Aclec hits audience stalemate

THE LORD Chancellor's advisers are in apparent deadlock over extended rights of audience for in-house and CPS solicitors.

After months of deliberation, a majority of the Lord Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Legal Education has rejected the in-house case for extended advocacy rights.

But Law Society president Charles Elly told the society's council last week he had learnt a significant minority on the committee disagreed.

“They would be prepared to see some extension of rights of advocacy and have asked for some changes to be made to our application,” he said.

The minority favoured Crown Court advocacy rights for employed solicitors for

either way offences and full High Court rights in all but judicial review cases, said Elly. The committee is believed to be split on the issue.

Former Commerce and Industry Group chair Julian Collins says the battle is clearly not lost and his group could live with the minority opinion if it held sway. “It is difficult to be optimistic or pessimistic because we don't know why the majority have rejected our case,” he says.