Thought provoking and inspiring – IWD advocacy event

09 Mar

Anna Poole, QC, Maryam Labaki, Angela Grahame, QC, and Claire Mitchell


A CELEBRATION of advocacy proved a very popular event for the Faculty to mark International Women’s Day.

The Lord President, Lord Carloway, gave an insight, to much mental and physical note-taking, on what judges look for in advocates. His overriding call was for “assistance not obfuscation”. See here

Anna Poole, QC, tackled equitable briefing and said the big problem to address, and it was being addressed, was subconscious bias.

“All of us have grown up in a world where, predominantly, figures in authority have been male and that does affect us and there is a bias, not deliberate, but a bias towards men,” she suggested.

In conversation, the Vice-Dean of Faculty, Angela Grahame, QC, and Claire Mitchell, Advocate, President of the Scottish Criminal Bar Association, said they would love to see more women joining the Bar, and staying.

“I really hope that what we are doing now and changes that are being made will have long-term effects,” said the Vice-Dean.

Members of the audience were enthusiastic in their praise of the event, which was chaired by Maryam Labaki, Advocate.

“I will certainly be applying to the Bar in the future. Great work ladies and of course Lord Carloway” one woman tweeted.

“Interesting and informative contributions from all the speakers” and “enjoyable and inspiring” said others.

“Incredibly thought provoking” was one man’s take on the evening.

Before having to dash off to another engagement, Lord Carloway commented: “It was a great pleasure to be here to hear of initiatives to ensure much greater gender equality at the Bar and on the Bench.”

Anna Poole, one of the organisers of the event, said: “I’d like to thank those who came to celebrate IWD with the Faculty.  I’d also like to encourage everyone who was there to take on board the IWD 2018 message, and Press for Progress to solve the problem of inequitable briefing of counsel in Scotland.”

Another highlight of the evening was a photographic exhibition, Advocates: women at work, by Victoria Young, Advocate. The portraits can be seen at with the password: iwd