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However you vote, just vote

In 8 hours time voting on the CBA ballot and the vice chair election will close. It takes a matter of seconds to vote.

You can vote in the ballot here: http://t.co/ffpqNkd42Z

You can vote in Vice Chair Election here: http://t.co/oX8TrS2ow4

By the time you have reached this point in this message, enough time has elapsed that you could have voted. It really is that simple.

Of course, if you are reading this message on the CBA blog, there is a fair chance you are engaged and are intending to vote. This message is not directed at you. It is directed at your opposition in court today, the people in your chambers, your colleague who you share a sandwich with at lunch. It is directed at those who for whatever reason have not yet voted and will not get around to it.

The issues in this election are stark. The outcome will determine the future of the criminal bar. The way in which we work, the amount we may be paid. It is not putting it too high to suggest that the decision will affect each and every criminal practitioner. I would suggest that voting is not simply a right you can exercise, but an obligation you must fulfil.

There are those who may say that the Question is not perfect. It matters not, you must vote. There are those who may say that the correct answer is not clear. It matters not, you must vote. There are those who may argue that the result will not change things. It matters not, you must vote.

I do not intend to rehearse the arguments in favour of, or against action. You will find them elsewhere in the CBA blog. Every point which could be made, has been made. I care less as to the way in which you exercise your vote and more that you do exercise it. It is in everyone’s interest that whichever way the vote goes, the highest possible turnout is achieved to give those that lead the greatest possible mandate to move forward.

So when you are in the robing room today, getting ready for court, ask if the person next to you has voted. Direct them to the link. When you head back to chambers and see your colleagues, ask if they have voted and if not, direct them to the link. Take 20 minutes out of your day to speak to friends at the bar and ask if they have voted and if not, direct them to the link.

We are used to being advocates, of persuading juries to vote one way or another. The tables have now turned. We are no longer the advocate but the jury. We are not persuading others as to the correct approach to take, but are seizing that mantle of responsibility ourselves.

Exercise that responsibility. Fulfil your obligation. Cast your vote.

Richard Bentwood


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