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Education and Qualification Rules

The Joint Inns’ Education and Qualification Rules set out the requirements for the Inns in respect of educational and qualification matters and relate directly to, and should be read in conjunction with the following documents. The purpose of these supplementary rules is to give effect to the rules set out in the documents below. Rules contained in those documents are not repeated in the Inns’ rules.

In addition, information from the BSB on the fit and proper person checks provides an overview of the checks which are administered by the Inns of Court to ensure that only those who are “fit and proper” are Called to the Bar.

The new regulations on Qualifying Sessions and Criminal Records checks are subject to the Joint Inns' Rules transitional provisions set out in Table 1 & Table 2 below:

Table 1: Qualifying Session (QS) Transitional Arrangements

Applicable Qualifying Session Rules

Guidance Notes

a) Students starting the Bar Course* before 1 June 2020 and being Called no later than 30 June 2021.

Those QS rules that were in effect prior to 1 January 2020 apply. The QS Framework does not apply.

Note that, for example:

- 12 QSs must be completed;

- there is no requirement to complete QSs within 5 set themes;

- there is no requirement to complete 2 interactive QSs;

- the event linked to Call can be counted as a QS.

b) Students starting the Bar Course* before 1 June 2020 and being called on 1 July 2021 or later.

These QS rules and the QS Framework apply save that:

- there is no requirement to complete QSs within the set 5 themes (QS Framework para 7);

- there is no requirement to complete 2 interactive QSs (QS Framework para 7).

Note that under these rules & the QS Framework:

 - students are required to complete 10 QSs (QS Framework Para 6);

- the event linked to Call cannot be counted as a QS (QS Framework Para 14).

c) Students starting the Bar Course* on or after 1 June 2020 who have not attended QSs prior to that point.

These rules and the QS Framework apply.

Note that, for example:

- 10 QSs must be completed (QS Framework Para 6);

- QS must be complete within 5 set themes (QS Framework para 7);

- 2 interactive QSs must be completed (QS Framework para 7);

- the event linked to Call cannot be counted as a QS (QS Framework Para 14).

d) Students starting the Bar Course* on or after 1 June 2020 who have attended QSs prior to that point

These rules and the QS Framework apply save that:

- there is no requirement to complete QSs within the set 5 themes (QS Framework para 7);

- there is no requirement to complete 2 interactive QSs (QS Framework para 7).

Note that under these rules and the QS Framework:

 - students are required to complete 10 QSs (QS Framework Para 6);

- the event linked to Call cannot be counted as a QS (QS Framework Para 14).

e) Transferring Lawyers who are admitted to an Inn prior to 1st September 2020.

Those QS rules that were in effect prior to 1 January 2020 apply. The QS Framework does not apply.

Note that, for example:

- the Number of sessions is normally reduced to 6; and these may be completed within 3 years of qualification.

f) Transferring Lawyers who are admitted to an Inn from 1 September 2020.

These rules and the QS Framework apply.

 

* ‘Bar Course’ for the purpose of these transitional arrangements shall be taken to mean either the Bar Professional Training Course, or The Vocational Component of Bar Professional Training or, where The Vocational Component is split into two parts, Part 2 of The Vocational Component.

Table 2: Criminal Record Checks

Transitional Arrangements

 

All those being Called, including transferring lawyers, up to and including 30 June 2021.

Criminal Record Checks are not required.

All those being Called, including transferring lawyers, 1 July 2021 or later.

Criminal Record Checks are required.