Pupils’ Diary – A View from our future
At 39 Park Square we take immense pride in our pupillage program. We have a policy of providing pupillage with a view to offering tenancy. Our aim is to recruit candidates who have the potential to reach the very top of the profession. With that in mind we recruit candidates of the highest calibre. However, we not only look for those with exceptional academic ability but also those who have something extra to offer.
During the course of their training, our current pupils, Victoria Barker and Shawn Morales will be providing regular updates on their life at the sharp end of pupillage.
The third instalment is provided by Victoria Barker. You can view Victoria’s profile here
In my previous diary entry I discussed my experience of becoming a pupil at 39 Park Square and some of the work that I had completed. In this entry, I am going to tell you more about the calibre of cases that I have been exposed to during Pupillage to date and what I have learnt from this process.
My pupil supervisor, Nick Adlington, is a Grade 4 CPS Advocacy Panel Prosecutor and Rape Panel Accredited Prosecutor who mostly works on the North-Eastern Circuit. This means that I generally observe serious criminal cases, including rape and serious sexual offences, at Courts across Yorkshire and North East England including Newcastle, York, Leeds and Sheffield.
Very recently I observed a trial involving allegations of historic sexual assault against a young family member. This was a complex case with many witnesses. This gave me the opportunity to learn about how to deal with both child and vulnerable witnesses. I experienced what procedures are available to help these witnesses give the best evidence they possibly can, and how the procedures work practically. This case also presented me with the chance to hear detailed legal arguments regarding the admissibility of the defendant’s bad character along with legal arguments about the admissibility of other evidence. I have also recently observed other trials involving charges of slavery, grievous bodily harm with intent and rape.
However, it’s not just trials that I have learnt from, I have gained extensive procedural and legal knowledge from observing other hearings including pre-trial preparation hearings, sentencing hearings and a variety of Applications.
Last month I observed a complex sentencing hearing in a Youth matter that was proceeding before a Crown Court for an offence of grievous bodily harm. Great consideration was given to the type and length of sentence by both Defence and Prosecuting Counsel. From listening to such submissions and from reviewing the Sentencing Councils Overarching Principles for Sentencing Youths, I learnt about the types of sentences and length of sentences available in serious youth matters and I got to see how Counsel presented arguments relating to this in Court.
I have also been fortunate enough to observe a Defendant plead guilty to an offence of cohesive and controlling behaviour under the Serious Crime Act 2015. This case was very interesting as the Act only came into force on 29th December 2015. I am looking forward to observing the sentencing hearing in this matter as there are currently no sentencing guidelines and very little case law on such offence.
These are just a very small number of cases that I have observed and learnt from. Keep an eye on the website for further information about my journey through Pupillage.
Check back with us every couple of weeks to catch up on our pupils’ journey and follow them as they take the first steps towards becoming future stars at the Bar.
You can view Chambers pupillage information here