Legal Personnel



Training: legal degree (or other degree + GDL) + Bar proffessional training course + called to the bar + 2x 6 month pupillage

Tenency: a barrister will look for tenency in a chamber. These are 15-20 barristers who share expensesand employ a clerk to help with admin. If a barrister cannot find tenency they will do 6 moths of further puppllage and then squat as an unofficial member of a chamber. 

Assurance scheme for Advocates: since 2015 [what is the statute?] Barristers (and solicitors who wish to advocate) have to be assessed by this scheme to be allowed to advocate in any given case. 

Direct Access: prior to 2004 [statute?] an individual had to hire a solicitor who would hire a barrister. Now a barrister who has recieved the correct further training can be hired directly (excepting criminal and family cases.)

Cab Rank rule: normally a barrister is obliged to take a case if it is within their area of the law and they have the time. If a barrister is approached privately they can decline if the case involves investigation ot services that they cannot provide. 

Headship: the bar is governed by the General Council of the Bar. They promote barristers and their views to the public and to the government. They promote equality and diversity within the bar and access to justice to all the public. Used to deal with discipline.

Discipline: The first level is a function within the chamber. Then by the Bar Standards Board. This is overseen by the Legal Services Board and the Office for Legal Complaints.  

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Training: law degree (or non-law degree + CPE/ GDL) + LPC + 2 years on the job training inclduing 48 mandatory tuition

Employment: most will find employment in a solicitors firm, be an in-house lawyer to a business or work for the CPS

Role and advoacacy rights: historically would not have had advocacy rights. Their role was to do paperwork and provide the link between a client and a barrister. Access to Justice Act 1999 s36 gives a solictor full right of audience in the higher courts. Abse v Smith (1986) illustrates how ridiculous the prior rules were (a solicitor could not even read out a statement.) Direct access [statute?] changed role in relationship to barristers. The courts and Legal Services Act 1990 also allows advocation. 

 Headship: headed by the Law Scoiety who support, represent and promote solicitors.  They work to ensure access to justice as well as leading debates on concerning subjects, and making sure the proffession's voice is heard. A section of it called the Law society council deals with the budget and changes to policy. It used to hear complaints but due to the conflict of interests...

Discipline:  is now taken on by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority. Beyond this the Office of the Legal services Compliants Procedure was set up by the Access to Justive aCt 1999. 

ABS (alternative business structures): allows non-lawyers to work with lawyers and barristers and solicitors to work in the same firm. Introduced by the Legal services Act 2007 (although this debate is made slightly irrelevant by direct access and advocacy rights for solicitors.)

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Queen's Council

Until 2004 [cra05?] they were selected by the Lord Chancellor, but this was reformed as it was too secretive. 

A barrister or solicitor can apply if they have 10 years of experience in the relevant advocay level.  [which is?] The candidate pays an application and appointment fee. This limits QCs to being well-off as they amount to a total of about £6000.

They provide references and have an interview with a private panel[?] and this panel reccommends appointments to the Lord Chancellor. 

Their role is to take on more complicated cases than junior barristers/ solicitors (everyone else.)

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Disciplining Bodies

Barristers: The Bar standards Board has 115 barristers who are elected and who represents the inns of courts and other groups. They elect their own chairman. They set training, code of conduct and entry standards. They allow clients to sue for negligence: Saif Ali v Sydney Mitchell and co (1980) ; Hall (a firm) v Simons (2000). This overruled Rondel v Worsley (1969) by stating that lawyers were liable like doctors. Some disciplinary actions include: formal reprimand, further training, fine up to £5000, up to 12 month suspension or disbarring. They may also refer the case to a disciplinary tribunal arranged by the Bar Tribunals and Adjudication services. 

Solicitors: Solicitors Regulatory Authority. Sometimes they have to take the heat for barristers as there is no legal contract between client and barrister when hired through a solicitor. In Griffith v Dawson (1993)In White v Jones (1995)  The board can refer the case to a Solicitor's Disciplinary Tribunal who can fine, reprimand, suspend or strike off the solicitor. 

Legal Services Board and Office for Legal Complaints: oversees both barrister's and solicitor's disciplinary boards. These services set up the Legal Ombudsman as a further option for resolution. They cansanction in the following ways: aplogise to client; give back relevant documents; put things right if helpful and possible; refund or reduce fees; pay compensation up to £30000. 

Proffessional Conduct and Complaints Committee?

Judicial Conduct Investigation Office

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Barristers: BME- 13%; Women- 33% training barristers

Solicitors: BME - 15%; Women - 48% in training, only 22% are partners and 45% are junior or assistant compared to 20% of men in these lower positions. 

QC's: BME - 6.5%; Women- 13%

Judiciary: Women: Supreme - 1/ 12 ; CoA - 8/ 38 ; 23  in High; 25% of Circuit; 17% recorders; 30% district. BME: 3 in High; 17 Circuit; 7% recorders; 8% District Judges.

Magistrates: 53% women; 8%BME; 5% disabled; 40% retired; 3% under 40yo

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Judiciary - Superior

Supreme: hear approx 70 cases pa; contains 12 judges; also sit in the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. Appointed by the President of the supreme court + his deputy and one member of the JAC's of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. He will either be an CoA judge or have been able to practice in the higher courts for 15 years. 

CoA: 38 Lord Justices of Appeal, they hear both civil and criminal appeals. There are 6000 applications pa which are considered by a lone judge. About half get heard and this is in panels of 3 or 5, or one judge with 2 high court judges. Any candidate must be a qualified barrister or solicitor and have 7+ years of experience or be a High Court Judge. The LC asks the JAC to form a selection panel who review and interview applicants. 

High Court: a judge is assigned a division and these are assisted by deputy high court judges who are 'floaters.' Main function is first instance, but they hear some case-stated appeals from the Magistrate's and some general appeals from the County Court. Candidates are either qualified barristers or solicitors with 7+ years of experience or circuit judges for 2+ years. Some sit as deputies, part-time first. They do not have to be QCs or deputies but are expected to have judicial experience. 

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Judiciary - Inferior

Circuit: Hear cases in County Court or Crown Court. In the former they sit alone and in the latter with a jury. Applicants are either trained barristers and solicitors or have 7+ years legal experience or prior recorders. The Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 alllowed promotion from being a district judge, magistrate or chairman of a an employment tribunal for 3+ years. 

District: mainly small-claims in the County Court or solo hearings in the Magistrate's court [statute?], sometimes in the Family Court with 2 lay-magistrates. They are barristers or solicitors with 5+ years of experience or prior deputies. The Tribunals, Courts and Enforcements Act 2007 allows CILEX fellows to be appointed as deputies. 

Recorders: they sit mostly in the Crown court, but sometimes in the County Court. They sit part time for 5 years. They are barristers or solicitors with 7+ years of experience. They are a 'recorder-in-training' initially.

Tribunal Judge: is a barrister, solicitor or CILEX fellow with 5+ years of experience. For the chairman and deputy chairman positions of the Copyright Tribunal they consider Registered Patent and Trademark attorneys. 

Inferior judges can be dismissed by the LC for misbehaviour or incpacity if the Lord Chief Justice Agrees. Consitiutional Reform Act 2005 

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Judicial Appointments Commission

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Training for the Judiciary (inc. Magistrates)

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The Lord Chancellor

Role was seriously reformed in 2005 due to the Constitutional Reform Act 2005. 

Previously was a threat to the seperation of powers. Post-2005 he was no longer speaker of the house, could be an MP instead of a Lord, was no longer a judge, no longer the head of the judiciary and judicial appointment was taken on by JAC. The Crime and Courts Act 2013 removed many of his powers regarding inferior judges. 

His prior experience before appointment might be asw a minister of the crown, a member of parliament, as a lawyer with senior court advocacy, as a teacher of the law at university level or in any other relevant posisition. 

His role includes overseeing the Law Commission, the Legal Aid scheme, theCouncil on Tribunals, he hires court staff and oversees court buildings and often also holds the role of the Minister of Justice. He upholds the rule of law like all politicians (section 3 of the CRA05). The 6th report of Constitutional Committee of the House of Lords points out this is hard since he is a politician. It also points out that although he no longer has to be a lawyer a background in constitutional law helps, and that combining his role with the minister of justice role creates a conflict of interests. E.g. cuts to legal aid. 

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Lord Chief Justice and Senior Presiding Judge

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Crown Prosecution Service

Prosecutions of Offences Act 1986 on suggestion of the Phillip's Commission. 

Headed by the Director of Public Prosecutions. He is supevised by the Attorney General. Under him are 13 Chief Crown Prosecutors who take on an area which is sub-divided and supervised by Senior District Crown Prosecutors. Within these there are teams of lawyers and support staff. 

4 central divisions handle the most comlicated cases: specialsit fraud, special crime and counter-terrorism, organised crime and proceeds of crime. 

They use the evidential and public interest tests to help them charge defendants. Once defendant is charged the police's role is over. The police sometimes still choose the charge for small offences. They do not want to send weak cases to court. 

Work with victims and witnesses (Code of Practice for victims 2005), prosecute in court (either a crown prosecutor or an independant solicitor or barrister- called a prosecuting council or agent.)

Too many cases discontinued. Not efficient enough. 38% of inefficient trials due to CPS.

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Justices of the Peace Act 1979

Part-time (26 half days), they sit as 2s or 3s, they hear warrants, pre-trial hearings (criminal), family court (Children's Act 1989: protection against violence orders, adoption orders and proceedings.) The other civil cases they hear are non-payment of council tax and tv licenses, and appeals against refusals to give alchohol or betting licences. 

Selected because of qualities, not qualifications: good character, understanding and communication, maturity and sound temperment, sound judgement, committment and reliability, assimilating factual information and taking into account the reasoning of others and teamwork. They can bee 18-65 yo, their workplace or residence should be near the court (Courts Act 2003 abolished 25km rule) and they cannot have any criminal convictions (except small motoring ones.)

Approx. 1,200 new appointments pa. The local advisory committees (12 magistrates and non-magistrates) collect the online applications and conduct two interviews (one on character and attitudes to crime, one on judicial aptitude) and then recommend to the senior presiding judge. 

The Magesterial Committee of the Judicial College supervise their training and the college produces books. They hold special courses for bench chairman and training committee members. The Magistrates themselves may attend a course in conjunction with a uni, but most of their training is local, sometimes form the court clerk. The do an intro course, visit prisons and prohbation offices, partake in 3 classroom observations, observe experienced magistrates. Some of thier sessions in the first 2 years are mentored (they attend 7 courses in this time) and they are appraised after 1 year. The magistrate keeps a personal development log. 

At the age of 70 the magistrate is only used as a back up or for admin. The judicial conduct investigation office investigates complaints and can issue reprimands, warnings or removals. 

s28 (3) of JOP shows the role of the clerk is to advise without interfering with decision. in R v Eccles Justices, ex parte Farrelly (1992) the clerk retired with the magistrates so the QBD quashed the decision.

Only 6000 successful appeals each year.  

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