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Judge elected to head 'union'.

Byline: Lynda Roughley

A SENIOR Liverpool judge has been elected president of the Council of Circuit Judges.

Judge Sean Duncan was secretary of the council, which represents the interests of the 570 circuit judges in England and Wales, for four years followed by two years as vice-president.

His new role involves chairing committee meetings in London approximately every two months when representatives from each of the circuits meet to discuss various issues.

Judge Duncan, who sits at Liverpool Crown Court, said: "These include making responses to proposals on law reforms and re-organisation for criminal, civil and family cases. It is a case of tactics rather than strategy.

"At the moment we are considering the Auld Report about proposed changes to the criminal justice system.

Some of these would bring about major change. I believe, as a personal view, that we should be very cautious about any major changes to trial by jury.

"It is a fundamental part of our democracy and one that has served us well over many years. It is too easy to criticise juries when the problems are frequently elsewhere." The council acts on behalf of the judges over issues such as salaries, pensions and changes in conditions of appointment.

"That's the 'union' side of our activities, " said Judge Duncan, 59.

"It is an honour to be elected president and play a leading role on behalf of my fellow judges." Judge Duncan was educated at Shrewsbury School and read Law at St Edmund Hall, Oxford. He was called to the Bar in 1966 by Inner Temple and was appointed as a circuit judge in 1988.

His pupil master when he was at the Bar was Judge Frank Paterson, who was the last president of the council to come from Liverpool.

It is not the only presidency that Judge Duncan holds.

The father-of-four, who lives in Oxton with his wife Diana, a GP, is currently president of Liverpool Ramblers AFC.

CAPTION(S):

NEW ROLE: Judge Sean Duncan
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jan 21, 2002
Words:329
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