Black information Link:

home campaigns act now policy & research press releases links subscribe advertise

black information link The 1990 Trust, human rights for race equality
The 1990 Trust's independent community website for black communities

SECTIONS
2007 Bicentenary of Abolition
Adverts
America at war
Armed Forces
Arts&Culture
Black Elders
Black History
Black Workers
Blink Interview
Broadband
Business
Campaigns
Children
Civil Liberties
Councillors Commission
Crime & Policing
Disability
Education
Equalities Review
Events
Government
Health
Human Rights
IT
Identity
Immigration
International
Ireland
Jobs
Legal
Links
Linux
News Digest
Northern Ireland
People
Politics
Religion
Reparations
Reports
Rural racism
Scotland
Society & Environment
Sports
Stephen Lawrence
The 1990 Trust
UK regions
WCAR
Wales
Women
Youth

Outrage over ‘travesty of justice’ as barrister Peter Herbert is found guilty

By Lester Holloway
25/5/2004

SUPPORTERS OF barrister and part-time judge Peter Herbert reacted with fury today after a disciplinary hearing found him guilty of breaking the lawyers’ code of conduct.

Peter Herbert
A disappointed Peter Herbert outside the Bar Council’s offices

In a shock decision the Bar Council found Peter Herbert guilty of speaking in the ‘first person’ in a radio interview, using the words “I think” and “I believe” instead of “my client believes.”

Peter Herbert called the decision a “travesty of justice” by a “kangaroo court”, and plans to appeal. He has already lodged an employment tribunal claim against the Bar Council alleging race discrimination and victimisation, and is likely to sue the individual members of the disciplinary panel, Roger Bartlett, Timothy Lyons QC and Professor Roger Caplin.

Peter Herbert escaped having his license to practice law suspended but received a reprimand and was ordered to receive ‘media training.’ He has refused to undertake the training.

Peter Herbert claimed his style of advocacy had often involved speaking in the first person and that he subjected to a hostile radio interview while in a state of distress over a family tragedy.

Peter Herbert was cleared of similar charges in 2001 following a public outcry at the Bar Council’s previous attempt to discipline him. His supporters believe the real reason for the disciplinary actions is not the ‘tense’ he speaks in, but his willingness to challenge racism in the legal profession.

‘maliciously racist’

Blink has today launched a ‘Justice for Peter Herbert’ campaign and is urging readers to register their opposition to the Bar Council’s decision by clicking on the button in this story.

The Bar has demonstrated yet again today that in 2004 it has failed to implement the Lawrence inquiry recomindations and is not only institutionally racist but is deliberately and maliciously racist, because it knows what it's doing.
Peter Herbert, Barrister

Speaking outside the Bar Council’s London offices after the hearing Peter Herbert said: “I am deeply saddened and disappointed. It’s a very sad day for the Bar when a person of my background of integrity in public service has to be vilified in this way, and to have such a travesty of justice masquerading as a proper and fair hearing.

“It’s been biased and unfair from the start, and clearly there was a bit of a kangaroo court which went through the motions.

“The Bar has demonstrated yet again today that in 2004 it has failed to implement the Lawrence inquiry recommendations and is not only institutionally racist, but is deliberately and maliciously racist because it knows what it’s doing.”

Cindy Butts, who serves as a member of the Metropolitan Police Authority alongside Peter Herbert, said she was “shocked, dismayed and saddened” at the verdict.

witchhunt

She said: “It’s absolutely unbelievable. It really does smack of a witchhunt against someone who really has been at the forefront of the struggle for justice and fairness.

Speech BubbleYour Shout!

Have your say on Peter Herbert's case and read other contributions

“On the evidence that was presented today I can’t see how they have come to a decision that beyond reasonable doubt that Mr Herbert was guilty. I think it really puts a dent in the confidence that people have in the criminal justice system.

“I think people will say ‘if he can’t make it as an educated eminent professional, what chance do we have?’ That is going to ricochet through many communities. It’s a very sad day, and not one which I would have expected to see in 2004.”

Peter Herbert was found guilty of conduct ‘likely to diminish public confidence in the administration of justice’ after an interview on the BBC’s Radio 4 ‘Today’ programme in August 2002 when he was representing a witness called to appear at the Victoria Climbie public inquiry into the death of the eight year old, who was killed by her carers after authorities failed to spot signs of abuse.

Inquiry chairman Lord Herbert Laming prosecuted Carol Baptiste, a former senior social worker at Haringey Council in north London, after she failed to turn up to give evidence at the inquiry in December 2001.

sledgehammer
Justice for Peter Herbert Justice for Peter Herbert Campaign

Carol Baptiste, who suffered from a history of mental illness and had been distressed by media reports that her own children had been removed from her care, suffered a panic attack on the eve of her evidence-giving session and went into hiding. She escaped jail but was fined £500.

story continues >>

Send to a friend
Send to a friend
print document
Print document

Sign the call for an apology for slavery

Search

Legal
Cases
Advise
Solicitors
Organisations
Articles

Related Stories

Bullet points of anti-gun fightback Okay, enough really is enough now Blair has failed gun victims Black churches march against guns Cop tip-off ignored Gunmen trapped in life of violence Call for Royal Commission on racism in justice system Cruel mums reject their sons, says child expert Failed by the system Criminal Injustice Dami: six years of bungling Cops use soccer yob powers to stop and search ethnic minorities Calls grow for a death-in-custody inquiry Downing Street hears call for end of custody deaths 'Race jibe judge must be suspended' Outrage over ‘travesty of justice’ as barrister Peter Herbert is found guilty Sus law by the back door Black prison population rises 60% under Labour &#39The Day I Was Stopped and Searched&#39 – Black Cop Police Stop and Search Is Still Failing Say Campaigners

Resources:

Just Justice: A study into black young people's experiences of the youth justice system

Links:

Immigration Law Practitioners' Association

The Law Society of England and Wales

Solicitors-Online

The Association of Muslim Lawyers

The Black Solicitors Network

Black Lawyers Directory

Ethnic Minorities Law Centre (EMLC)

National Body of Black Prisoner Support Groups

Northern Ireland Legal Services Commission

Scottish Legal Aid Board

How to find legal information and help

Community Legal Service Direct

Prisoners Race Discrimination Unit

The Society of Asian Lawyers

UNITE TO PROTECT OUR RIGHTS: sign the statement against the erosion of civil liberties and human rights by new anti-terrorism proposals A Black Manifesto No 2 ID FREE FAROUQ PDP ASSOCIATES Power to the People

Published by The 1990 Trust

This website is subject to a disclaimer: Please read


Black Information Link. All rights reserved.

Suite 12 Winchester House 
9 Cranmer Road
London SW9 6EJ
Tel: 020  7582 1990
Fax: 020 7793 8269
Email: blink@the1990trust.org.uk

top of pagetop of page

powered by Linux