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The independent QC selection panel today launched the application process.
Applications will be invited from Tuesday, 19 July, from all advocates who believe they can meet the seven key competencies: integrity; understanding and using the law; analysing case material to develop arguments; persuading - communicating arguments; responding to unfolding case; working with the client; and working in a team.
The closing date for applications is Wednesday, 14 September and the panel hope to complete the selection process to make the first round of appointments in the first half of 2006.
The QC selection panel is chaired by Sir Duncan Nichol and comprises Roy Amlot QC, Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, Ruth Evans, Professor Joan Higgins, Sonia Proudman QC, Lucy Scott-Moncrieff, Karamjit Singh and Christopher Woolley.
To cover the cost of the selection process, applicants will have to pay a fee of £1,800 with a further £2,250 payable by successful applicants.
Nichol said: "We welcome applications from all advocates whatever their field or background. We hope to receive a wider pool from women and ethnic minorities, and all those who are currently under-represented, including solicitors and employed lawyers."