Advocacy and Criminal Practice

On 13th December, Henry Hills (SAHCA Secretary) attended the SRA Higher Rights of Audience (Criminal) Standards Focus Group and has reported as follows:

Members may be aware that the SRA is currently engaged in a revision of Higher Rights of Audience (Criminal) standards. SAHCA, along with other interested parties, is involved in the drafting process.

On the 13th December 2018, I attended a HRA (Criminal) Focus Group in the London office of the SRA. Also present were representatives of the CPS, TLS, and Kaplan ALTIOR, Assessors for the Higher Rights of Audience (Criminal), training and assessment.

The meeting focused on draft proposals under the headings of Ethics, Criminal Evidence, and Criminal Advocacy. As I see it, the draft proposals represent good practice and are unremarkable. The process has some way to go before a final draft is submitted to interested parties and individuals for consultation. Clearly, SAHCA is keen to advance excellence and high quality standards in advocacy in the Criminal Courts, and will continue to participate in the process of the revision of standards initiated by the SRA.

It is anticipated that the final draft of proposed revised standards will be released for consultation around May 2019. In the meantime, if members have any particular concerns or issues they wish SAHCA to address in consultation with the SRA and other interested parties, then please feel free to contact me via email on

Henry C. Hills
Secretary, SAHCA

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