In brief: CPS solicitors gain rights of audience

The first batch of Crown Prosecution Service solicitors to apply for rights of audience in the Crown Courts have all passed their final exams nine months after employed solicitors were granted limited higher court rights of audience. But although the 34 successful applicants are now free to appear in crown courts, none of them have yet exercised those rights. A spokeswoman said they were all involved in existing casework and would appear in court as and when it was convenient. Last week, the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine, said he would introduce legislation to ease the restrictions on rights of audience for solicitors and employed lawyers.