Follow Catherine on Twitter The warning by Criminal Bar Association chair Max Hill QC today that barristers are prepared to strike – backed by a survey showing near unanimous outrage – is a watershed moment. Hill notes barristers’ reluctance to use their ‘ultimate weapon’, namely ‘stopping the courts’, to make their point, but perhaps that is what it will take before the government will listen. Listening, as anyone involved in the campaign against the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act, will know, is not the government’s strongest suit. The self-employed status of barristers, although in one sense a weakness, as they are vulnerable and might be left exposed if only a few take action, is also a great strength. They are not beholden to or controlled by a union. If they each decide to withdraw their labour, in a similar fashion to that being done by many freelance interpreters who are opposing the new single contractor booking regime, there is little than can be done to rein them in. But for any strike to achieve its aim, the unanimity of purpose suggested by the survey would need to be matched by the criminal bar en masse, and importantly, would need to be supported by the bar’s solicitor colleagues. When push comes to shove, will this be seen? Catherine Baksi is a reporter on the Gazette
Cameroon president vows to restore peace in Anglophone region 3 civilians killed in attacks in Cameroon’s restive Anglophone region BUEA, SOUTH WEST CAMEROON. MAY 16 2019: The view from the city of Buea looking East toward the coast and Francophone region on May 16, 2019 in Buea,Cameroon . Buea is one of the largest English speaking cities in Cameroon and located in the shadow of the vast Mount Cameroon. In 2017, separatists in Cameroon’s Anglophone territories declared an independent state of Ambazonia, an area formerly known as Southern Cameroons, and took up arms against the Cameroonian government. The violence has forced hundreds of thousands from their homes and, according to the UN, left more than a million people in need of humanitarian assistance. (Photo by Giles Clarke/UNOCHA via Getty Images)A special investigative squad is on the case, according to the army that has blamed separatists for the kidnapping.Local sources told Xinhua the civilians were drinking in a bar early Monday in Mmouck Leteh, a locality in Lebialem division of the region, when heavily armed men held them at gunpoint and took them away to an unknown destination.Armed separatists are known to be operating in the locality that recently witnessed “fierce” clashes between separatist groups leading to the death of five fighters, according to security sources.Separatists have not claimed responsibility for the abduction.Fighting between government forces and armed separatist groups has been going on since 2017 after the separatists declared the independence of a nation called “Ambazonia” in the two English-speaking regions of Northwest and Southwest.According to the United Nations, more than 700,000 Cameroonians have been displaced internally and externally due to the fighting.Related Over 20 school children rescued in Cameroon’s Anglophone region
GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5 In the men’s team event final, two wins by Ma Long helped China beat South Korea 3-1. KOBE – Defending champion China overpowered Japan 3-0 in the women’s team final to win its second straight title at the World Junior Table Tennis Championships on Wednesday.Chang Chenchen put China up with an 11-7, 11-6, 11-8 win over Ai Fukuhara before Fan Ying and Liu Shiwen added victories for the Chinese at Kobe World Memorial Hall in a rematch of last year’s final.