Scottish Bar shakes up training scheme

THE SCOTTISH Bar has revamped its training requirements for trainees, with the introduction of a month of formal classroom study ahead of practical training.

The changes to training procedure follow a review initiated by the Dean of the Faculty of Advocates, Andrew Hardie QC.

Much of the detail of the revised training programme has been put in place by practising advocate John Sturrock, who was appointed director of training by the faculty at the beginning of last year.

All intrants training for the Bar will also be required to begin training from the first Monday of October from this year, abandoning the year-round starting dates which have operated until now.

Formal training will commence with full-time study of advocacy, drafting pleadings, opinions and notes, case preparation and management, courtroom skills and negotiation. Intrants will only then begin practical training through assignment to “devilmasters”.

Starting dates and training periods will be varied for candidates who have already spent five years as a solicitor with a full practising certificate, or for intrants who wish to spend extended periods as a devil.

Announcing the changes, Hardie says: “When I was elected Dean I said the time had come for us to review our education and training. Changes upon which the faculty has decided have resulted from that review.”