Black Information Link

home campaigns act now policy & research press releases links subscribe contact us

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

SECTIONS
America at war
Armed Forces
Arts&Culture
Black Elders
Black Workers
Broadband
Business
Campaigns
Children
Civil Liberties
Disability
Education
Environment
Events
Government
Health
Human Rights
IT
Immigration
International
Ireland
Jobs
Legal
Links
Linux
Northern Ireland
Police
Politics
Reparations
Reports
Rural racism
Scotland
Spiritual
Sports
Stephen Lawrence
The 1990 Trust
Training
WCAR
Wales
Women
Youth

Your Comments

comments for: Top barrister Peter Herbert ‘victimised for challenging racism in legal profession’ *

*Note: For ease of viewing, comments for articles with similar subjects have been grouped together.
Comment

Peter Herbert should recieve the full support of the Black communities. It is about time that these so called professional bodies stopped talking about all the &#39good things&#39 they have done for the Black communities/professionals and actually look at what they are DOING. Yet again the legal bodies have shown their contempt for Black professionals, how do they imagine that they have any confidence with the Black communities. If they need proof just ask any Black person who has tried to secure Solicitors/Barristers to help them in their struggle!

I would go far as to challenge any Black person in their view that they have been treated fairly by the legal professional bodies.

I think it would be a good study to find the &#39real&#39 views of Black people and the legal profession, just ask the Bar council to fund it, if they are serious about representing their Black members.

Name
Dipen Rajyaguru
Date Posted
3/31/2004 5:11:16 PM

Comment

I had a black woman suffering domestic violence who is living in a refuge, at the hand of her white barrister huband, and the come to see me today. She wrote to the Law Society regarding her husband&#39s behaviour and judgments made by a court regarding such, and the letter with her address was passed to her husband by the society. She has also experienced recist stereotyping by the judge, so Peter is right about racism in the legal system.

Name
Carol
Date Posted
4/13/2004 4:51:39 PM

Comment

This is a classic example of the fact that Whites are prepared to tolerate Blacks in their midst – so long as they don’t rock the institutionally-racist boat.

The answer is to ensure that as many Blacks enter higher education as possible to study the following Black core curriculum:

1. History – to see how the institutional racism of the past informs the institutional racism of the present;

2. Psychology – to understand why Whites are so lacking in self-respect that they need to create the myth of a Master Race to appease their fragile egos;

3. Law – to enable Blacks to protect themselves and punish Whites’ racism & to lobby for laws to outlaw racist hate-speech.

Protesting against this Black barristers&#39 racially motivated disciplining is fine but does not address the fact that it will continue for other Black legal professionals unless a suitable plan for future action is formulated now.

Name
Frank TALKER
Date Posted
5/16/2004 11:02:18 AM

Comment

If Britain is to be a true multi-cultural society and organistions wish to embrace this then work needs to be done by large and powerful instituations such as the Bar Council inside themselves on what this means and being prepared to change by listening to communities and it’s own people.

Once again with Peter Herbert, and so many people before him we find ourselves in a situation where those who seek to acheive change from the inside, those who wish to change “the ways things are done around here”, those who are different from the rest find themselves in situations of being isolated, challenged by the organistions that they were recruited by, and their credibility questioned.

What is not understood is that to become “like them” does not represent multi-cultural Britain. Thinking “how can we do business differently” what are our people saying to us, how can we embrace this and learn from it are those organisations that are serious about working with different communities.

I am left askig myself how else can I show support to Peter and demonstrate to the Bar Council the community views on this matter.

Would an on-line petition to the Bar Council/Prime Minister be effective?I am left askig myself how else can I show support to Peter and demonstrate to the Bar Council the community views on this matter. Would an on-line petition to the Bar Council/Prime Minister be effective?

Editor replies: Thanks for that suggestion Neena. We’ll have an online petition to the Bar Council by Tuesday 18th.

Name
Neena Chauhan
Date Posted
5/16/2004 6:58:21 PM

Comment

I have noticed Peter Herbert (though I don&#39t know him) at &#39many&#39 Black led/focused meetings, he comes over as sincere and passionate about the Black issues he has spoken about.

He spoke up very well for Black people and the Silvester family at a MPA meeting. I think it is more to do with what was said then, that left a few at the table totally VEX(!), one even mentioning that his &#39speech&#39 was too emotive, to the point of giving the Bar Council more cause to hound and get rid of him.

As the old time Jamaican adage goes “Who feels it, Nows it!” (When one hurts, all hurt.) It is not &#39our&#39custom to be conversative with our feelings when something is not right. If the Bar is suggesting that a black person cannot express themselves in a way that is natural to that person, it would be evident to me that the &#39Bar&#39 is trying to be biased against Black people generally. Is the role of Black people on government (etc)committees, also, to stay silent in the face of injustices? – I hope not!

Why is it that when a Black professional(s) speak up for their community, the establishment seems to revert to being a slave &#39massah&#39 and try to beat us back into line. Haven&#39t they (Bar Council… etc)realised that slavery days are over, or is this negative sense of nostalgia too much to let go of.

Generally, Black people should not be prepared to be knocked back/ about because of this societies false sense of superiority.

To Peter Herbert – Stay Strong – Brotha

Name
Jennifer J Harris
Date Posted
5/19/2004 1:45:25 PM

Comment

Here we go again, what&#39s new! I&#39m sure they are the sentiments of Peter Herbert given that he is simply trying to do his job. I believe that is the point that the bar has seriously missed. Justice requires strong confident barristers and solicitors to speak out right against injustice and not just to mime it. Peter Herbert demonstrates a great ability to be a powerful effective leader in these issues, which the racist bar is afraid of. White workers regardless of their positions or status are too often let off the hook for slips of the preverbial tongue, but black people are meant to stay silent. I think not!!

What Peter demonstrates to me is that injustice means you have to say something even though the establishment may not like it. I&#39ve been on the recieving end and it&#39s very painful, but its important to do so. As a black community we msut continue to demonstrate to our children how to speak out truthfully and with dignity. They will become stonger in thier confidence, self worth and future.This applies to adults to. I&#39m sure Peter is not finding this easy but his stance has reinforced that the whole machinery will go against him if he stands up to them. This happens for so many of us. But, they may not like us for doing it but they will be forced to respect us for taking a stand.

Peter has may unconditional support in this situation and I believe that God is watching over him. Scripture says, that to whom much is given, much is also expected. Also GOD will not allow you to cope with more than you can. Clearly Peter Herbert has been given a special role. He will always be blessed and supported.

Primrose Roberts.

Name
Primrose Roberts
Date Posted
5/20/2004 12:37:12 PM

Comment
Why do you just call for black people to support Peter Herbert? Surely all who believe in justice should support him.
Name
Candis Roberts
Date Posted
5/21/2004 6:06:55 PM

Comment

I am a member of the public and a complete lay person when it comes to matters of the law. After attending the hearing last night my assumptions of the “system” were confirmed. From the panel’s comments it was clear that they had already formed a view.

The hearing did not come across as being unbiased in any way. The fact that the apnel were only going to deliberate for a short while (10 mins was quoted) seem such a short period of time to make a decision on a person lifetime commitment and career.

I left disgusted before hearing the final verdict. How can we ever get change when the “system” and the people who are within the “system” do not want to change themselves. Here was an opportunity for the Bar Council to stand by one its ethnic minorities members. Instead they chose to send a significant message to the community. Also what messages are being given to the existing Black professionals within this sector.

Name
Gwen
Date Posted
5/26/2004 10:46:37 AM

Comment

Nothing this country does surprises with regard to issues of racism. We blow hot, we blow cold. On one level we get a good result in a recent ruling that using the term “bloody foreigners” is deemed to be racist, but on another level we get a fine man like Peter Herbert being found guilty and reprimanded for the most trivial of supposed offences and he is helping the victims of racism!

Call me a cynic, but if Peter Herbert had been a White Barrister, would this charge have been heard by the Bar Council in the first place? I have this REALLY distinct felling it wouldn&#39t have been given the time of day, in fact I don&#39t even think it would have got itself into a memo much less a tribunal!

Name
Suchi Chatterjee
Date Posted
5/26/2004 1:09:02 PM

Comment

I am afraid I cannot support Herbert who has too often claimed to be the victim of &#39racism&#39 sometimes perhaps real but also sometimes imagined. He made a mistake and has to pay the price. Calling it racist is unhelpful in my view as it gives the impression of immaturity whenit would be better to accept the decision of a legally constituted tribunal.

Name
Ali ALtin
Date Posted
5/26/2004 7:17:13 PM

Comment

Peter Herbert must understand that as a Black man he has to work twice as hard as a White to be accepted by Whites: This will ultimately make him twice as good (which will never be accepted by them). At no point can he afford to turn his back on Whites because they’ll always find an excuse to stick a knife in it. If he doesn’t understand this now he never will.

Given the facts of the case he got the punishment he deserved: He shouldn’t’ve given a media interview under stress from ‘a personal tragedy’. He can’t blame the hostility of said interview because this is what is expected of such public interrogations.

It’s the height of naïvety to claim that the Bar Council is not only ‘institutionally racist, but is deliberately and maliciously racist because it knows what it’s doing’. All racists know what they’re doing – otherwise why would they do it?

This proves Blacks have no reason to have any confidence in the Whites’ criminal-justice system. Whites will never reform themselves in any situation where they have no competition: There is no Black Bar Council.

Blacks must learn that if they wish to make it as educated eminent professionals in a racist society that they should focus all their energies on the task-at-hand and not in ingratiating themselves with Whites. This is, after all, exactly what Whites want (because they believe it allows them to think of themselves as racially superior) so that you have less energy to surpass them. In essence, this means acting ‘White’ when Whites are around (never confiding your honest opinions) and acting like one’s self in all other circumstances. This doesn’t lead to the so-called schizophrenia a racist like the current Home Secretary David Blunkett claims – it’s merely a convenient survival mechanism.

Name
Frank TALKER
Date Posted
5/26/2004 7:44:10 PM

Comment

Mr Herbert has been convicted of behaving unprofessionally and plays the race card. What has race got to do with it? If he can&#39t give a competent interview in accordance with the rules of his profession he could always stretch a point and keep quiet. Uncharacteristic, but probably just about possible, even for Mr Herbert. But what has race got to do with his conviction?

Name
Thomas Brown
Date Posted
5/28/2004 2:10:31 PM

Comment

It’s at times like these when I believe that we need a strong, political legal organisation for Black Lawyers. What has happened to the Society of Black Lawyers? Where is it? What meetings are being held to not only discuss this issue, but to also launch a campaign?

Name
Ekua
Date Posted
6/6/2004 10:50:53 PM

Comment

I have little sympathy, he has flouted the rules of his profession. He is now alleging racism, 4 other barrister last year: all white received far worse punishments for the same infraction. Cases like this are unhelpful for geuine race relations.

Ali

Name
Ali Khan
Date Posted
6/10/2004 2:51:21 PM

Comment

I don&#39t see what this has to do with “racism” at all.

Peter Herbert gave an interview (a questionable thing for a Barrister to be doing, especially if it has even a passing connection with a client of his) and in an error of judgement said something in a way that he should not.

The Bar Council has reprimanded him for doing so.

So what?

Has this anything at all to do with his race. For Mr. Herbert then to give another interview, in which he accuses the Bar Council tribunal of being “racist” merely compounds his original error of judgement. It also shows a lack of judgement and immaturity that, the minute something happens with which he disagrees, he plays the race card.

This will do nothing to foster better race relations, nor uphold what ought to be the high reputation of the Bar.

As a Barrister myself (and one from an ethnic minority), I avoid any of the problems which Peter Herbert seems to have attracted by simply giving no interviews at all. I do not regard it as my place to give interviews about cases in which I am or have been involved in. If, I suggest, Peter Herbert followed this practice, which the vast majority of Barristers do, then these problems would not arise.

Name
Marc
Date Posted
8/17/2004 3:31:43 PM

Comment

i would be interested to see figures for the total number of lawyers who are from ethnic minorities and the total number of complaints made to the legal professional bodies and what the outcome was and compare this with the figures for white lawyers . I think you will find that there are generally more complaints against blacks than whites. I also believe it is hard to get into the legal profession in the first place if you are black due to discrimination on the LPC,BAR COURSE AND IN TRAINING AND PUPILAGE ALLOCATION.It does not surprise me that Peter herbert has been treated in the way he has because he has spoken out and if you speak out against professional bodies of which you are a member then it is likely that they will remember that and they have wide powerswhich are easily excercised . The only way to deal with this situation is to launch a mass campaign within the black communities BLACK LAWYERS SHOULD DEMONSTRATE AND EXPOSE THE ROTTEN SYSTEM . If you are kept down and crushed and abused and discriminated and treated like dogs then the chances are you will eventually speak out only to be put before a disciplinary committee.

GENERATIONS OF FUTURE BLACK LAWYERS WILL THANK HERBERT FOR STANDING UP FOR BLACK PEOPLE . Those who moan about herbert havent got the bottle to do anything themselves and are playing into the hands of those who wish to rule us by dividing us.

Name
bhagat singh
Date Posted
10/5/2004 9:25:27 AM

Comment

Why is this a racist issue? I am sure if Mr Herbert were white we would have heard no more about this. He knew the rules, he represents his client therefore unless asked for his personal opinion, in his official capacity he should remember he is serving his client. If he had any respect for the bar and legal etiquette he would just apologise and get on with what apparently he does best, fighting for justice.

Name
Michele Serra
Date Posted
10/12/2004 10:37:37 AM

Comment

why is peter herbert spending so much time rgueing with the bar council over his use of the third person? he could do a lot more good to our community by following these [stupid] rules and keeping his nose clean. trhat way he won&#39t bother the bar council and if he brown noses enough he may even get to sit on the bar council some day-then we&#39ll see who gets reprimanded for being passionate about their clients.

it&#39s a dirty game peter but even a dirty game has its rules, you&#39ll be branded a trouble maker now and you&#39ll hit a glass ceiling pretty soon-we need you to keep going further on our behalf-right to the top if you could, we&#39ll support you.

ask your objection to the rulng to be noted, humbly accept the media training, stay on the edge of what is acceptable by using the codes- not breaking them, and be smart about what battles to fight. insitutional racism in the legal service affects your clients a lot harder then it does you-see the bigger picture and empower them by making your own sacrifices!

Name
choosetherightbattles
Date Posted
3/8/2005 10:17:28 AM

Comment

Could some one please update me on Peter Herbert case? The last comment posted didn&#39t make any sense.

I am very disappointed that the Black Press didn&#39t supported Peter Herbert. They should have been running a campaign every week asking their readers to support him. Peter Herbert spoke the truth and we should have been backing him. Many of our young black people are facing many barriers in Education, Employment, and are criminalized by the police force because of institutionalise racism.

It is sad that we don’t have more people like Peter Herbert who are papered to speak out instead of playing it safe.

Name
Colin Leeown
Date Posted
3/19/2005 9:08:01 PM

Comment

Peter Herbert should recieve the full support of the Black communities. It is about time that these so called professional bodies stopped talking about all the &#39good things&#39 they have done for the Black communities/professionals and actually look at what they are DOING. Yet again the legal bodies have shown their contempt for Black professionals, how do they imagine that they have any confidence with the Black communities. If they need proof just ask any Black person who has tried to secure Solicitors/Barristers to help them in their struggle!

I would go far as to challenge any Black person in their view that they have been treated fairly by the legal professional bodies.

I think it would be a good study to find the &#39real&#39 views of Black people and the legal profession, just ask the Bar council to fund it, if they are serious about representing their Black members.

Name
Dipen Rajyaguru
Date Posted
31/3/2004

Comment

I had a black woman suffering domestic violence who is living in a refuge, at the hand of her white barrister huband, and the come to see me today. She wrote to the Law Society regarding her husband&#39s behaviour and judgments made by a court regarding such, and the letter with her address was passed to her husband by the society. She has also experienced recist stereotyping by the judge, so Peter is right about racism in the legal system.

Name
Carol
Date Posted
13/4/2004

Comment

This is a classic example of the fact that Whites are prepared to tolerate Blacks in their midst – so long as they don’t rock the institutionally-racist boat.

The answer is to ensure that as many Blacks enter higher education as possible to study the following Black core curriculum:

1. History – to see how the institutional racism of the past informs the institutional racism of the present;

2. Psychology – to understand why Whites are so lacking in self-respect that they need to create the myth of a Master Race to appease their fragile egos;

3. Law – to enable Blacks to protect themselves and punish Whites’ racism & to lobby for laws to outlaw racist hate-speech.

Protesting against this Black barristers&#39 racially motivated disciplining is fine but does not address the fact that it will continue for other Black legal professionals unless a suitable plan for future action is formulated now.

Name
Frank TALKER
Date Posted
16/5/2004

Comment

If Britain is to be a true multi-cultural society and organistions wish to embrace this then work needs to be done by large and powerful instituations such as the Bar Council inside themselves on what this means and being prepared to change by listening to communities and it’s own people.

Once again with Peter Herbert, and so many people before him we find ourselves in a situation where those who seek to acheive change from the inside, those who wish to change “the ways things are done around here”, those who are different from the rest find themselves in situations of being isolated, challenged by the organistions that they were recruited by, and their credibility questioned.

What is not understood is that to become “like them” does not represent multi-cultural Britain. Thinking “how can we do business differently” what are our people saying to us, how can we embrace this and learn from it are those organisations that are serious about working with different communities.

I am left askig myself how else can I show support to Peter and demonstrate to the Bar Council the community views on this matter.

Would an on-line petition to the Bar Council/Prime Minister be effective?I am left askig myself how else can I show support to Peter and demonstrate to the Bar Council the community views on this matter. Would an on-line petition to the Bar Council/Prime Minister be effective?

Editor replies: Thanks for that suggestion Neena. We’ll have an online petition to the Bar Council by Tuesday 18th.

Name
Neena Chauhan
Date Posted
16/5/2004

Comment

I have noticed Peter Herbert (though I don&#39t know him) at &#39many&#39 Black led/focused meetings, he comes over as sincere and passionate about the Black issues he has spoken about.

He spoke up very well for Black people and the Silvester family at a MPA meeting. I think it is more to do with what was said then, that left a few at the table totally VEX(!), one even mentioning that his &#39speech&#39 was too emotive, to the point of giving the Bar Council more cause to hound and get rid of him.

As the old time Jamaican adage goes “Who feels it, Nows it!” (When one hurts, all hurt.) It is not &#39our&#39custom to be conversative with our feelings when something is not right. If the Bar is suggesting that a black person cannot express themselves in a way that is natural to that person, it would be evident to me that the &#39Bar&#39 is trying to be biased against Black people generally. Is the role of Black people on government (etc)committees, also, to stay silent in the face of injustices? – I hope not!

Why is it that when a Black professional(s) speak up for their community, the establishment seems to revert to being a slave &#39massah&#39 and try to beat us back into line. Haven&#39t they (Bar Council… etc)realised that slavery days are over, or is this negative sense of nostalgia too much to let go of.

Generally, Black people should not be prepared to be knocked back/ about because of this societies false sense of superiority.

To Peter Herbert – Stay Strong – Brotha

Name
Jennifer J Harris
Date Posted
19/5/2004

Comment

Here we go again, what&#39s new! I&#39m sure they are the sentiments of Peter Herbert given that he is simply trying to do his job. I believe that is the point that the bar has seriously missed. Justice requires strong confident barristers and solicitors to speak out right against injustice and not just to mime it. Peter Herbert demonstrates a great ability to be a powerful effective leader in these issues, which the racist bar is afraid of. White workers regardless of their positions or status are too often let off the hook for slips of the preverbial tongue, but black people are meant to stay silent. I think not!!

What Peter demonstrates to me is that injustice means you have to say something even though the establishment may not like it. I&#39ve been on the recieving end and it&#39s very painful, but its important to do so. As a black community we msut continue to demonstrate to our children how to speak out truthfully and with dignity. They will become stonger in thier confidence, self worth and future.This applies to adults to. I&#39m sure Peter is not finding this easy but his stance has reinforced that the whole machinery will go against him if he stands up to them. This happens for so many of us. But, they may not like us for doing it but they will be forced to respect us for taking a stand.

Peter has may unconditional support in this situation and I believe that God is watching over him. Scripture says, that to whom much is given, much is also expected. Also GOD will not allow you to cope with more than you can. Clearly Peter Herbert has been given a special role. He will always be blessed and supported.

Primrose Roberts.

Name
Primrose Roberts
Date Posted
20/5/2004

Comment
Why do you just call for black people to support Peter Herbert? Surely all who believe in justice should support him.
Name
Candis Roberts
Date Posted
21/5/2004

Comment

I am a member of the public and a complete lay person when it comes to matters of the law. After attending the hearing last night my assumptions of the “system” were confirmed. From the panel’s comments it was clear that they had already formed a view.

The hearing did not come across as being unbiased in any way. The fact that the apnel were only going to deliberate for a short while (10 mins was quoted) seem such a short period of time to make a decision on a person lifetime commitment and career.

I left disgusted before hearing the final verdict. How can we ever get change when the “system” and the people who are within the “system” do not want to change themselves. Here was an opportunity for the Bar Council to stand by one its ethnic minorities members. Instead they chose to send a significant message to the community. Also what messages are being given to the existing Black professionals within this sector.

Name
Gwen
Date Posted
26/5/2004

Comment

Nothing this country does surprises with regard to issues of racism. We blow hot, we blow cold. On one level we get a good result in a recent ruling that using the term “bloody foreigners” is deemed to be racist, but on another level we get a fine man like Peter Herbert being found guilty and reprimanded for the most trivial of supposed offences and he is helping the victims of racism!

Call me a cynic, but if Peter Herbert had been a White Barrister, would this charge have been heard by the Bar Council in the first place? I have this REALLY distinct felling it wouldn&#39t have been given the time of day, in fact I don&#39t even think it would have got itself into a memo much less a tribunal!

Name
Suchi Chatterjee
Date Posted
26/5/2004

Comment

I am afraid I cannot support Herbert who has too often claimed to be the victim of &#39racism&#39 sometimes perhaps real but also sometimes imagined. He made a mistake and has to pay the price. Calling it racist is unhelpful in my view as it gives the impression of immaturity whenit would be better to accept the decision of a legally constituted tribunal.

Name
Ali ALtin
Date Posted
26/5/2004

Comment

Peter Herbert must understand that as a Black man he has to work twice as hard as a White to be accepted by Whites: This will ultimately make him twice as good (which will never be accepted by them). At no point can he afford to turn his back on Whites because they’ll always find an excuse to stick a knife in it. If he doesn’t understand this now he never will.

Given the facts of the case he got the punishment he deserved: He shouldn’t’ve given a media interview under stress from ‘a personal tragedy’. He can’t blame the hostility of said interview because this is what is expected of such public interrogations.

It’s the height of naïvety to claim that the Bar Council is not only ‘institutionally racist, but is deliberately and maliciously racist because it knows what it’s doing’. All racists know what they’re doing – otherwise why would they do it?

This proves Blacks have no reason to have any confidence in the Whites’ criminal-justice system. Whites will never reform themselves in any situation where they have no competition: There is no Black Bar Council.

Blacks must learn that if they wish to make it as educated eminent professionals in a racist society that they should focus all their energies on the task-at-hand and not in ingratiating themselves with Whites. This is, after all, exactly what Whites want (because they believe it allows them to think of themselves as racially superior) so that you have less energy to surpass them. In essence, this means acting ‘White’ when Whites are around (never confiding your honest opinions) and acting like one’s self in all other circumstances. This doesn’t lead to the so-called schizophrenia a racist like the current Home Secretary David Blunkett claims – it’s merely a convenient survival mechanism.

Name
Frank TALKER
Date Posted
26/5/2004

Comment

Mr Herbert has been convicted of behaving unprofessionally and plays the race card. What has race got to do with it? If he can&#39t give a competent interview in accordance with the rules of his profession he could always stretch a point and keep quiet. Uncharacteristic, but probably just about possible, even for Mr Herbert. But what has race got to do with his conviction?

Name
Thomas Brown
Date Posted
28/5/2004

Comment

It’s at times like these when I believe that we need a strong, political legal organisation for Black Lawyers. What has happened to the Society of Black Lawyers? Where is it? What meetings are being held to not only discuss this issue, but to also launch a campaign?

Name
Ekua
Date Posted
6/6/2004

Comment

I have little sympathy, he has flouted the rules of his profession. He is now alleging racism, 4 other barrister last year: all white received far worse punishments for the same infraction. Cases like this are unhelpful for geuine race relations.

Ali

Name
Ali Khan
Date Posted
10/6/2004

Comment

I don&#39t see what this has to do with “racism” at all.

Peter Herbert gave an interview (a questionable thing for a Barrister to be doing, especially if it has even a passing connection with a client of his) and in an error of judgement said something in a way that he should not.

The Bar Council has reprimanded him for doing so.

So what?

Has this anything at all to do with his race. For Mr. Herbert then to give another interview, in which he accuses the Bar Council tribunal of being “racist” merely compounds his original error of judgement. It also shows a lack of judgement and immaturity that, the minute something happens with which he disagrees, he plays the race card.

This will do nothing to foster better race relations, nor uphold what ought to be the high reputation of the Bar.

As a Barrister myself (and one from an ethnic minority), I avoid any of the problems which Peter Herbert seems to have attracted by simply giving no interviews at all. I do not regard it as my place to give interviews about cases in which I am or have been involved in. If, I suggest, Peter Herbert followed this practice, which the vast majority of Barristers do, then these problems would not arise.

Name
Marc
Date Posted
17/8/2004

Comment

I have just finished my LPC course to be a solicitor and will soon be starting my training contract. Does this mean that when I am fully qualified I have to &#39put up and shut up&#39. I am utterly dismayed that a person of Peter&#39s credentials and long service to the justice system has been treated this way, what hope have I got?

Name
Kerry Prince
Date Posted
17/9/2004

Comment

i would be interested to see figures for the total number of lawyers who are from ethnic minorities and the total number of complaints made to the legal professional bodies and what the outcome was and compare this with the figures for white lawyers . I think you will find that there are generally more complaints against blacks than whites. I also believe it is hard to get into the legal profession in the first place if you are black due to discrimination on the LPC,BAR COURSE AND IN TRAINING AND PUPILAGE ALLOCATION.It does not surprise me that Peter herbert has been treated in the way he has because he has spoken out and if you speak out against professional bodies of which you are a member then it is likely that they will remember that and they have wide powerswhich are easily excercised . The only way to deal with this situation is to launch a mass campaign within the black communities BLACK LAWYERS SHOULD DEMONSTRATE AND EXPOSE THE ROTTEN SYSTEM . If you are kept down and crushed and abused and discriminated and treated like dogs then the chances are you will eventually speak out only to be put before a disciplinary committee.

GENERATIONS OF FUTURE BLACK LAWYERS WILL THANK HERBERT FOR STANDING UP FOR BLACK PEOPLE . Those who moan about herbert havent got the bottle to do anything themselves and are playing into the hands of those who wish to rule us by dividing us.

Name
bhagat singh
Date Posted
5/10/2004

Comment

Why is this a racist issue? I am sure if Mr Herbert were white we would have heard no more about this. He knew the rules, he represents his client therefore unless asked for his personal opinion, in his official capacity he should remember he is serving his client. If he had any respect for the bar and legal etiquette he would just apologise and get on with what apparently he does best, fighting for justice.

Name
Michele Serra
Date Posted
12/10/2004

Comment

now is the time . wake up .fight for herbert

Name
sukhdev
Date Posted
22/10/2004

Comment

Peter Herbert’s supporters are essentially correct, the ‘real reason for the disciplinary actions is not the “tense” he speaks in, but his willingness to challenge racism in the legal profession.’ Inevitably, Whites won’t tolerate this except at the superficial level of the White delusion that racism is confined to a few bad, racist apples rather than the institutional level of endemic racism. Because Whites are touchy and overly sensitive about such issues, accusing them of racism will always get their backs up – because a raw nerve has been struck that no White analgesic can palliate nor cure.

Whites don’t want Blacks defended by their own because they can’t then exploit Black ignorance of White law. This upsets Whites who love to believe that they’re impartial until they’re shown not to be. Whites, raised to be racially suspicious, assume Blacks are plotting to get alleged Black criminals acquitted because Whites tend to assume that a) Being Black is a crime, in itself; and, b) Blacks are more prone to crime, anyway.

But, at the same time, the article (Outrage over ‘travesty of justice’ as barrister Peter Herbert is found guilty) is somewhat schizophrenic. “I think people will say ‘if he can’t make it as an educated eminent professional, what chance do we have?’ This implies it’s impossible to practice as a lawyer if you’re Black. Clearly, this is harder than if you’re White, since Whites wish to control access to legal services for those they deem inferior in order to self-fulfillingly prove such inferiority. But, this doesn’t mean less Blacks should try; only more should do so. The more Black graduates there are the more Whites will have to accept them because it will then become too obvious that Whites are, indeed, as racist as I claim them to be. This will build up the necessary critical mass while enabling Blacks to better co-ordinate their political activities through the co-operative experience gained.

Unless Blacks are prepared to grasp the White racist bull by the horns now, they condemn future generations of Blacks – including their own children – to polishing White Men’s shoes with their bare tongues.

Even without pupilage in chambers, legal knowledge can be used to help fellow Blacks in situations where official representation isn’t compulsory – such as Employment Tribunals. As well as to informally help those Black friends with legal problems and, ultimately, to help with ones own legal issues. (It’s important never to help Whites since they already have a wealth of White lawyers to represent them.)

The important point to make here is to show Whites that just because they’re racist, Blacks aren’t going to be cowed into not trying to do the best for themselves. This would then make them fall prey to the White trap of ‘justification’ when they claim Blacks don’t try hard enough at school.

Name
Frank TALKER
Date Posted
25/10/2004

Comment

I recently read the case of Peter Hebert, and agree with the thousands of replies in support of Peter that he was genuinely used as a scapegoat, in order to &#39knock the black man down a few pegs&#39 as he is the most familiar sincere looking black barrister in the whole of the country, who speaks with great acquired taste, truthfully, and honest, and a true defender of the &#39BLACK MINORITY&#39! NOELLE

Name
N Huggins
Date Posted
27/10/2004

Comment

Peter Herbert is the Whites’ whipping-boy for being outspoken about the racism inherent in the UK justice system. Whites intended Black counsel as a sop to the idea of Black representation and now fear Mr Herbert represents the inevitable Black backlash against (legalised) White Racism. Most Whites&#39ll only allow a certain, minimal quota of Blacks to enter the legal profession so long as those Blacks don’t complain about the covert fact of such restrictions. As with Black supermodels, there’s only room for far less than there are aspirants: That’ll keep the Blacks in their place, won’t it! That&#39ll teach them to think they’re entitled to a crack at the most lucrative careers! They’ll start thinking they’re as good as we are next!

Name
Frank TALKER
Date Posted
20/12/2004

Comment

This is a very important case butnot for the reasons Herbert claims.

Itis realya bout whether professions which are central to the administration of justice should be self governing. There are goo darguments on both sides. But as with all self governing bodies the rules have to be enforced.

Herbert claims that he is the victim of &#39racism&#39 but so far has not produced any evidence.

Every year a few barristers are reprimanded or disciplined for breaking strict rules on interviews, relations with clients, etc etc.

Herbert knew the rules and he has applied to be a QC. He madea mistake and anybody can make a mistake and should admit the fact. His refusal to accept the decision of the professional body is not a sign of maturity but a sign of seeking special treatment.

The Bar Council is not going to give in to such demands and it is not in the interest of Herbert or his supporters to pursue this.

It can only end in tears.

Meanwhile it can only discredit those who constantly use the term &#39racism&#39 as a cloak for the weakness of their arguments.

&#39&#39

Name
Manjoula Pindar
Date Posted
21/12/2004

Comment

why is peter herbert spending so much time rgueing with the bar council over his use of the third person? he could do a lot more good to our community by following these [stupid] rules and keeping his nose clean. trhat way he won&#39t bother the bar council and if he brown noses enough he may even get to sit on the bar council some day-then we&#39ll see who gets reprimanded for being passionate about their clients.

it&#39s a dirty game peter but even a dirty game has its rules, you&#39ll be branded a trouble maker now and you&#39ll hit a glass ceiling pretty soon-we need you to keep going further on our behalf-right to the top if you could, we&#39ll support you.

ask your objection to the rulng to be noted, humbly accept the media training, stay on the edge of what is acceptable by using the codes- not breaking them, and be smart about what battles to fight. insitutional racism in the legal service affects your clients a lot harder then it does you-see the bigger picture and empower them by making your own sacrifices!

Name
choosetherightbattles
Date Posted
8/3/2005

Comment

Could some one please update me on Peter Herbert case? The last comment posted didn&#39t make any sense.

I am very disappointed that the Black Press didn&#39t supported Peter Herbert. They should have been running a campaign every week asking their readers to support him. Peter Herbert spoke the truth and we should have been backing him. Many of our young black people are facing many barriers in Education, Employment, and are criminalized by the police force because of institutionalise racism.

It is sad that we don’t have more people like Peter Herbert who are papered to speak out instead of playing it safe.

Name
Colin Leeown
Date Posted
19/3/2005

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

Add your comments

Name
Email Address
Comment

Back to article…

Blink-Talk:

What do you think about slavery memorial day?

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: blink1990@blink.org.uk

top of pagetop of page

powered by Linux