Joint consultation by BSB, SRA and ILEX Professional Standards

A joint consultation by the Bar Standards Board (BSB), Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and ILEX Professional Standards on advocacy standards has been issued.

The consultation paper on quality standards for criminal advocates represents a joint commitment between the BSB, SRA and ILEX Professional Standards to develop common standards that can be applied across the respective professions with a view to fostering consistent standards of advocacy throughout the legal profession. The regulators are attempting to develop common standards that can be applied to all advocates in all areas of practice. This will require ensuring that standards and their associated competencies are applicable in a wide range of contexts. This is a significant task which will be undertaken incrementally - starting where there has been greatest interest in the consistency of advocacy competence and performance, namely criminal practice. This first consultation paper therefore seeks views on proposed common standards for criminal advocates.

Ensuring that advocates are practising to expected standards is fundamental to the justice system. The public must have confidence that their lawyer is competent to represent their best interests in court. The issues raised in this consultation paper therefore have wide reaching effects and the regulators are therefore keen to hear from anyone who has views on the proposed advocacy standards. The consultation paper appears on all three websites. The deadline for responses is 22 March 2010. Further information and the consultation document can be accessed on the BSB website at: