Many judges are not “advocacy trainers” and may produce “subjective” evaluations under the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates scheme, solicitor-advocates have warned. The Solicitors’ Association of Higher Court Advocates said there was a danger that some judges would assess on the basis of how they would have done it.
Judges should be able to opt out of assessing advocates under the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates if they believe it would be unfair, the Solicitors Regulation Authority has said. Despite a Supreme Court ruling in its favour last year, QASA is still to get off the ground.
Setting up a new panel of criminal defence advocates could confuse the public, CILEx Regulation has warned. It said the legal regulators should control standards and quality.
It is important that government plans to enhance the quality of criminal defence advocacy in publicly funded cases “should not be designed around one particular professional group”, the Legal Services Board has warned. The comments can be read as coded concern that some of the proposals seem weighted in favour of barristers.
The barristers challenging the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates have today been granted permission to appeal to the Supreme Court. The hearing is listed for March.
Four criminal law barristers have appealed to the Supreme Court in their judicial review of the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (QASA) – despite a costs bill which already totals £215,000, Legal Futures can reveal.
Mr Justice Green, chairman of the Advocacy Training Council, has condemned the lack of a “level playing field” for publicly funded advocates, which is leading to the practice of “selling litigation rights”.
The Bar Standards Board is facing a bill for over £100,000 after the Court of Appeal ruled that there was no need for it to be separately represented at the hearing of a judicial review against the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates.
The Court of Appeal today comprehensively dismissed four criminal law barristers’ challenge to the Legal Services Board’s approval of the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates. With the Master of the Rolls, Lord Dyson, giving the lead judgment, the court found that the scheme is lawful.