The Law Society is wrong to suggest there is no evidence of a quality problem in criminal advocacy – according to one of the academics who produced it. Professor Richard Moorhead said there were failures “unparalleled in any assessment of lawyer quality in which I have been involved”.
The Law Society has launched what appears to be a last-ditch bid to persuade the Legal Services Board to scrap the proposed scheme to assess the quality of criminal advocacy, saying there is no evidence to support the assertion that standards have fallen.
The board of the Solicitors Regulation Authority today called for talks with a senior judge over concerns about the role of judges in assessing the quality of criminal law advocates.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority, Bar Standards Board and ILEX Professional Standards have been forced to change the name of their advocacy quality scheme after they were threatened with legal action.
Advocates seeking accreditation under the quality assurance for advocates (QAA) scheme will be allowed to opt for an assessment centre route rather than judges’ evaluations alone, under new proposals being debated today.
Lord Justice Thomas is heading a new expert group to advise the Solicitors Regulation Authority, Bar Standards Board and ILEX Professional Standards on developing and operating the controversial quality assurance for advocates scheme, it has emerged. Meanwhile, the BSB has hit out again at the Legal Services Board’s “unhelpful and ill-timed” intervention over the scheme.
The Legal Services Board is explicitly threatening the Solicitors Regulation Authority, Bar Standards Board and ILEX Professional Standards with using its formal enforcement powers for the first time over their quality assurance for advocates scheme, Legal Futures can reveal. The regulators have branded the move as neither “helpful nor necessary”.