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ANNE Rafferty QC will take over as chair of the influential Criminal Bar Association on 1 June after winning the CBA's first contested election in 10 years.
The favourite in the elections and current vice-chair, Rafferty beat two competitors - Rock Tansey QC and Ronald Thwaites QC - to the two-year post.
Rafferty, of 4 Brick Court, says: "I'm very pleased that the electorate has put me there. To a very large extent, a sense of duty prompted me to stand. Now, my overall reaction is that it's going to be a lot of work."
Rafferty praised the successes of out-going chair Richard Ferguson QC of 1 Crown Office Row in raising the CBA's profile in the debate of criminal justice issues over the past two years.
"I'm rather pleased to have that legacy, because it sets a standard."
She aims to be a tough opponent of government moves on legal aid and access to justice. "We are certainly going to kick up a fuss about the legal aid Green Paper."
She will also continue to champion the cause of the criminal Bar. Training and pay for the young Bar will be a priority, she says.
Home Secretary Michael Howard's plans for redressing the balance in disclosure is also in her sights, as are Lord Chancellor Lord Mackay's proposed league table for silks - "anything madder, I have yet to contemplate".
Out-going chair Richard Ferguson QC says: "I am delighted that someone who has worked so hard for the association has been elected."