Hum, just got back to chambers after getting chucked out of court. Well, not allowed in, anyway. I'd just been sitting in on a case management conference in a care proceedings case and the barrister I was following -- not my supervisor, he's working from home again today -- asked the various parties if it was acceptable for me to come into the hearing. One of them objected (fairly vociferously) and his barrister suggested that it wasn't worth the hassle of sorting it out before the hearing just as we were about to go in as it would only delay the case getting started. I decided to go before causing further embarrassment. My barrister wasn't too pleased and had started to object, but I didn't want to get in her way or cause a problem.
I'm reasonably sure that it isn't supposed to work like that. Obviously, I can understand why the parties would object, particularly the parents in a care case where the children have already been taken into care because of alleged serious prejudice to their best interests, often physical abuse or neglect. It will certainly be difficult to learn how everything works if everyone has a veto on whether a pupil can sit in on proceedings. I'd already been there for two hours at this point, and it would have been useful to see the culmination of the discussions I'd witnessed.
I did try calling the Bar Council but they were busy and asked me to call back later.