Effective advocacy is fundamental to the justice system. Members of the public reply upon it for the proper presentation of their case and the courts are dependent upon it for the proper administration of justice. There is therefore a need for systematic and consistent quality assurance of advocates by the regulators. The scheme will:

  • Build on the existing education framework for entry into advocacy to develop a rigorous assessment process to ensure that adequate
    standards are attained at the start of an advocate’s career;
  • introduce higher-level standards and periodic re-accreditation to ensure that advocates remain fit to practise as their careers progress;
  • have reporting arrangements for judges and others to refer poor performing advocates for remediation or re-training;
  • be managed by an independent body, accountable to, and with oversight from, the three advocacy regulators.

The scheme proposed represents a proportionate and practicable approach to quality assurance of criminal advocacy. It is fundamental to
effective regulation that rigorous quality assurance systems are in place to ensure that standards are attained and then maintained. The scheme set out in the consultation paper represents a cost effective and straightforward solution which the Joint Advocacy Group believes is in the public interest and will carry the confidence of the profession and the judiciary.

The consultation paper is available at: