15 September 2019

BSB Handbook Explained – Police Station Attendance

Have you ever been asked to attend a police station on behalf of a client?

Previous rules prevented barristers from doing this. That absolute ban has now been removed, however barristers should pay attention to gC39 of the BSB Handbook, which states "you should not attend a police station to advise a suspect or interviewee as to the handling and conduct of police interviews unless you have complied with such training requirements as may be imposed by the Bar Standards Board in respect of such work".

Barristers undertaking publicly funded police station work under a criminal contract must comply with the training requirements specified by the Legal Aid Agency. Barristers undertaking privately funded police station work must complete the Police Station Qualification and (if they do not hold higher rights of audience) the Magistrates Court Qualification. More information on this qualification can be found on the Solicitors Regulation Authority's website.