Applications for Certificate of Eligibility
37. All Graduate Members and Fellows seeking rights of audience must undergo an enrolment process. This is referred to as an application for a Certificate of Eligibility. The application involves a detailed process. Candidates begin by completing a general application which asks for details of their litigation and advocacy experience. They also produce a portfolio of eight cases that they have handled. Five portfolios must cover litigation cases and three must cover advocacy cases.
38. The portfolios are marked by an external adviser to ensure they meet the knowledge and experience guidelines. If they did, and also applicants had the examinations required for the scheme, the application was approved under the delegated procedure by an Officer of IPS. Applications that did not meet the knowledge and experience guidelines were referred to the ALC for consideration. The Committee is responsible for deciding whether or not to approve the application. If the Committee approved the application the candidate could proceed to enrol onto the advocacy skills course.
39. A total of 12 applications were received during 2014. These were applications for the following advocacy rights: • 2 Civil • 6 Criminal • 4 Family
40. The Officer granted 4 certificates of eligibility to enrol onto criminal proceedings courses. The Committee granted 1 certificate of eligibility for the applicant to enrol onto a criminal proceedings course. The other application is not concluded.
41. A decision had not been made on the 2 civil applications by the year end. In addition there are 3 candidates who have been granted a certificate of eligibility for a civil proceedings course. The Committee was asked to consider extending 2 of the 3 certificates of eligibility in 2014, to allow candidates to attend a future civil proceedings course.
42. A decision had not been made on the 4 family applications by the year end. This is because the applicants had been asked to provide further information.
43. A summary of applications received and decisions made during 2014 is set out below:
Area of Practice Received Civil
2 6 4
5 (4 office, 1 ALC) -
First Renewals of advocacy certificates
44. Legal Executive Advocates have to renew their advocacy certificate a year after it has been granted. In 2014 we received 16 applications for a first renewal of advocacy certificates, which were as follows: • 8 Criminal • 8 Family
On-going 2 1 4
45. At the first renewal Chartered Legal Executive Advocates must produce portfolios of 3 cases where they have exercised their new rights. 16 first renewals fell due on 1 December 2014 and 1 was carried forward from 1 December 2013.
46. The Officer considered and approved 3 applications for renewal of criminal proceedings and 6 applications for renewal of family proceedings.
47. Where the external assessor has comments regarding the portfolios and does not make a firm recommendation for renewal then the application is also considered by the ALC. The ALC considered and approved 1 application for renewal in family proceedings and 1 application for renewal in criminal proceedings in these circumstances.
48. Where applications are not received before advocacy rights have lapsed, the Certificate must be renewed under the lapsed procedure, which requires the ALC to approve the application. 4 applications were not received prior to rights lapsing (3 criminal and 1 family). 3 have been processed under the lapsed procedure along with the applicant whose renewal application fell due on 1 December 2013. 1 remaining applicant due for renewal indicated that they did not wish to renew their certificate.
49. A summary of first year renewal applications is set out below: Area of
Received Approved Lapsed (ALC Approved) -
Subsequent Renewals of advocacy certificates
50. After the first renewal of an advocacy certificate, subsequent renewals are applied for every three years. The office received the following applications for a subsequent renewal: • 6 Criminal • 3 Family
51. Subsequent renewals are approved by the IPS office on the basis that applicants are in legal employment and have complied with the Continuing Professional Development requirements. 9 subsequent renewals fell due on 1 December 2014. The IPS office approved 7 subsequent renewal applications, 2 applications for subsequent renewal of family proceedings certificates and 5 applications for subsequent renewal of criminal proceedings certificates.
52. 2 applicants who were due to renew on 1 December 2014 remain outstanding. The remaining family applicant has reported an inability to meet the requirements and the remaining criminal applicant has yet to meet the Continuing Professional Development requirements. Any complete applications submitted by these applicants will need to be considered by the ALC under the lapsed procedure.
Professional standards for specialist lawyers 23
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