Bench Table on 3 December allowed a full and varied debate for and against the agreed Executive Committee Resolution on Project Pegasus. The vote is now live on the Inner Temple website, and in a small number of cases by paper ballot. It is gratifying that, after significant investment in the website, the new voting facility is proving very effective.
Sub-Treasurer's Report, December 2018
1. Bench Table
The tenders for the delivery of Project Pegasus continue to be evaluated, but detailed contract discussions are now underway with the favoured tenderer. The current contract price is still well within the Quality Surveyor’s estimate for the project and within the estimated construction duration. It is expected that the Inn will be in a position to sign a building contract shortly after the outcome of the Governing Bencher vote is known.
Inner Temple’s application for planning approval for temporary structures is to be determined at a City Planning Committee meeting on 18 December. Contingency planning is well advanced if the requested consent is not forthcoming. In financial terms, both outcomes are broadly similar.
The Estates Committee meeting on 4 December was Master Fetherstonhaugh’s last as Chair, following six years in this role.
All Planned Maintenance activity for 2018 has been concluded on time and within budget.
3. Education and Training
The number of Inner Temple student members beginning the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) this year is estimated at 306 compared to 301 last year and 270 the year before. Numbers are still being confirmed with the providers and the BSB.
We have registered 108 Inner Temple 1st six pupils so far this academic year but pupillages are still being registered and this figure will increase. From 2013-2017, Inner Temple members made up on average 21% of each annual BPTC student cohort but secured at least 29% of available 1st six pupillages each year.
The Inn’s four new Academic Fellows were announced at Lecture Night on 19 November. They are:
- Dr Carmen Draghici – City Law School
- Dr Andy Hayward – University of Durham
- Dr Christine Bicknell - University of Exeter
- Professor Eirik Bjorge - University of Bristol
The Education & Training Committee met on 20 November to discuss the latest iteration of the draft Memorandum of Understanding between the BSB, COIC and the four Inns. Following a letter from the Inns and COIC to the BSB Director General, the Sub-Treasurer, Under-Treasurers and the COIC Director met her on 5 December.
84 students were called to the Bar at Michaelmas Term Call Night on 22 November.
Staff from the Education & Training department manned an Inner Temple stand at the Annual Bar Conference on 24 November and attended law fairs and careers events in Portsmouth, Essex, Liverpool, Birmingham and Leeds throughout November.
The Scholarships Committee met on the 28 November to discuss the format of forthcoming BPTC Scholarship interviews and a paper on ensuring equality and diversity best practice in scholarship interviews.
A student residential weekend took place at Cumberland Lodge (30 November – 2 December) on the topic of Public Inquiries, organised by Master Rory Phillips (who is taking over as Chair of the QS Sub-Committee) and attended by 56 students.
An Advocacy and Pupillage Applications Advice Day will take place on 8 December for students who have completed the BPTC but are yet to secure pupillage.
The Inn received 454 BPTC scholarship applications this November – a similar number to last year and, again, the highest number of all four Inns.
4. House and Administration
After 26 years’ employment, half as Head Porter, Roger Ward retires from his role at the Inner Temple on 29 December to move back to Scotland. He has played a key role in keeping the estate safe, overseeing the car park and providing assistance to tenants and residents, as well as performing a host of ceremonial duties. He will be much missed.
After a competitive round of interviews, Mr Robert (Bob) Ellis was appointed Head Porter with effect from 7 January 2019. A former Royal Marines Warrant Officer 1st Class for 35 years, Robert has broad experience in security management and training, having project managed a training facility for the UAE Armed Forces and subsequently been responsible for managing security and marine operations at Al Jazeera Port, UAE. Since his return to the UK in 2017, he has been managing security at Fareham College, Hampshire.
A well-attended and much appreciated Private Guest Night was held on 14 November.
On 19 November, Academic Fellow Dr Vanja Hamzic from SOAS delivered a Reader’s Lecture followed by a dinner.
Filming for an 8-part Sky drama Temple took place on Crown Office Row on Saturday 8 December. Adapted by Mark O’Rowe from the Norwegian drama Valkyrien, Temple stars Mark Strong, Carice Van Houten and Daniel Mays.
The Bar Liaison Committee meets on Monday 10 December. A re-shuffle of portfolios which will be confirmed at the start of Hilary term is on the agenda.
Over 200 guests have booked to attend the Christmas Lunch following the main Carol Service in the Temple Church on 16 December. The lunch will be followed by a nativity play for members’ children and a Christmas tea with Father Christmas.
On 23 November two members of Library staff travelled to the University of Northumbria to give a legal research qualifying session to BPTC students which was very well received. A brief history of legal milestones, including important legislation and landmark case law, was produced to mark Trans Awareness Week in November. A related booklet is available on the Library website.
Richard Honey, member of the Inn and Chairman of the Steering Group of the UK Sierra Leone Pro Bono Network (UKSLPBN), organised a dinner for distinguished members of the Inn (and the British High Commissioner) in Sierra Leone on 16 November. Mr Honey read a message of greetings from Master Treasurer, encouraging them to reconnect and keep in contact with the Inn. There were discussions on a wide range of issues, including the challenges faced by lawyers and judges in a country with very limited resources and a high degree of corruption.
Master Treasurer hosted the United Arab Emirates Ambassador to the UK, Sulaiman Al Mazroui, for lunch on 26 November, together with Master Prandzioch. She met Justice Albie Sachs, a former judge on the Constitutional Court of South Africa, on 27 November.
The International Committee met on 6 December for Master Nice’s final meeting as Chair.
7. The Temple Church and its Music
The Advent Carol Service took place on 29 November, followed by a number of Christmas choral services and concerts under the Temple Winter Festival banner.
The Temple Church choristers gave two performances (singing alone and jointly with the Purcell Singers) during the RPO/Rutter Christmas concert at the Royal Albert Hall on 4 December to a packed house and a standing ovation on both occasions. The boys’ impeccable behaviour (over 11 hours), professionalism and outstanding performances were a huge accolade to the Temple and its brand of musical excellence.
On Wednesday 12 December, HRH Master The Princess Royal will present the Book Prize Awards in the Parliament Chamber. The winner of its £12,000 Main Book prize is Professor Paul S. Davies’s book Accessory Liability published by Hart; the £5,000 New Author’s prize has been won by Professor Jason Varuhas for his book Damages and Human Rights, Hart Publishing.
The three runners up for the main prize were:
Mr Jason Pobjoy
The Child in Refugee Law
Professor William Schabas
The European Convention of Human Rights
Oxford University Press
Professor Alison Young
Democratic Dialogue and the Constitution
Oxford University Press
And the two runners up for the New Author’s prize were:
Professor Kate Greasley
Arguments about Abortion: Personhood, Morality and Law
Oxford University Press
Professor Sandy Steel
Proof of Causation in Tort Law
Cambridge University Press
Hosted by Master Treasurer, guests include the judging panel chaired by Master Rix, prize winners, publishers, reviewers, Princess Royal Scholars and representatives from the Inn’s Education & Training, Advocacy and Outreach committees. We are grateful to Wildy & Sons for their generous sponsorship of the prize. As well as the Archivist’s tremendous efforts in managing the Book Prize exercise, a considerable amount of administrative support in connection with the ceremony has been provided by the Treasury Office.
9. COIC / Bar Standards Board (BSB)
A meeting of the Inns’ Strategic Advisory Group on 5 December decided to approve COIC, through the agency of the ICCA, entering the market as a provider of the two-part BPTC as described in the Course Delivery Proposal of 14 September 2018. At an immediately-following COIC Board meeting, the COIC Trustees resolved to seek the permission of the BSB to deliver the course, with an aim if permission is granted to start running the course as soon as possible.