Public access rules approved by LSB

New changes to public access rules will promote greater access to justice by allowing barristers to take instructions from clients who may be eligible for legal aid, but decided not to take up this option.


Rules preventing barristers of fewer than three years’ standing from taking on public access cases will be removed with the introduction of a new training regime, which is due to be in place by autumn 2013.

Barristers who have already completed the existing training will have 24 months to either undertake additional training or apply for a waiver. Meanwhile, barristers currently undertaking public access work can continue to do so.

Included in the changes, which were approved by the Legal Services Board last month, is the removal of rules prohibiting barristers from expressing a personal opinion in the media on cases in which they are involved. These rules will be replaced by guidance that identifies the risks barristers should consider when making a judgement on whether or not to make such comments.

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