News Bites - June 2011

QASA

An accreditation scheme designed to maintain high standards in criminal advocacy has changed its acronym. The Quality Assurance for Advocates scheme is to be known as the QASA (Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates).

This is to avoid confusion with the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), a watchdog body for higher education providers. Under the QASA, criminal law barristers, QCs and solicitor-advocates will be re-assessed every five years to ensure high standards are maintained.amaintained.

New assault sentencing guideline comes into force

The Sentencing Council’s new definitive guideline on assault offences will be used in courts from 13 June. It covers the most common offences of assault that come before sentencers in relation to all offenders over 18 regardless of when the offence was committed. The same guideline applies to Magistrates’ and Crown Courts.

Sentencing for drugs offences - reminder to contribute to consultation

The consultation on the Sentencing Council’s draft guideline on drug offences will close on 20 June and the Council is keen to encourage legal professionals with experience or an interest in the subject to contribute their views on its proposals.

Submissions to the consultation can be made by email or post. All consultation documents can be found at www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk.

Garden Party

The Legal Charities Garden Party will be held in Lincoln’s Inn on Wednesday, 15 June at 6pm. Tickets are available from www.mdcomms.co.uk/legal-charities-garden-party.
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