Speech by Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb DBE


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I am doubly delighted to be speaking to you this morning.

My first experience of the collective character of the criminal bar was in 1989 when the Head of the Chambers where I was doing pupillage, Michael Kalisher QC, invited me to a CBA meeting to present some statistical research I had done for him. I was struck by the qualities of friendliness, mutual respect, and dedication amongst those present, that impression was consolidated throughout my 26 years in practice and persists.

The second reason is that the topic I am going to address is one of profound importance to many imprisoned people and their families and one for which this specialist organisation is in the vanguard.

I took part in the Cambridge Assizes earlier this year at the invitation of this Association. I was asked to respond to a paper given by (your past chairman) Francis Fitzgibbon QC in which he expressed disappointment at the lack of success in the Court of Appeal Criminal Division of out of time post R. v Jogee applications for permission to appeal in change of law cases.

Amongst the excellent group of speakers that you have to look forward to this morning is Dr Beatrice Krebs, from whom you will hear an academic’s analysis of recent case law in the field.

But my contribution will be an attempt to provide some practical help to those of you who are instructed to advise convicted defendants seeking to mount a challenge to the conviction in the Court of Appeal since a change in the law.