Free contempt of court cover for Glasgow Bar Association members

Free contempt of court cover for Glasgow Bar Association members

Members of the Glasgow Bar Association (GBA) are to enjoy free contempt of court cover provided by senior members of the Faculty of Advocates as part of their membership.

This means any GBA members who find themselves in possible personal contempt of court situations in the course of their professional work will be advised and represented, if necessary, by Faculty members drawn from a panel of Scottish criminal bar members.

That panel includes Dean of Faculty, Gordon Jackson QC, virtually the entire senior criminal bar and a number of very senior juniors. This facility will extend to criminal and civil practitioners and will be provided with GBA membership 2017/2018.

In addition, the GBA has also appointed experienced court auditor Ken Carter to be the first formally appointed GBA auditor. He will provide a range of auditing services to members and firms. Mr Carter is based at Glasgow Sheriff Court and will be available to help members with routine auditing matters and will also provide a rapid response service as necessary.

Finally, the GBA has set up a facility to assist members at court in time of crisis whether that be because of personal ill health or family issues. A committee of senior members of the association will organise cover for court diaries and liaise with members and their families as necessary.

Glasgow Bar Association president Ron Mackenna told Scottish Legal News: “The association has been going from strength to strength in recent years. We had a record 450 members in 2016/2017 and for the new year starting this month we have drawn up a package of benefits to make that membership more attractive.”

In a statement, the Scottish Criminal Bar Association told SLN: “It is very important that if a difficult situation arises in court that cannot be dealt with simply and sensibly with a suitable discussion, explanation and appropriate apology, at the earliest opportunity after any issue of contempt of court is even mentioned, the court should be asked to adjourn the matter to a future date or time to allow the member to obtain advice and representation prior to the court considering or making any finding of contempt.”

At the earliest opportunity, the threat of the possible contempt finding should be notified to Moira Deeney at the GBA office. The initial Faculty point of contact should be Gary Allan QC (Mob: 07703 582215 and, failing whom, his clerk Banny Mackinnon on 0141 553 4891 or 0141 553 4892.

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