The move comes in the wake of the Victorian Law Reform Commission report on Jury Directions, released in 2009, which compared the core competencies required of barristers in indictable criminal trials to the level of skills training that is required of heart surgeons. The Commission recommended the establishment of an assessable skills training course to define the core competencies of criminal law barristers and develop a benchmark for standards in the delivery of criminal legal services.
Following the award of a Star Grant by the Professional Standards Councils, the organisations can now work towards implementing the Commission’s recommendations.
“The Victorian Bar project promises to address the key areas of responsibility and opportunity identified by the Victorian Law Reform Commission report for practising criminal law barristers in Victoria, which will reflect in improved professional standards and service to the public,” said Madeleine Ogilvy, Star Grants Committee Chair, Professional Standards Councils.
The training developed in the new project will include key components of performance assessment, peer review and ongoing professional development.