The Supreme Court gave judgement on 24 June 2015 dismissing the appeal against the decision of the Court of Appeal concerning the introduction of the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates. The decision means that the scheme approved by the Legal Standards Board to be implemented by the Bar Standards Board, Solicitors Regulation Authority and ILEX Professional Standards can now go ahead. Registration for the scheme and its roll out across the circuits was suspended pending the outcome of the case. Today the dedicated QASA website is not accessible as it is being updated and the SRA website has yet to be updated with news of what solicitors wishing to conduct criminal advocacy must do next.
Solicitors with the higher courts qualification already will wish to register as either level 2, 3 or 4 advocates. Those who are doing level 2 trials will need to obtain a minimum of two and a maximum of three criminal advocacy evaluation forms (CAEFs) in consecutive effective trials in order to be fully accredited and reaccredited. Similar re-accreditation applies to levels 3 & 4.