SRA defends its record after leaving students out of pocket

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  • This is very unprofessional. Considering that this is the Solicitors Regulation Authority, one would expect that fairness and transparency would be emphasized. The following quote is taken from the SRA website: "Although we have not changed the basic qualification and training requirements for qualification as a solicitor (i.e. QLD/CPE, LPC, two years of training and PSC), we have removed some processes and procedures."

    Clearly, a reasonable person could assume that fees would not be included in 'processes and procedures'. It is absurd to expect students to apply later on when we apply for law school months in advance. Moreover to confirm changes, particularly such a significant change, on July 1st is too late to validate the warning on the website. Had explicit reference been made to the fact that fees would be considerably lower, many students would have opted to wait until July 1st. However, the impression given by 'procedures' would not have adequately facilitated such informed decisions. As such, the SRA should reimburse students who applied before July 1st.

    Furthermore, those students with character and suitability issues who are required to apply 6 months before the start of law school should be reimbursed as it would not have been possible for them to wait until July 1st. If those students are reimbursed, then in some way those without character and suitability issues are being disadvantaged. Thus reimbursement should be for everyone or the new fees should have come into effect for the next cycle of those applying to SRA and law school commencing next year.

    The SRA's actions are in direct conflict with their Vision: "We will be the leading regulator of legal services, protecting the public, empowering, supporting and developing our people, providing value for money, fair and transparent outcomes and service excellence in everything we do."
    In my opinion, the SRA has tarnished their character and suitability to regulate future solicitors. A reimbursement is imperative.

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