Francesca’s account of her court visits

Last week Francesca, aged 14, had the opportunity to go to court with some of our fantastic barristers and observe some unique and high profile cases. We asked her to write up what she saw:

Phone Hacking Conference – Royal Courts of Justice – Monday 18th March 2013
On my first day at Matrix, I went to court with Hugh Tomlinson QC and Sara Mansoori to watch them take part in a case management conference (CMC) regarding the high profile phone hacking scandal. It was very interesting as it was my first time visiting the Royal Courts of Justice, and because there was a lot of public interest in the case. New evidence had come to light and there was a new operation being conducted by the Police that was discussed – Operation Pinetree. It was also fascinating as it was the first media law case I have seen. As it was just a CMC no final verdict was reached, and both sides were discussing and arguing their points, but it was a great experience and gave me a good insight into life as a specialist media law barrister.

Antonio Troitino Arranz v The 3rd Section of the National High Court of Madrid, Spain – Royal Courts of Justice – Wednesday 20th March 2013
On my third day at Matrix, I visited the Royal Courts of Justice again, this time with Joanna Buckley and Mark Summers. This case was an extradition appeal and they were representing the appellant, a Spanish citizen who had been part of the terrorist organisation ETA. He was sentenced to 2232 years imprisonment at the time, for many murders, bombings and for causing the deaths of 12 Civil Guard officers. The barristers were fighting to get him out of prison in this country, as well as ensure that he was not extradited back to Spain, where he would be expected to serve several more years, despite being released by them in 2011. If he was extradited back, he would have to serve the remainder of a 30 year sentence that he was sentenced to in 1989, due to the fact that the Spanish law has changed since then. It was very interesting to watch as it was totally different to the other cases I had seen before in court, and both arguments were very complex.