Chair’s May Statement
We continue to campaign for equal treatment and opportunities for solicitor advocates and have continued to engage this month with the EHRC. Sadly, despite their efforts to promote equality in other fields, it appears that they have missed an important opportunity here. Their recent panel was announced without being advertised outside of the Bar, meaning that no solicitor advocates were even able to apply for the panel. We are extremely disappointed in this, and have made a formal complaint and representations on this to the EHRC, as well as highlighting the issue through social media. Once we receive a proper response, we will publish this on our website.
We continue to pursue government departments and other bodies which discriminate against solicitor advocates. Please do let us know of any other instances where this is happening so that we can address it.
We have also been engaging and making representations on the issues relating to the failure of the Court Service to treat solicitor advocates equally with members of the Bar in connection with the new Professional Users group. We will continue to push for our members to have the same access to the Courts as the Bar, and to emphasise that discriminating against any professional group, let alone one as diverse and representative as solicitors are, is clearly wrong.
In a more positive example of creating opportunities for our members, I’m looking forward to seeing as many of you as can make it to the Lord Slynn lecture. If you have not already booked your place please do so now, as places are limited, and for security reasons you will not be able to get in on the night if you have not booked. This is a yearly opportunity to meet senior members of the Judiciary and Bar, and to speak with them in an informal setting within the beautiful RCJ.
We continue to deliver on our objective to provide relevant and up to date training both paid for, and for free. The next training will be the Lord Slynn, followed by criminal training in July. This is exciting, relevant and good value training delivered for the benefit of our members by leading trainers in their area.