One small tip for pupil barristers in crime

I’m quite sure that with such excellent pupil supervisors out there at the Bar, you won’t be in need of advice from me, but if you’re fortunate enough to celebrating your acceptance of an offer of pupillage – and HUGE CONGRATULATIONS by the way! – may I make just one small recommendation if you’re planning to make your way in crime.

Here it is in a sentence: Never Throw Away Your Archbolds Or Blackstone’s.


Of course, if you have e-versions, all the better because they won’t take up space on your shelf in Chambers. And, indeed, as time goes on, there may cease to be things so physical as shelves in Chambers. Certainly our Chambers is moving towards full cloud capability for those for those Members who want it.

Why should you keep your old editions? The reason is that laws change (I know I’m stating the obvious). You will never know when you might need to know all about what the law used to be. It says a lot about the sort of practice that I have at the Bar that I was actually quite excited this morning to find in the loft my 2004 edition of Archbold. Straightaway I have taken steps to retain chapter 20 in particular; the old Sexual Offences Act of 1956 has never been more relevant to my work than in recent times. The 1956 Act, of course, was most recently given the full learned treatment in the 2004 edition of Archbold just before the Sexual Offences Act 2003 updated and repealed it. You won’t find it in the 2019 Archbold.

And just two weeks ago, I prosecuted a man for a now repealed offence. It was the old offence of sex trafficking, which the Modern Slavery Act put paid to. Read about the case here. The defendant had been convicted in 2015 after absenting himself from the country. When he was picked up on a European Arrest Warrant this year, suddenly I found the offence was not in my 2019 Archbold!

So may I be so bold as to recommend:

Never Throw Away Your Archbolds Or Blackstone’s.




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