15 September 2019

QASA Consultation

In October, as part of the Joint Advocacy Group (JAG - comprised of the BSB, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and CILEx Regulation), we launched a new consultation in preparation for the implementation of the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (QASA).

The consultation is the first phase of the implementation of the Scheme following the decision by the Supreme Court in June that the Scheme is lawful.

The consultation seeks views on the following technical changes to the Scheme:

  1. Amendment to the Criminal Advocacy Evaluation Form (CAEF) to require an advocate to identify when they were first instructed.
  2. Amendment to the CAEF to require an advocate to identify whether advice on evidence was provided.
  3. An amendment to the Scheme Handbook to permit a Judge to decline to carry out an evaluation if they believe, because of the circumstances, it would not be fair to do so. In that event, the evaluation would be made at the next trial.
  4. An amendment to the Scheme Handbook to provide that, in the event of a third judicial evaluation becoming necessary, it should be of the first trial conducted by the advocate in front of a different Judge to either of the Judges who conducted the first two assessments.
  5. Removal of some areas of ambiguity from the Scheme's written material.
  6. Clarification of BSB and SRA QASA rules in relation to appeals.

For further information about the consultation, including how to respond, please visit our website.