Jonathan Metzer has returned to Chambers after completing his six week Pegasus Scholarship in the United States.
The Pegasus Scholarship programme was established to foster links between the UK and other jurisdictions by enabling British barristers to live and work in other countries to gain deeper understanding about the different legal systems. Further information about the outgoing scholarship programme may be found here.
Through a packed programme of meetings and events over six weeks of travel across five states and the District of Columbia, Jonathan was exposed to a full cross-section of the US legal system at both federal and state level. This included meetings with a large number of senior judges and distinguished lawyers, together with opportunities to observe oral argument in the US Supreme Court and hearings at each level of the federal and state system. Jonathan also gained detailed understanding of contemporary politics through meetings with Congressmen and members of Congressional staff, against the historic backdrop of the impeachment inquiry into the conduct of President Trump in Ukraine. These experience taught Jonathan a great deal about the similarities and contrasts between the British and American systems, including the significant ramifications of having a fully codified constitution.
Jonathan benefited from wonderful hospitality by his hosts in Washington, DC, Sacramento, California, Roanoke, Virginia, Cheyenne, Wyoming and Annapolis, Maryland, which also enabled him to gain insight into the great cultural contrasts across the country.
Highlights of the programme included the black-tie Celebration of Excellence at the US Supreme Court (also attended by senior representatives from all four of the British Inns of Court), a unique dinner at Francis E. Warren Air Force Base, where Jonathan carried out a launch of an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (at a training console), in-depth tours of the West Wing of the White House, the US Supreme Court and the US Capitol (including lunch at the Senate Dining Room), and the opportunity to observe part of the trial of Roger Stone, a former senior Republican strategist who was convicted of obstruction of justice arising from his conduct during the 2016 presidential campaign.