Using a barrister


This guide is for you if you think you may need to use a barrister and would like some more information. It will help you to understand what a barrister is, what they do and how they may be able to help you.

What is a barrister?

A barrister is a specialist legal adviser and court room advocate - someone who puts forward a case on another person's behalf.  Barristers are independent, objective and trained to advise clients on the strengths and weaknesses of their case. Barristers must act with integrity, honesty and independence, provide a competent and professional service and keep their knowledge of their practice area fully up to date.


For a barrister to do work for someone, they need to be "instructed" by a client. Although this sounds like you would be telling the barrister what to do, it just means you will be hiring that barrister to help you with your legal problem. If you have a solicitor, they will instruct the barrister for you; however, some barristers are also able to be instructed directly by members of the public. They need to have done special training and be registered to be allowed to do this.


See the sections below for more about barristers and what they can do for you. 


What to expect from your barrister in the Youth Court

Our video explains what young people, their guardians, and other professionals should expect from barristers in the Youth Court. 


Watch the video here


For more information about whether you need a barrister or another type of lawyer such as a solicitor, visit the Legal Choices website.


If you're a barrister, you may find our Youth Proceedings Competence and Guidance helpful. You may also wish to consider the resources offered by the Inns of Court College of Advocacy: