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Saturday 20 June 2020

Today’s Judiciary announcement stating Advocates expected in Court on Monday is ‘beyond astonishing and frankly disgraceful’, says FDA

Responding to today’s announcement from the Judicial Office, FDA National Officer for CPS Steven Littlewood said:
 
“It is beyond astonishing that the Judiciary has announced on a Saturday that they will be expecting Advocates to appear in person on the following Monday. Frankly, it is disgraceful.
 
“There are so many questions that need to be answered before Advocates can return to Court safely. Firstly, is the assumption that remote attendance is fine unless there’s a good reason, or that physical attendance is required unless there’s a good reason? And what should Advocates with childcare needs do - are they expected to arrange childcare with less than 48 hours’ notice?
 
“How much personal information will lawyers be required to give when making an application? Can the Courts accommodate these arrangements while guaranteeing the safety of Court users? Who was consulted before this announcement and why was it only made now?
 
“Our members are furious and rightly so. We will continue to prioritise their heath and safety and will be seeking urgent answers to the questions above.”
Notes for editors
1. The FDA is the union for senior managers and professionals in public service, representing more than 18,000 members at grades HEO and above. Membership includes senior civil servants, government policy advisors, prosecutors, diplomats, tax professionals, economists, solicitors and other professionals working across the Government and the NHS.
2. The FDA (formerly the First Division Association) should be referred to simply as "The FDA" and can be described as "the senior public servants' union".
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FDA Communications Officer Tommy Newell on 07738 729 145 or tommy@fda.org.uk
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FDA Head of Communications Kay Hender on 07980 700 747 or kay@fda.org.uk
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