13 Sep 2021

Joint press release with the SRA and CILEx Regulation

The Bar Standards Board, the Solicitors Regulation Authority and CILEx Regulation have today published new guidance designed to ensure standards for solicitors, barristers and CILEX Advocates working in the Coroners’ Courts. This includes:

  • A set of competences which spell out the standards expected of lawyers by the regulators and the public
  • Guidance and other resources to help make sure that the standards are met.

The new guidelines have been introduced in response to concerns about the standards of practice among some lawyers in the Coroner’s Court. In particular, issues about the adversarial approach adopted by some lawyers, and reports from the charity INQUEST on the experience of bereaved families in Coroner’s Court cases.

The competences complement the existing wider professional competency statements from regulators and set targeted expectations for lawyers working in the Coroner’s Court. The competences cover:

  • Law and procedure
  • Dealing with vulnerability
  • Communication and engagement
  • Raising awareness of key organisations

 

The Chief Coroner for England and Wales, HHJ Teague QC, said: “It is important that the competencies for lawyers practising in inquests are met. They are important for effective advocacy and reflect the particular and unique challenges lawyers face in inquests. Also, since they helped develop them, coroners will be vigilant in ensuring those before them are meeting the expected standards.”

Coroners will be encouraged to address practice that falls short of these competences either during the hearing itself or through raising their concerns with the relevant regulator.

In developing the resources, the regulators have worked closely with the Chief and Deputy Chief Coroners, practitioners, the Ministry of Justice, and bereaved families. They will also continue to work with these groups to evaluate the impact of the new guidelines and ensure that they are addressing the concerns identified.

Ends

 

Notes to Editors

 

About the new guidelines

For more information and to read the new guidelines, please visit: https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/coroners-court or https://www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/resources/practising-coroners-court/ or https://www.cilexregulation.org.uk/regulated-individuals/coroners-court/

About the BSB

The Bar Standards Board is the regulator of barristers in England and Wales. We are responsible for setting the education and training requirements for those who wish to practise as barristers. Barristers play a vital role in the administration of justice. They must demonstrate a high standard of professional practice to justify the trust placed in them by the public and other professionals. Regulatory oversight of how people train to become barristers is, therefore, important.

About the SRA

The SRA is the regulator of solicitors and law firms in England and Wales, protecting consumers and supporting the rule of law and the administration of justice. The SRA does this by overseeing all education and training requirements necessary to practise as a solicitor, licensing individuals and firms to practise, setting the standards of the profession and regulating and enforcing compliance against these standards. Further information is available at www.sra.org.uk.

 

About CILEx Regulation

We are the independent regulatory body of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives. We regulate individual legal professionals and law firms. We are here to:

  • protect the interests of consumers
  • promote high professional standards
  • encourage a diverse and effective legal profession

 

We do this by overseeing the education, qualification, and continuing competence of the people we regulate. We set standards, oversee compliance with those standards and investigate allegations of non-compliance – taking action where we need to. Our approach to regulation is proportionate and constructive. Members of our regulated community deliver legal services in the way they think best, provided this is in the interests of their clients and the wider public. We are one of nine legal regulators who regulate different types of lawyers. You can find out more on the Legal Choices website. The Legal Services Board is responsible for watching over the work of the legal regulators.

Contact info@cilexregulation.org.uk for any further information.

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