Criminal law barristers will be given better skills training as part of a grant by the professional standards councils.
The Victorian Bar and the Criminal Bar Association will work together to establish an assessable skills training course for practising criminal law barristers, following the award of the Star Grant.
The project comes after a recent Victorian Law Reform Commission report that compared the position for barristers in indictable criminal trials with medical profession specialists such as heart surgeons.
It recommended the establishment of an assessable skills training course to define the core competencies of practising criminal law barristers and develop a benchmark for standards in the delivery of criminal legal services. The report on Jury Directions affects close to 1,900 legal practitioners in Victoria.
“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.
Consistent with other specialist courses at the Bar, including the revised Readers Course and the Australian Bar Association’s Advanced Advocacy Course, the training developed in the new project will include key components of performance assessment, peer review and ongoing professional development.
The Star Initiative Grants program provides financial assistance to organisations and occupational associations in order to raise awareness of the Cover of Excellence® Scheme, develop deeper competencies and professional education to raise industry standards.