Monday, July 21, 2014

Calls for new Solicitor General Robert Buckland to resign

From the Swindon Advertiser today:
Swindon South MP Robert Buckland is facing calls to stand down from his new role as Solicitor General after it emerged he was found guilty of professional misconduct but failed to disclose it to the Prime Minister. 
It relates to a race hate crime in 2007 where a Wroughton schoolboy was left with severe brain injuries following a vicious attack by a group of 13 Asians. 
Both the victim, Henry Webster, and four of the attackers were pupils at Ridgeway School at the time, where Mr Buckland, a former barrister and part-time judge, was a governor.
While conducting the internal investigation, he was not acting in a legal capacity but as a governor so should not have been speaking to barristers involved in the case to secure information. 
The MP requested to see hundreds of pupil witness statements from another barrister in the criminal trial of Amjad Qazi, who was jailed for the attack. 
In 2011, Mr Buckland, along with Robin Sheallard, were found guilty of breaching the code of conduct of the Bar of England and Wales for illicitly obtaining the papers which he had no entitlement to see. 
Although they were both guilty, there was no fine and both were allowed to continue working in the profession.
According to the Advertiser, Mr Buckland has said there was no malicious intent for his actions and he believed he was acting in the best interest of the school.

The paper quotes him as saying:
“It is a matter of public record that in May 2011, I was found to have committed a minor breach of the Code of Conduct of the Bar of England and Wales. I was not suspended or fined and continued to practice and sit as a Recorder. This finding was removed from the Bar records after two years and therefore I was not required to declare it upon appointment as Solicitor General.”

1 comment:

Frank H Little said...

At NCCL, Harriet [Harman] also campaigned for prisoners’ rights, for a Human Rights Act and against Government secrecy. She was prosecuted [in 1982] for contempt for showing a journalist documents already read out in open court. The case was against the Home Office for keeping a prisoner for 6 months in a “control unit”. She was found guilty of contempt by the British courts, but later found not guilty on appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.