Caroline Goodwin Q.C. Witness at Parliamentary Justice Select Committee

Trinity Silk and Chair of the Criminal Bar Association, Caroline Goodwin Q.C. was a witness at the recent Parliamentary Justice Select Committee held on 4th May 2020.

The subject of the Justice Select Committee was: Coronavirus (COVID-19): The Impact on Prison, Probation and Court Systems.

Joining Caroline, who is also a sitting Crown Court Recorder, during the Select Committee were:

  • John Bache JP, National Chairman, Magistrates Association
  • Ellie Cumbo, Head of Public Law, Law Society
  • Simon Davies, President, Law Society
  • Bill Waddington, Chairman, Criminal Law Solicitors Association
  • Amanda Pinto QC, Chair, The Bar Council
  • Elspeth Thomson, National Committee member and co-Chair of Legal Aid Committee, Resolution
  • Susan Acland-Hood, Chief Executive, HM Courts and Tribunals Service
  • Chris Philp, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice
  • Alex Chalk, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice 

The Select Committee was told that as a result of social distancing restrictions and the impact on Jury trials, criminal barristers' workloads had "fallen off a cliff".

Caroline highlighted the financial difficulties facing many chambers and sought a relief package for the Bar, particularly for younger practitioners, arguing “we need something that is bespoke and is driven towards chambers”.

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice, Chris Philp confirmed during the Select Committee: “There is categorically no question at all, under any circumstances, of the right to jury trial being removed - that is a fundamental right that goes back centuries in our history and it will never be removed at all".

A full recording of the Justice Select Committee can be found here.

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