abbreviated name for The General Council of the Bar of England
and Wales. It is the authorised body under the terms of the Courts
and Legal Services Act 1990 for regulation of the barrister's
profession and the certification of its members to exercise rights
of audience in the courts. Its regulatory powers extend to legal
education and responsibility for validation of the institutions
offering the Bar Vocational Course (BVC).
Council's Education and Training Department
aspects of training and qualification for the Bar.
vacancies in England and Wales
Bar Council site providing access to all pupillage vacancies in
England and Wales. It is packed with information from chambers
offering pupillages as well as handy hints.
Pro Bono Unit
in 1996 to provide pro bono free legal advice and
representation in deserving cases where public funding (Legal
Aid) is not available or where the applicant is unable to afford
Circuit Free Representation Unit (FRU)
representation or pro bono work has been undertaken on the Western
Circuit since its inception in 1993 and was based on a similar
unit established some 3 years earlier by the Northern Circuit.
Inns of Court
Inns of Court are institutions which for centuries have had a
special place in the English legal structure. The proper title
of each Inn is 'The Honourable Society of . . . .', whether it
be Gray's Inn, the Inner Temple, Lincoln's Inn or the Middle Temple.
They are voluntary societies, bound by the same rules and founded
upon similar constitutions. Although the four Inns are equal in
rank and status, they nevertheless retain their own traditions
has been law teaching on the site of
Grays Inn since
the reign of Edward
III. The first habitation known to
on or close to the site of the present Hall was the Manor House
of the ancient Manor of Portpole, meaning "the market by
the lake". The Manor House was the London residence of the
De Grey family, who had strong links with the Wales and Chester
Circuit, and a number of lawyers and their families came to live
and work here and formed the Honourable Society of Grays
Honourable Society of the Inner Temple occupies the eastern half
of a site, known as the Temple, which was chosen by the crusading
Knights Templar in the twelfth century as their London headquarters.
The round church which they constructed there, modelled on the
Church of St. Sepulchre in Jerusalem, still forms part of the
Temple Church. By the mid-fourteenth century, when the royal courts
became permanently sited in Westminster, the Temple had become
a home for lawyers who formed two societies there, the Inner and
the Middle Temple, each occupying one of the halls constructed
by the Templars on the site. Their status was formally recognised
in 1608, when James I granted the land jointly to them in perpetuity
for the accommodation, entertainment and education of students
and practitioners of the law. Further
Education plea - click here.
Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn is said to take its name from
Henry de Lacy, third Earl of Lincoln, who died in 1311. His own
great house was adjacent and he is credited with being the Society's
patron. Although the other three Inns of Court are of comparable
antiquity, having evolved from uncertain origins in the fourteenth
century, Lincoln's Inn can claim the oldest extant records, the
Black Books, which record its principal activities from 1422 to
this day. The Inn lies to the north of the Strand (and the two
Temples) and to the south of High Holborn (and Gray's Inn). The
present character of Lincoln's Inn owes much to the fact that
its precincts and buildings - the medieval Hall and Gateway abutting
onto Chancery Lane, the late seventeenth century New Square in
the centre, and the magnificent Victorian gothic Great Hall and
Library beside Lincoln's Inn Fields - survived nearly unscathed
the devastations of the Blitz.
Honourable Society of the Middle Temple ("the Inn")
occupies the western half of the land known as the Temple formerly
the London headquarters of the Knights Templar which lies between
Fleet Street and the Embankment on the edge of the City of London.
The Middle Temple has occupied its present site since the mid-14th
century when this Society rented the land from the Knights Hospitaller,
who had acquired it following the fall of the Knights Templar.
After the Reformation the Temple became the property of the Crown
until 1608 when King James I conveyed the lands of the Temple
to the Societies of Inner Temple and Middle Temple. The records
of the Inn date back to 1501.
of Court School of Law (ICSL)
The Inns of Court School of Law, based in and around Gray's Inn,
became part of City
University in 2001. It is the first law school in London to
educate students and practitioners at all stages of legal education.
Originally the Council of Legal Education (CLE), which had been
established by the Inns of Court in 1852, was entrusted with the
power and duty of superintending the education and examination
of students. ICSL was formally established in 1967, becoming an
incorporated body in 1996. The following year the CLE transferred
most of its responsibilities and assets to ICSL. CLE's responsibility
for supporting education and training for the Bar was passed to
a new body, the Inns of Court and Bar Educational Trust (ICBET),
while its regulatory function was passed to the General
Council of the Bar.
library provides a number of services for Inner Temple members
- barristers, judges and students - and for barrister members
of the other Inns of Court.
Temple Further Education Department
you like to encourage undergraduates in your area to undertake
a career at the Bar? Can you offer advice and assistance to BVC
students? If you can help the Further Education department at
the Inner Temple, please click here
for further details.
of the UK Parliament
Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) (formerly known as
Her Majesty's Stationery Office (HMSO)). The aim of their website
is to publish all new Acts of the UK Parliament on the Internet
simultaneously with or, at least within 24 hours of their publication
in printed form. However, any document which is especially complex
in terms of its size or its typography may take longer to prepare.
Army Legal Services is a Branch of the Adjutant General's Corps.
It role is to provide the Army with the Legal Support it requires
both in peacetime and on operations. All ALS Officers are fully
qualified barristers or solicitors prior to commissioning. Many
of the functions of the ALS were once carried out by the Judge
Advocate General, whose own origins can be traced back to Medieval
times. It was however the 17th century when the 'Marshal's Court'
became the 'court martial' and the 'Advocate of the Army' first
took responsibility for one of the main functions of ALS today
- namely preparing the case for the prosecution of soldiers under
Recovery Agency (ARA)
The Assets Recovery Agency was established under the Proceeds
of Crime Act 2002 with specific powers used to make sure crime
doesnt pay. These powers include the training and accreditation
of financial investigators; specialist investigation to recover
the proceeds of crime through criminal confiscation, civil proceedings
The Charity Commission is established by law as the independent
regulator for charitable activity in England and Wales. Unusually
for a regulator, the Commission has quasi-judicial functions,
and may, regarding a number of its powers, exercise the same jurisdiction
and powers as are exercisable by the High Court.
Citizens Advice service helps people resolve their legal, money
and other problems by providing free, independent and confidential
advice, and by influencing policymakers. Every Citizens Advice
Bureau is a registered charity reliant on trained volunteers.
for Judicial Appointments
Commission is an independent body set up in 2001 to review
the judicial and Queen's Counsel appointment procedures, and investigate
complaints about the operation of those procedures.
Information and Addresses
Information includes a court's address and facilities, opening
hours, contact details, how to get there and information relating
to court type e.g. Civil, Family.
Courts Service (HMCS)
executive agency of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), responsible
for the administration of the civil, family and criminal courts
in England & Wales.
Cases Review Commission (CCRC)
independent public body set up to investigate suspected miscarriages
of justice in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Injuries Compensation Authority
The Non-Departmental Public Body which administers the Criminal
Injuries Compensation Scheme throughout England, Scotland and
Injuries Compensation Appeals Panel (CICAP)
is a non-executive Non-Departmental Public Body and a non-statutory
tribunal with around 100 part-time Panel Members at any one time.
Independent of CICA, the Panels role is to determine appeals
against decisions made by CICA solely arising from claims for
compensation for criminal injuries made on and after 1 April 1996
under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.
Prosecution Service (CPS)
for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England
Prosecution Service Inspectorate (CPSI)
The CPSI is an independent, statutory body responsible for inspecting
and reporting on the operation of the CPS. Its inspection process
aims to drive upwards the efficiency and effectiveness of the
CPS through the process of inspection and evaluation, the provision
of advice, and the identification and promotion of good practice.
of Trade & Industry (DTI)
The DTI is one of the main economic Departments of Government.
The DTI Solicitor is the legal adviser to the Department and all
its Executive Agencies: Companies House, the Insolvency Services,
the Patent Office, the Radio-communications Agency, and the National
Weights and Measures Laboratory). He leads a team including some
Daniel Barnett's website for solicitors and businesses who are
seeking information about employment law, and about what a specialist
employment law barrister can do to help defend employment claims
and avoid employment disputes.
Editor, Stephen Wildblood Q.C. (a Western Circuiteer)
current awareness and training site dedicated to Family Law. Selected
cases 2005 onwards are available in digest or judgment form, as
are judgments in earlier cases referred to on the site. Also a
legislation updater with links to text of Statutory Instruments
and Bills, an archive of articles 2005 onwards, and an archived
newsletter March 2005 onwards, as well as a news service.
Standards Agency (FSA)
The FSA is a non-Ministerial Government Department which was established
in 2000. Its main objective, set out in section 1 of the Food
Standards Act 1999, is to protect public health from risks which
may arise in connection with the consumption of food and otherwise
to protect the interests of consumers in relation to food. A small
legal team of 8 lawyers provide in-house legal services to the
FSA and to the Meat Hygiene Service which is an Executive Agency
of the FSA.
Legal Service (GLS)
GLS includes almost all the major Departments of State, Regulatory
bodies and other Governmental organisations. It employs nearly
2000 lawyers and trainees who work in some 40 Government organisations,
from Departments of State like the Home Office to public bodies
such as the Office of Fair Trading.
The Official Report (Hansard) is the edited verbatim report of
proceedings in both Houses of Parliament. Commons Hansard covers
proceedings in the Commons Chamber, Westminster Hall and Standing
Committees. Lords Hansard covers proceedings in the Lords Chamber
and its Grand Committees.
and Safety Executive (HSE)
The Health and Safety Commission (HSC) and the Health and Safety
Executive (HSE) are responsible for protecting people from most
of the risks to health and safety arising from work activity in
Britain. HSE employs about 25 lawyers, split into two divisions;
the Advisory and Drafting Division, and the Litigation and Corporate
The government department responsible for internal affairs in
England and Wales. It works to build a safe, just and tolerant
society, to enhance opportunities for all, and to ensure the protection
and security of the public is maintained.
of Lords Judgments
The House of Lords is the final court of appeal on points of law
for the whole of the United Kingdom in civil cases; and for England,
Wales and Northern Ireland in criminal cases. Judgments delivered
since 14 November 1996 are available on their website.
The Information Commissioner is an independent official appointed
by the Crown to oversee the Data Protection Act 1998, the Freedom
of Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations
The main duties of the Judge Advocate General are to appoint judge
advocates to conduct proceedings at Service Courts and judicial
officers to hear custody applications and applications for search
warrants. In addition, he is responsible for giving the Army and
Royal Air Force reviewing authorities post trial advice on courts-martial,
and for the keeping of courts-martial records of proceedings.
He also has a broad residual duty to monitor the Army and Royal
Air Force criminal justice systems to ensure that they work fairly,
properly and efficiently.
of England and Wales
An insight into the working lives of the judicial office holders
in England and Wales.
Set up in 1979, the JSB is directly responsible for training full
and part-time judges in England and Wales, and for overseeing
the training of Lay magistrates and chairmen and members of Tribunals.
An essential element of the philosophy of the JSB is that the
training of judges and magistrates is under judicial control and
The Land Registry is responsible for registering title to freehold
and leasehold land in England and Wales and for giving effect
on the register to all subsequent dealings. Some 180 lawyers employed
in the Land Registry resolve a variety of problems on first registration
and on dealings with registered land. These involve a wide range
of legal questions and the handling of disputes. They also advise
on wider legal issues that affect the Department.
statutory independent body created to keep the law under review
and to recommend review where it is needed.
Secretariat to the Law Officers
The Legal Secretariat to the Law Officers' objective is to provide
high-grade legal advice and support to the Attorney General and
the Solicitor General (the Law Officers). The Attorney General,
assisted by the Solicitor General, is the chief legal adviser
to the Government. The Attorney General also has certain public
interest functions, for example, in taking action to protect charities.
Services Commission (LSC)
for legal aid in England & Wales, as well as ensuring that
people get the information, advice and legal help they need to
deal with a wide range of every-day problems. The LSC administers
Defence Service (CDS) fund (previously Criminal Legal Aid)
and the Community
Legal Service (CLS) fund.
Term Dates Calculator (including historical note)
© Copyright Head of Chambers for the time
being of New Square
Carter's Review of Legal Aid Procurement
July 2005, the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Constitutional
Affairs asked Lord Carter of Coles to examine how to improve the
arrangements for purchasing publicly funded legal services. Lord
Carter was asked to produce a plan by early 2006 to implement
a package of reforms to the way publicly funded legal advice and
representation is procured by the state. The interim report, "Procurement
of Criminal Defence Services: Market Based Reform",
was published on 9th February, 2006.
of Fair Trading (OFT)
Office of Fair Trading is a non-ministerial Government Department
whose purpose is to help markets work well for consumers. There
are currently about 50 OFT lawyers, most of whom advise on consumer
protection and competition law issues.
of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM)
ODPM is responsible for local and regional Government, housing,
planning, fire, regeneration, social exclusion and neighbourhood
renewal. Its Legal Directorate is headed by its Solicitor and
Legal Adviser and includes about 50 lawyers who advise Ministers
and administrators on legal issues arising from ODPM policy.
Solicitor and Public Trustee
office of the Official Solicitor to the Supreme Court, and the
Public Trustee exists to represent in legal proceedings persons
under a legal disability (either children or adults who lack mental
capacity) to protect their welfare or rights and to administer
estates or trusts which it has accepted where there is no other
suitable person or agency willing or able to act. It also undertakes
the functions of the Central Authority for England and Wales under
international conventions relating to child abduction and access
and in relation to the Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders.
work carried out in prisons throughout England & Wales, including
a Prison locator (address, contact nos., visiting hours, etc.).
of Justice (MoJ)
Ministry of Justice was created on 9 May 2007, replacing the Department
for Constitutional Affairs. Its core components include responsibility
for criminal, civil, family and administrative law; administration
of the civil, family and criminal courts in England and Wales
through Her Majesty's Courts Service; judicial appointments via
the newly created Judicial Appointments Commission, the Judicial
Office and Judicial Communications Office, and Legal Aid and the
wider Community Legal Service through the Legal Services Commission.
The Privy Council Office provides Secretariat services for the
Privy Council (that part of Her Majesty's Government which advises
on the exercise of prerogative powers and certain functions assigned
to The Queen and the Council by Act of Parliament). The Privy
Council Office also has responsibility for the administration
of the Office of the Leader of the House of Commons, and his Deputy.
The PGO is the administrative arm of the Court of Protection and
part of the Department for Constitutional Affairs. It provides
financial protection services for clients who are not able to
manage their financial affairs because of mental incapacity. It
will be replaced by the new Office of the Public Guardian (OPG)
in early 2007.
application and selection process for the award of Queen's Counsel
which "serves the public interest by offering a fair and
transparent means of identifying excellence in advocacy in the
Directorate of Legal Services
The legal branch of the Directorate of Legal Services (RAF) comprises
40 uniformed officers all of whom are legally qualified. The headquarters
of the branch, whose Director is an Air Vice-Marshal, is located
at Headquarters Personnel and Training Command, RAF Innsworth,
and Customs Prosecutions Office (RCPO)
With staff in London and Manchester, the RCPO is responsible for
prosecuting some of the UK's largest criminal cases involving
drug smuggling, money laundering and tax fraud. Established in
April 2005, the RCPO is independent from, but works closely with,
Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.
This website represents the work of two closely-related independent
bodies: the Sentencing Advisory Panel and the Sentencing Guidelines
Council. They work together to ensure that sentencing guidelines
are produced which encourage consistency in sentencing throughout
the courts of England & Wales and support sentencers in their
The SFO is a government department and is part of the UK criminal
justice system. Its aim is to investigate and prosecute serious
and complex fraud and so deter fraud and maintain confidence in
the probity of business and financial services in the UK.
With effect from the first printed Statutory Instrument of 1987,
the full text of all published Statutory Instruments are available
on this website.
An independent quarterly magazine, aimed at practising barristers.
Articles from the current issue are available online, together
with an archive from issue 17 (June 2003) onwards.
WLR Daily (or Daily Law Notes)
the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting. Contains summarized
reports of cases heard by the House of Lords and Privy Council,
Court of Appeal, Chancery Division, Queen's Bench and Family Division
as well as the Court of Justice of the European Communities.
Treasury Solicitors serve the public by providing legal services
to central government departments and other publicly funded bodies
in England and Wales and by collecting and managing bona vacantia
on behalf of the Crown.
Support & Witness Service (England & Wales)
The independent charity which helps people cope with the effects
of crime. It provides free and confidential support and information,
and also works to promote and advance the rights of victims and
Standard for Communication between Victims, Witnesses and the
Prosecuting Advocate was published in February 2006.
Law Bar Association (ALBA)
Association exists to promote knowledge and development in the
field of public law.
of Women Barristers
The objects of the Association include representing, supporting
and furthering the interests of women barristers.
Association for Commerce, Finance & Industry (BACFI)
in 1965 to promote the interests and status of barristers working
in-house or providing legal services outside chambers.
Bar Association (CHBA)
those members of the Bar with specialist expertise in advocacy,
mediation and advisory work across the whole spectrum of finance,
property and business law.
Court Users Association (CCUA)
The CCUA exists to represent the interests of organisations that
use the Civil Courts in England and Wales. The members of the
Association are organisations and individuals that use, or have
an interest in the operation of, the Civil Courts.
Mediation Council (CMC)
The Civil Mediation Council is an unincorporated association of
members established in 2003 by the UKs mediation providers,
independent mediators, leading academic, legal professional bodies
and government departments. Its Purpose is to represent the common
interests of Mediation Providers and Mediators in promoting mediation;
to do so through the performance of the Councils objects;
and, generally, by improving the understanding of the uses and
applications of mediation. Interested in training to become a
Mediator? Click here for further
Bar Association (COMBAR)
in 1989 to bring together self-employed barristers who practise
in the field of international and commercial law.
Bar Association (CBA)
in 1969, the CBA exists to represent the views of the practising
members of the independent criminal Bar in England & Wales.
Four of the series of CBA lectures held during 2002/2003 are available
on videotape via the "CPD
on CD" page.
Law Bar Association (ELBA)
in 1994, ELBAs principal aim is to be a forum of consultation
on behalf of those barristers throughout the UK, in private and
employed practice, who work in employment law.
Law Bar Association (FLBA)
Bar association for family barristers specialising in the area
of law that deals with separation, divorce, child custody, division
of marital assets and adoption. A series of recent FLBA lectures
is available on CD via the "CPD
on CD" page.
Rights Lawyers Association (HRLA)
Membership of the HRLA is open to all connected with the law and
the legal professions who have an interest in human rights law
in the United Kingdom. HRLA members include solicitors, barristers,
advocates, judges, government lawyers, legal academics, legal
executives, in-house lawyers, pupils, trainees and law students.
of Barristers' Clerks (IBC)
the Barristers' Clerks Association, the IBC was founded in 1922.
It aims to promote and protect the interests of all its members
and further good relations with members of the Bar and other legal
Property Bar Assocation (IPBA)
specialist Bar association for barristers practising intellectual
property law in England and Wales. ("Intellectual property"
is a generic term which includes patents, registered trade marks,
passing off, copyright, registered and unregistered design rights,
performers' rights, trade secrets and breach of confidence.)
A professional body representing the principal legal advisers
to lay magistrates in England and Wales and is committed to improving
the quality of justice in Magistrates' Courts.
confidential advisory service to help barristers, their staff
and their immediate families to deal with the health issues and
related emotional difficulties that can result from a stressful
career as a barrister. Help is available to those who are suffering
from stress and/or depression, or who have alcohol, drug or other
Law Society of England and Wales
regulatory and representative body for 116,000 solicitors in England
Practice Management Association
to help those involved in the legal sector who have the responsibility
for managing and leading organisations such as Barristers Chambers
Injuries Bar Association (PIBA)
specialist Bar association for barristers who practice in the
field of personal injuries.
Negligence Bar Association (PNBA)
in 1990 to promote the idea of a specialist professional negligence
Bar supported by continuing professional education.
Bar Association (RBA)
RBA brings together English barristers who practise in the taxation
field. The majority of members are exclusively taxation specialists.
Tax barristers also deal with professional negligence and other
litigation involving tax and judicial review where the Revenue
or Customs have exceeded their powers.
of Asian Lawyers
in 1990, members of SAL are from a cross section of the legal
community; partners in large City firms, principally London based;
partners in and owners of niche practices; leading and junior
barristers; assistant solicitors; trainees; high street practitioners,
in-house counsel; legal executives and students.
and Construction Bar Association (TECBAR)
specialist Bar association for barristers in independent practice
who practise or who intend to practise regularly in the Technology
and Construction Courts, both in London and in the provinces,
or who do similar work in other courts or tribunals.