Quality of Criminal Advocacy


The delivery of high quality advocacy plays a fundamental role in ensuring the effective and fair delivery of justice within the courts of England and Wales.

Through their professional knowledge, court rooms skills and experience, advocates not only directly support the individuals they represent, but also ensure the continuing effective operation of the legal system and ongoing public confidence in the rule of law and the courts system.

While we receive relatively few complaints about solicitors or firms working in this area, recent reports published by the Government and Bar Standards Board have expressed concerns about standards of criminal advocacy. We also regularly hear anecdotal concern expressed by some stakeholders.

To help us better understand the nature and scale of any problem we jointly commissioned, with the Bar Standards Board, an independent report into the views of the judiciary on current standards. We also conducted a thematic review into law firm practices in this area.

Judicial Perceptions Report – an independent report, jointly commissioned with the Bar Standards Board, which involved interviews with 50 judges.

Criminal Advocacy Thematic Review – based on data and interviews with a representative cross sample of 40 firms offering solicitor advocacy services.

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