Legal aid now underpinned by international principles

first_img Join our LinkedIn Legal Aid sub-group Jonathan Goldsmith is secretary general of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe, which represents about one million European lawyers through its member bars and law societies. He blogs weekly for the Gazette on European affairs There was a welcome development on legal aid this week, from of all places the United Nations. Legal aid is of course something usually dealt with at national level, and there are wide divergences in national treatment and national expenditure. The European Union has tried to introduce European standards for criminal legal aid, but they are feared to be so controversial that they have not so far been tabled: they were separated from the ‘right to a lawyer’ proposal now being discussed, and they are being pushed into 2013 because they do not chime with the current ‘Justice for growth’ initiative. So the United Nations has stepped into the breach, with new ‘UN Principles and Guidelines on Access to Legal Aid in Criminal Justice Systems’. Before describing the content of the principles, it is worth explaining the importance of documents like this. Of course they do not produce a single penny of money for legal aid. And they are obviously more useful in countries with no or very poor legal aid systems. But they are vital nevertheless in everyday lobbying. For instance, there are already UN ‘Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers’. We use them constantly when we write to foreign governments when they are abusing their own lawyers. So article 16 of the basic principles says that ‘governments shall ensure that lawyers (a) are able to perform all of their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference’ and article 23 says that ‘Lawyers like other citizens are entitled to freedom of expression, belief, association and assembly.’ We can even use provisions against EU governments if they interfere too much in the running of a bar or law society – for instance, article 24: ‘The executive body of the professional associations shall be elected by its members and shall exercise its functions without external interference.’ Regarding the legal aid declaration, I shall just comment on those aspects which struck me out of a very long and detailed document. First, the provision of legal aid is not foreseen as being provided only by lawyers: ‘The first providers of legal aid are lawyers, but the principles and guidelines also suggest that states involve a wide range of stakeholders as legal aid service providers in the forms of non-governmental organisations, community-based organisations, religious and non-religious charitable organisations, professional bodies and associations and academia.’ That might be contrary to the policies and practices in a number of EU member states (even if I can see that it might be useful in countries where the legal system is struggling through lack of resources). Second, the document is divided into principles and guidelines. Under guideline 3 (‘Other rights of persons suspected, arrested, detained, accused, charged with a criminal offence’), there is an excellent encouragement to states to introduce measures covering the broad front of minimum procedural safeguards, rather like the EU’s own version: right to information on the right to remain silent; right to be assisted by a lawyer, including during interview; right to contact with consular authorities; right to notify family; right to interpretation and translation; and so on. Third, the extent of the document is rather wide: for instance, ‘the term “legal aid” includes legal advice, assistance and representation for persons suspected, arrested, accused or charged with a criminal offence, detained and imprisoned and for victims and witnesses in the criminal justice process.’ It is interesting that it covers victims and witnesses, too. The document was adopted at the end of April by the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. It is due to go the General Assembly in November. (My organisation, the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe, will now study it.) The infamous John Bolton once said that if the UN secretariat building in New York lost 10 storeys, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference. Well, it would if the part housing legal aid policy went. We would have lost an invaluable document.last_img read more

‘Cutting edge’ approach to ethics needed – LSB

first_imgProposals to monitor ethics across an increasingly diverse legal services market are set out by the Legal Services Board (LSB) today. Its report says that ensuring the integrity of the profession in this way is central to maintaining public confidence in the rule of law. The report examines ways of better understanding the ethics of legal services providers in a newly liberalised market. It investigates how empirical research can be used to track ethics and outlines a series of tools to monitor whether individuals are complying with their core ethical obligations. It also proposes a work programme to generate data around ethics. Professor Richard Moorhead, University College London’s Centre for Ethics and Law director, who led the report team, said: ‘There is a growing recognition amongst professional regulators and sophisticated legal service suppliers that properly managing the ethics of their service goes beyond providing codes of conduct and policing complaints. ‘We can and should develop cutting edge approaches to professional ethics. This report shows that better tools can be developed to understand and promote the ethicality of practice.’ LSB chief executive Chris Kenny said: ‘Regulators, professional bodies and professionals need to better understand the drivers for ethical behaviour and be able to tack changes in a way that goes beyond what the report rightly characterises as the ‘anecdote and argument’ of past discussions. That’s why we welcome… this very thorough and imaginative report.’last_img read more

City firms back social mobility programme

first_imgCity law firms are backing a unique programme to help promote diversity and social mobility in the legal profession.Baker and McKenzie joins DAC Beachcroft, the Government Legal Service, Pinsent Masons, Shoosmiths and Sidley Austin in sponsoring the BLD Foundation’s Legal Launch Pad programme.BLD Foundation founder Debo Nwauzu (pictured), a non-practising solicitor and barrister, said Legal Launch Pad was the only diversity and social mobility access programme that ‘selects and supports’ undergraduate and postgraduate students ‘throughout, up to, and including when they attain full-time employment’.The nine-month programme provides students with support in taking the next step in their legal careers, such as legal skills training workshops, one-to-one mentoring and work placements with sponsoring firms.The foundation’s announcement states that the programme boasts a ‘high’ success rate.A fifth of the 41 students supported in 2013 secured training contracts by May 2014 and more than half gained full-time employment in legal roles.The programme supported 40 students in 2014; a quarter secured training contracts by the ‘passing-out ceremony’ in September and a further 28% found employment.Of the 56 beneficiaries last year, 20 received training contracts by November and ‘many more’ are in compliance and legal assistance roles.This year the programme will help 56 students.West London Law Society president Nehal Vasani, an adviser to the foundation’s board of trustees, said: ‘In the current legal landscape, accessing a successful career in law is difficult even when all the stars are aligned for a candidate.‘Attempting to do so when you are struggling due to the hurdles of social mobility or as a result of coming into the profession from a disadvantaged background, for whatever reason, is nigh-on impossible.’Vasani said the programme gave participants an ‘invaluable’ opportunity to ‘achieve an equal footing with their counterparts, a position which they would otherwise be unable to achieve’.Sponsors also include Barclays, No5 Chambers, the University of Law and Vodafone. The charity also receives support from BP, Criterion Partnership, BPP Law School, magic circle firm Slaughter and May, and the London Borough of Hackney’s legal team.last_img read more

Italo to launch on April 28

first_imgITALY: Open access high speed trains will begun running between Napoli and Milano on April 28, operator NTV confirmed on March 30. The company says its investment of €1bn will offer passengers ‘the first choice of who they travel with’ over the country’s high speed network.NTV will initially start with services on the Napoli – Roma – Firenze – Bologna – Milano corridor, but hopes to extend its network to Salerno, Torino and Venezia by the end of the year, when its entire fleet of 25 Alstom AGV trainsets will be available. The company indicated earlier this year that it hoped to begin running ‘before April’, but that was dependent on getting final approvals, clarifying track access agreements, commissioning sufficient trains and completing staff training.Fares and timetables will be announced on April 12, when tickets for the first services will go on sale. When the interior designs for the Italo trainsets were unveiled at its Nola depot in December, NTV revealed that it was planning to offer three levels of service – Smart, Prima and Club, together with a free wi-fi throughout and an onboard Smart Cinema in one coach.NTV said in December that it planned to adopt an ‘aggressive’ pricing policy, with book-ahead discount fares and compulsory reservations. Tickets will be available via the website www.italotreno.it a telephone call centre and travel agencies as well as self-service machines and Italo ‘service centres’ at all stations. Some tickets will also be sold on board the trains.last_img read more

MUL Railcars opens US wagon leasing office

first_imgUSA: Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance Co Ltd has opened an office in Portland, Oregon, as a base for its MUL Railcars wagon leasing activities.This follows the company’s expansion through a strategic wagon supply and maintenance alliance with The Greenbrier Companies which was finalised in June. James T Sharp has been appointed as President & CEO of MUL Railcars, having previously held various roles at The Greenbrier Companies.On December 13 MUL said it aimed to develop a diverse portfolio of 25 000 new and used wagons by 2020, and to ‘position itself to grow into the top 10 companies in the US railcar leasing market’.last_img read more

GOVERNMENT LAUNCHES RECYCLING WEEK SCOTLAND 2016

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedIn More people will be encouraged to pick up the recycling habit this September. Cabinet Secretary for Environment Roseanna Cunningham has announced a week long effort to get Scotland recycling.Recycle Week will run from 12 to 18 September, co-ordinated by Zero Waste Scotland, it will aim to get everyone recycling more by raising awareness of the benefits and promoting easy ways to do more.In the run up to the week local authorities, businesses, community groups, schools and colleges are being encouraged to get involved and take action to help boost recycling.Launching the week on World Environment Day, Ms Cunningham said:“We are lucky to be blessed with a stunning environment that is one of our most precious assets. It is crucial that we protect our resources and that’s key to our ambitions for a more circular economy in Scotland, where we keep products and materials in valuable use for longer.“We’ve made great progress increasing recycling in recent years. For example in 2010 only 12% of households had food waste collections, while new figures show that has increased to 75%. It has never been easier to recycle your waste, but we still have further to go.“People and communities the length and breadth of Scotland have a role to play and this September we’ll be encouraging more folk to pick up the recycling habit and do their bit for our environment.”Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland, said:“Recycle Week is all about getting as many people in Scotland as possible aware of the need to recycle more and to recycle better.“More people than ever are recycling, especially in relation to food waste, which has a huge environmental impact. But we can all be better at it, and during Recycle Week we’ll be highlighting the importance of doing our bit – providing advice on what and how to recycle best, exploding some of the myths in the process, with a series of high profile events and activities. I hope as many people as possible will get involved.”last_img read more

NTS Hosted IEEE EMI/EMC Summit in Massachusetts

first_imgNational Technical Systems, hosted the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) EMI/EMC Summit at its laboratory in Boxborough, Massachusetts. The event amplified NTS’ thought leadership in EMI/EMC testing and underscored the company’s recent efforts of adding new chambers in different laboratories across the country. By bringing together the top thought leaders in EMI/EMC testing, the group explored the latest developments on ever-evolving topics such as Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Threats to Commercial Mobile Technologies, Regulatory Testing of Wireless Technology, Review of CE Mark EMC Immunity Requirements for EN61326, and more.The summit featured renowned EMI/EMC Expert and NTS’ Chief Engineer, Jeff Viel, who gave presentations on Radiated Immunity Testing 61000 Series, Changes to MIL-STD-461 and MIL-STD-464, and EMP. In addition, the event highlighted Tom Tidwell, iNARTE EMC Lab Engineer and Director at Nemko, who presented on Regulatory Testing of Wireless Technology.This was an important summit that served as a checkpoint for industry leaders to stay agile and prepared for changes to testing requirements and accommodate the customer’s needs. NTS boasts the largest collection of EMI/EMC laboratories in the Western Hemisphere. With unmatched breadth and capacity, NTS continues to expand its EMI/EMC capabilities into more regions, adding new chambers in Rustburg, Virginia and equipping its Boxborough, Massachusetts laboratory with a massive 10-meter chamber.Operated by the world’s top experts in EMI/EMC testing, NTS now offers hundreds of chambers across 28 laboratories, featuring multiple 10-meter semi-anechoic chambers for Military and Aerospace applications. As one of NTS’ laboratories, the Boxborough facility continues to provide EMI/EMC/ESD capabilities with incomparable expertise in testing to military, aerospace, telecommunications, electronics, nuclear, and other global industry specifications.last_img read more

Boys Tournament Hoops: Moeller Too Much for SVSM, Wins Division I State Title 52-44

first_imgBy Don DiFrancescoCincinnati Moeller 8 9 14 21 = 52St. Vincent-St. Mary 11 6 13 14 = 44OHSSA Division 1 State FinalCincinnati Moeller finished off an undefeated season with a 52-44 victory over Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary on Saturday night. In the process, the Crusaders (29-0) won their second consecutive state title and their fifth overall.St. Vincent-St. Mary (24-4) was competing in Division 1 for the first time after winning state crowns in Division 2 the previous two seasons. The Irish have a total of eight championships in boys’ basketball.Moeller struggled early, going just 3-for-10 from the field in the first quarter. When STVM senior guard Lunden McDay hit a 3-point shot with 1:58 remaining in the period, it completed a 9-0 run for the Irish and gave them an 11-3 lead. From the remainder of the first half, it was a challenge to score for both teams. Moeller closed the gap and tied the game at 17 on a short jumper from senior guard Miles McBride with 3:18 to play in the second quarter. But neither team could score again before halftime, and 17-17 was the score at the intermission.Both teams picked up the pace in the third quarter. STVM sophomore guard Seth Wilson hit a jumper with 4:37 remaining and the Irish had what turned out to be their largest lead of the second half at 25-21. Wilson was the leading scorer in the game for STVM with 19 points.Consecutive put-back layups by McBride and senior forward Alec Pfriem gave Moeller the lead at 29-27. The quarter ended with the Crusaders holding a narrow 31-30 advantage.STVM briefly took the lead 30 seconds into the fourth period when two free throws by senior forward Keyshawn Jones made the score 32-31. But Pfriem responded with a basket just 10 seconds later and Moeller never relinquished the lead again. Pfriem’s 19 points in the contest matched STVM’s Wilson for game high.The Crusaders shot 58% during the fourth quarter compared to 27% for STVM. Moeller gradually stretched the lead throughout the period, and the final 8-point margin was their largest of the game.STVM was without one of their key players for most of the second half. Sophomore forward Malaki Branham limped off the court with 5:25 remaining in the third quarter and was unable to return to action.Akron St. Vincent-St. MaryWilson 8-0-19McDay 2-4-9Branham 2-0-4Johnson 2-0-4Painter 2-0-4Cone 1-0-2Jones 0-2-2Rebounds: 31 Turnovers: 9Field goal shooting: 17/49, 35% 3-point shots: 4/17, 24% Free throws: 6/8, 75%Cincinnati Archbishop MoellerPfriem 7-4-19McBride 7-1-16Shipp 3-1-9Williams 2-2-6Land 1-0-2Rebounds: 35 Turnovers: 8Field goal shooting: 20/47, 43% 3-point shots: 4/10, 40% Free throws: 8/13, 62% Related TopicsMoellerSVSM NEO HS Stafflast_img read more

Medicare Part D Prescription Enrollment Now Open

first_imgEngler also encouraged anyone who has recently moved to Alaska from the Lower 48 to check their plans since plans from other states often don’t transfer well to Alaska. Aging and Disability Resource Center Coordinator Lori Engler previously told KSRM… Engler: “The Medicare enrollment that is open now is for the Part D prescription plan and people should at least compare the plans because each plan can change and maybe come January isn’t going to cover their medications, so I assist folks in comparing plans to see that the plan that they currently have is still going to be best.” FacebookTwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The annual enrollment period for Medicare is now open and will be until December 7. For additional information call the Independent Living Center on K-Beach Road at 262-6333, Alaska’s central Medicare Information Office at 1-800-478-6065, or visit medicare.alaska.gov.last_img read more

Mizutani makes table tennis history

first_imgJun Mizutani overwhelmed Chinese-born Kazuhiro Chan four games to none in the men’s singles final at the national championships on Sunday, making him the first man to win the event five times in a row.The 21-year-old Mizutani, who has risen to a career-high seventh in the world rankings, won 11-7, 11-8, 11-5, 11-3 at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium. Earlier in the day, he beat up-and-coming 16-year-old Koki Niwa four games to none in the quarterfinals and Taku Takakiwa four games to one in the semis.Mizutani broke the previous tie for consecutive men’s singles titles with Kiyoshi Saito and Norikazu Fujii. Saito won the titles from 1982-85 and Fujii from 1946-1949.“I knew almost everyone was expecting me to win this singles title, and I wanted to do so in dominant fashion,” Mizutani said.“It was disappointing to lose in the doubles final yesterday, so I wanted to get revenge on (doubles champion) Niwa in my first match of the day. I tried my very hardest on that one.” GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMEScenter_img IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5last_img read more