on all 22 counts relating to allegations made by two separate complainants. These allegations, dating back over a decade and a half, led to the defendant’s arrest at Heathrow Airport. Remarkably, the arrest came 16 years after the initial accusations surfaced in 2007, shortly after which the defendant had left the UK. Jonathan Page, instructed by Kam Varaitch from IBB Solicitors, skillfully navigated the complexities of this case, which involved extensive historical evidence and delicate jury deliberations. His expertise in handling sensitive and high-stakes cases was crucial in securing a favourable outcome for his client, emphasizing the importance of meticulous legal representation in achieving justice. This case underscores the challenges and nuances of defending long-standing allegations, highlighting the pivotal role of experienced legal counsel in such critical situations.   If you would like to talk to us about instructing Jonathan then please get in touch with our Clerking team today
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Half-time Acquittal in serious assault Syam’s client was said to have been the driver of a vehicle involved in a dangerous police pursuit in residential areas, during which significant damage was caused. One of the pursuing officers had attempted to remove the keys from the ignition, whereupon the defendant was said to have made off, thereby dragging the officer with the vehicle. Giving evidence, the officer described how he had feared the imminent risk of death. Through rigorous cross-examination, Syam demonstrated the weakness of the identification evidence, and surrounding investigative failures, by the police. The prosecution therefore offered no evidence against Syam’s client at ‘half time’, whose good character was preserved. Syam was instructed and assisted by Sara Khan of Central Chambers Law Solicitors
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Fatima Laher in Bladed Article Case Fatima Laher recently represented a defendant charged with 1 count of possessing a bladed article, contrary to s.139 Criminal Justice Act 1988. Fatima Laher, made a successful submission of no case to answer, whereby the charge was dismissed and the defendant was acquitted. The defendant was stopped and searched by police and found in possession of a lock knife, an offence for which the defendant could have received up to 4 years imprisonment. A further aggravating feature in the case was that the defendant had been recently convicted of a similar type of offence. There were two issues in this case. Firstly, whether a lock knife is categorised as a ‘bladed article’ which the act states is ‘any article which has a blade or is sharply pointed, except a folding pocket knife’, s.139 (2) or under s.139 (3) a ‘folding pocket knife, if the cutting edge of its blade exceeds 3 inches.’  A folding pocketknife does not fall to be liable within the legislation. Following rigorous cross-examination of the OIC, it could not be said with confidence that the blade did exceed 3 inches.  The officer provided a very limited description, the photographs were unreliable and no physical exhibit was provided during the trial to demonstrate that (a) the blade exceeded 3 inches, (b) a folding mechanism existed, or (c) that it was capable of being locked in position. Therefore, it was not a prohibition in which s.139 applies. During the submission, the court was referred to the Court of Appeal judgment in R v Deegan (1998) 2 Cr.App.R.121 CA where it was ruled that a ‘lock knife’ does not fall within the category of a ‘folding pocket knife’ because it is not immediately foldable at all times. Fatima further relied on the authorities of Sharma v DPP [2018] EWHC 3330 which sets out the definition of a folding knife and Godwin v DPP [1993] 96 Cr App R 244, to demonstrate that the defendant had a good reason for possessing the knife. Fatima was instructed by Chris Finnegan, Drummonds Solicitors.
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Latest Insights
Sending Christine Keeler to prison was a National disgrace By Dr Felicity Gerry KC I am delighted to see our campaign for the posthumous exoneration of Christine Keeler being covered for 4 days in The Mirror. The campaign is being brought by her son Seymour Platt who was left the task of telling her real story in her will. At the height of the “Profumo Scandal” Christine was the victim of a violent assault by a man called Lucky Gordon. He was prosecuted but sacked his lawyers and represented himself. In cross examination of her, he admitted assaulting her. She told the police she had not mentioned two other witnesses because they asked her not to. On the suggestion that she had lied about about who was present, Gordon’s conviction was quashed by the Court of Appeal (the court unusually expressing their belief that Christine was telling the truth). Nonetheless she was prosecuted for perjury and PCJ. She pleaded guilty and was sent to prison. She was under terrible pressure. For example, news reports account members of the public throwing eggs at her outside the Old Bailey in Stephen Ward’s trial where she was also wrongly accused of being a sex worker. Ward took his life before verdicts on whether it could be shown he was not living on her “immoral” earnings. These events framed Christine Keeler appallingly for the rest of her life, as Seymour Platt has explained in the Mirror. The law on the charges Christine faced (despite being a victim) only applies if there is a “material lie”. That Christine did not state that two other men were present when she was violently assaulted was totally irrelevant, especially as a proper investigation would have revealed they saw the attack and because her attacker admitted in court he assaulted her The Criminal Cases Review Commission is now quite properly investigating the case. The implications of the comments her silk Jeremy Hutchinson QC made at the time made it obvious she pleaded guilty when she was not, and she was shamed, unlike others whose reputation has been restored. There is a real risk that she was wrongly convicted. Sending her to prison was dreadful and she rightly deserves a posthumous exoneration. It would also go a long way to reframing a case that is the epitome of slut shaming, fitting with modern CPS guidance on violence against women and girls
Libertas Chambers
Chambers Article: Rule 25.9(2)(c): Defence Statements and ‘openings’ Traditionally in England and Wales the defence may give an opening address at the start of the defence case, but only where evidence is to be called other than from the accused person. In many cases this means that the issues are not identified clearly until a late stage and in long cases there can be an advantage to the prosecution to dominate the trial issues. In a recent webinar we discussed this topic of delivery of defence openings / summary of issues and how defence statements can be framed to support a defence opening. This article is a summary of the key provisions discussed. Click below to read in full. 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
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Chambers Article: The ‘Fediverse’ vs P2P: The next generation of digital forensics The courts of England and Wales may still be dealing with the many EncroChat-related prosecutions, but technology has already moved on. While many are focused on AI and its potential for misuse, what some overlook are the networks on which these platforms operate. You may never have heard of the ‘fediverse’ but, if you practise criminal law, you should understand the basics, says Benjamin Knight. Click below to read in full. 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
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Latest Events
Dr Felicity Gerry KC will be at the International Bar Association Conference in Paris from 29 Oct to 3 Nov Dr Felicity Gerry KC will be at the International Bar Association Conference in Paris from 29 Oct to 3 Nov – She is the Asia Pacific Member of the Criminal Law Committee –  if you are attending, she would be delighted to meet you Conference details here  #IBA2023 https://www.ibanet.org/conference-details/CONF2244. Felicity is currently awaiting verdicts in the Al Hassan trial at the ICC and drafted the memorandum that led to the $82m divestment of the Golden City Investment Scheme in Myanmar. She was recently listed as one of the top 5 international lawyers you would want on your side – details here https://lawandcrime.com/partner-content/meet-the-top-5-international-lawyers-you-want-on-your-side/amp/
Libertas Chambers
Celebrating South Asian Heritage Month NOTE: This event has now been cancelled. Libertas Chambers members celebrate South Asian Heritage Month (SAHM) with a wide-ranging panel discussion on legal issues and careers to honour, recognize, and appreciate South Asian history and culture, as well as to comprehend the rich cultural legacy of countries within South Asia. This webinar presented by our members celebrates the accomplishments and legacy of individuals with origins in the South Asian countries. Presented by our members with South Asian heritage who have expertise in corporate and criminal law on issues concerning South Asian business, countries and heritage in celebration of South Asian heritage month. We are proud to have several practitioners of South Asian origin, which make up 20% of our staff and a collective command of 8 different regional languages. To ensure you don’t miss out on future events please register for our newsletter by clicking here.
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Webinar Video – Defence Statements and Openings: Rule 25.9 and being fair and concise We recently held a webinar on Defence Statements and Openings: Rule 25.9 and being fair and concise. A practice is growing of asking Defence Counsel to open 1 or 2 sentences after the prosecution opening in serious cases which may not be in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Rules. Rule 25.9, taken together with the overriding objective allows for a fair and concise rehearsal of the issues raised in the defence statement or alternatively for the jury to be given the defence statement. This webinar discusses the delivery of defence openings / summary of issues, how defence statements can be framed to support a defence opening, and what is the bare minimum for opening defence issues which is fair. Presented by Dr Felicity Gerry KC and Marie Spenwyn Felicity and Marie have significant experience defending in the most serious of criminal matters including homicide, terrorism and war crimes. Both are co-authors of The Sexual Offences Handbook (3rd Ed forthcoming). They are well versed in taking procedural challenges and taking the best strategic approaches for clients.   To ensure you don’t miss out on future events please register for our newsletter by clicking here.
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