It’s a not guilty verdict for Oscar

Judge Thokozile Masipa, delivering her verdict at the end of the six-month trial of Oscar Pistorius, has discounted charges of murder in a summary that has see-sawed between guilt and innocence.

Oscar Pistorius, the Paralympic athlete on trial for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, has escaped the maximum 25-year prison sentence for premeditated murder and a lesser 15-year sentence for murder in a dramatic morning of summarising evidence.

Read more from The Telegraph here.

Watch the verdict.

Direct Access Barristers

Direct Access Barristers, sometimes known as public access barristers, are able to take instruction directly from the public.

The law changed in 2004 to allow the public and commercial or non-commercial organisations to be able to instruct a barrister directly using the Direct Access or Public Access Scheme.

Being able to access a barrister directly has a number of benefits.

What are the benefits?

  • Likely to be more cost effective because you will not have the expense of instruction a solicitor as well
  • Direct communication with your barrister means that nothing gets “lost in translation”
  • You have greater control over your matter
  • You and your barrister can work quicker together

What can a direct access barrister do under the direct access scheme?

  • Give advice on the merits of making an application to any Court
  • Give advice on resisting an application
  • Prepare offers to settle proceedings
  • Draft consent orders
  • Prepare and submit written skeleton arguments to Court
  • Prepare witness statements
  • Advise on evidence and the instruction of expert witnesses
  • Appear in Court in the usual manner on your behalf
  • At each stage of  the legal proceedings, you direct access barrister can asssist you with preparing the required documents that you need to prepare or to respond to

It is important to note that there are limits to what work a barrister can do and in some instances a solicitor may still need to be instructed. It is also important to note that if your direct access barrister quotes you a fixed fee, that this amount should be paid up front in accordance with the Direct Access Scheme. There are alternative payment structures that can be considered under the scheme and you can discuss these with your barrister.

Middleton Chambers has Direct Access Barristers. Talk to one of our Clerks or fill in our direct access enquiry form.