BSB to register youth court advocates

The need for barristers appearing in youth courts to register was among a raft of changes announced by the Bar Standards Board (BSB).

The regulator said that the change, required when barristers renew their practising certificates, would help to ‘promote standards in those proceedings’ and will be welcomed by many barristers who believe youth advocacy should be recognised as a specialism.

The rule changes will require barristers to provide information on their practice areas, including any public access work, and the percentage of income they derive from each area, and to provide the regulator with a unique email address.

The BSB also confirmed that it will not extend the ‘cab rank’ rule to public and licensed access cases, stating that doing so could have an adverse impact on access to justice.

It will remove the requirement for barristers who are of less than three years’ standing to maintain a public access log and make a range of simplifications to make the public and licensed access rules less prescriptive and more proportionate.

Ewen MacLeod, Director of Strategy and Policy at the BSB, said: ‘The new rules regarding authorisation to practise will enable us to improve our regulation of barristers. Our changes to the public and licensed access rules will also further support those clients who instruct the Bar directly.’

He said: ‘We are particularly keen to highlight the important role of those practising in our youth courts and the skills necessary for this kind of work.’

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