The London Advocate

Advocate Issue 66

PUBLISHED November 16, 2011

Autumn has finally arrived and, with it, the end of the LCCSA year. The Association owes a huge debt of gratitude to Malcolm Duxbury for the dedication he has given to steering the ship over the past twelve months. And welcome to our new president, Jim Meyer: he faces a challenging time.

One of these challenges is the introduction of a quality assurance for advocates scheme (QASA). As Roger Sahota and Jo Cooper's article explains, the proposed scheme is proving controversial, as it may well be contrary to the interests of solicitor advocates.

Also in this issue, Edward Grange comments helpfully on the report of the review panel on extradition ? one of the many topics on which the LCCSA has submitted responses in consultation processes over the last year.

Sometimes, however, responding to consultations is not enough: the LCCSA contends that the Criminal Defence Service (Funding) (Amendment) Order 2011 makes amendments to arrangements for payment under the 2010 standard criminal contract which are not lawful.

We have led the way in obtaining counsel's opinion on this point, generously funded by a number of member firms, as well as by the LCCSA itself. Past president Paul Harris took the matter to the Law Society, which has launched judicial review proceedings, with the support of the LCCSA and CLSA. It is outrageous that the Ministry of Justice has suggested that, pending these proceedings, solicitors will appear at committal proceedings for no money.

I am grateful to Nathan Rasiah for his learned feature on war crimes ? let it not be said that the Advocate is parochial in its approach! ? and to Ben Hall, whose piece on the LCCSA's weekend in Amsterdam reflects the relaxed and yet informative nature of the annual European conference.

Good luck to our new president ? and to the membership: we may be in for a bumpy ride!