Bar Council Legal Reporting Award Winners 2016

17 October 2016

BAR COUNCIL LEGAL REPORTING AWARDS 2016:

WINNERS ANNOUNCED

 

"The awards are a way of showing the Bar's appreciation for the role that the media play in civil, democratic society, bringing to the  attention of the public issues that lawyers and judges sometimes cannot, and that politicians may choose to avoid." -Steven Thiruneelakandan, President of the Malaysian Bar

 

The winners of the Bar Council 2016 Legal Reporting Awards were announced at the Annual Bar and Young Bar Conference on Saturday 15 October.

Broadcast category

The broadcast category was won by Danny Shaw and Ian Muir-Cochrane for 'Prosecutors on Trial', broadcast on File on Four, on BBC Radio Four.

'Prosecutors on Trial' examined the record of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) following five years of substantial budget cuts. It explored a series of controversial charging decisions relating to Greville Janner and Operation Elveden, and investigated concerns about the morale of CPS staff.

The judges praised the piece as an original, brave, insightful and balanced look at an organisation which often makes news, but which is rarely the subject of such detailed analysis.

Print / online category

The joint winners of the print / online category were Louise Tickle for her Guardian article, 'I have panic attacks when I see my ex - fighting for custody after legal aid cuts', and Caroline Binham for her Financial Times article, 'Watching the insiders - Operation Tabernula'.

Louise Tickle, The Guardian         

For her piece, Louise Tickle was able to gain access to people suffering at the sharp end of the LASPO cuts. Her article made clear to a mainstream broadsheet audience the enormity of the task faced by those who must represent themselves in court in family disputes, and raised serious questions about the fairness and efficacy of the justice they receive.

Caroline Binham, The Financial Times

'Watching the Insiders' gave readers of the Financial Times a rare insight in to the work of the Financial Conduct Authority. Judges commended Caroline for picking an original topic and said that her piece was superbly researched and is a great example of a journalist contributing to her readership's understanding and awareness of important legal issues of the day.

Special mention

The judges also acknowledged this year's entry from Zoe Conway (last year's broadcast category winner) as worthy of a special mention. Her Radio 4 Today Programme broadcast looked at indeterminate sentencing, focusing on imprisonment for public protection.

 

Announcing the awards, President of the Malaysian Bar, Steven Thiruneelakandan said:

"The legal reporting awards are now in their 25th year. The awards were established by the Bar Council to recognise print and broadcast journalists whose work contributes to a greater public understanding and awareness of legal issues.

"The awards are also a way of showing the Bar's appreciation for the role that the media plays in civil, democratic society, bringing to the  attention of the public issues that lawyers and judges sometimes cannot, and that politicians may choose to avoid.

"Previous winners have highlighted issues such as prisoners serving indeterminate sentences with no set date for release, inadequate representation for people who face losing their liberty in the court of protection, and severe sentences implied by the law of joint enterprise.

"There is not much political capital to be gained, for example, in drawing attention to the injustices faced by those who have been convicted of serious offences. This is why such reporting is so important."

ENDS 

Notes to Editors

 

  1. Further information is available from the Bar Council Press Office on 020 7222 2525 and Press@BarCouncil.org.uk.

  2. The Bar Council represents barristers in England and Wales. It promotes: 

  • The Bar's high quality specialist advocacy and advisory services

  • Fair access to justice for all

  • The highest standards of ethics, equality and diversity across the profession, and

  • The development of business opportunities for barristers at home and abroad.

The General Council of the Bar is the Approved Regulator of the Bar of England and Wales. It discharges its regulatory functions through the independent Bar Standards Board