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LSB: criminal advocacy reforms “should not be designed around” any particular group of lawyers

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.

October 7th, 2015 | No Comments »

QASA registration dates extended again, but delay to wait for Jeffrey review ruled out

The first registration deadline for the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (QASA) has been extended again, the Joint Advocacy Group announced today. However, it will not be delaying the scheme to await the outcome of the Jeffrey review of criminal advocacy.

January 27th, 2014 | No Comments »

The case for QASA

David Wolfe QC of Matrix Chambers argues: We will never get close to having an “independent, strong, diverse and effective legal profession” (which section 1 of the Legal Services Act 2007 sets as a regulatory objective for the regulators) if advocates providing a high-quality service to their clients remain undermined by others who are not even competent. Let’s not fool ourselves: we all know lawyers – including barristers, and including criminal advocates – who are just not up to it (perhaps they never were, perhaps they have lost their touch) at all levels, from magistrates’ court practitioners to QCs.

April 9th, 2013 | 4 Comments »

Criminal Bar gears up for industrial action over QASA

Criminal barristers are preparing to boycott the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (QASA), but only if there is a pledge from counsel outside those circuits affected first not to step in and take the work.

March 27th, 2013 | 1 Comment »

Revised QASA timetable confirms new nine-month delay

The Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (QASA) will start in September, nine months later than planned, it was announced yesterday. The revised timetable was released just hours before heads of chambers met to discuss their response to QASA.

February 1st, 2013 | Comments Off on Revised QASA timetable confirms new nine-month delay

Rules on judicial evaluation and QCs to change in QASA shake-up

More time to obtain judicial assessments and greater recognition for QCs have emerged as key amendments to the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates, leaving some of the most contentious aspects – such as plea-only advocates – unchanged.

December 21st, 2012 | No Comments »

QASA consultation reveals youth court shift as solicitors express continuing concerns

A final consultation on the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates has been amended at the last minute to take into account objections raised by the board of the Bar Standards Board.

July 13th, 2012 | No Comments »

Barristers and solicitors at loggerheads over QASA

Barristers and solicitors are at loggerheads over whether plea-only advocates need to undergo judicial evaluation as part of the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates. If a resolution cannot be found, then the whole scheme could fall apart.

March 5th, 2012 | Comments Off on Barristers and solicitors at loggerheads over QASA

QASA set for April as regulators prepare for judges not doing their bit

The controversial Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (QASA) will now go live in April 2012, it emerged last week. We can also reveal that contingency plans have been drawn up for the judiciary not playing its expected role in QASA.

October 17th, 2011 | No Comments »

Controversial advocacy scheme now faces delay, regulators admit

The launch of the controversial quality assurance scheme for criminal advocates is likely to be delayed, the Joint Advocacy Group has announced. “Some adjustments” to the scheme are likely “to ensure that there are not unintended consequences”.

October 7th, 2011 | No Comments »