A new ID scheme will allow solicitors to have enhanced access through security in more than 300 courts and tribunals from today (1 February).
The new arrangement, developed by the London Criminal Courts Solicitors' Association (LCCSA) and Criminal Law Solicitors' Association (CLSA) with investment from the Law Society, will enable solicitors to register with the professional users’ access scheme.
All solicitors with a practising certificate can sign up from today, meaning they can access more than 300 HM Courts and Tribunals Service buildings without needing a routine security search on each visit.
“The work solicitors do underpins justice,” said president of the Law Society of England and Wales David Greene.
“We’re therefore very pleased that we’ve been able to come to an arrangement with partner organisations so our members can obtain ID which helps them fast-track into court premises in a way that helps court security for everyone using the courts or working there.
“Given the physical issues raised by the ongoing pandemic, anything that can ease access to courts and tribunals and save time for our members, and consequently all others, is to be welcomed.”
Solicitors join barristers and the Crown Prosecution Service in signing up to the scheme.
There will be separate fast-access lanes for members of the scheme during the busiest times of the day, where possible.
President of the LCCSA Mark Troman welcomed today’s news.
“Solicitors play a crucial role in the day-to-day administration of justice in court and tribunals across England and Wales,” he said.
“From today their trusted status will be recognised and this will enable faster, less restrictive access to court buildings and allow them to get on with their work.
“I’m delighted we’re now in a position to roll out registration for the access scheme, not just to LCCSA members, but all practising solicitors in England and Wales, whom I strongly encourage to apply via our website.”
Daniel Bonich, chair of the CLSA, said: “We are delighted to be able to deliver on one of the most frequent requests from our members. This scheme is recognition of the crucial role our members and fellow solicitors play in the proper administration of justice.
“We are pleased that their status as officers of the court has been so recognised and awarded ‘trusted status’ which will enable much improved and quicker access to court buildings.
“We are also thrilled to be able to make these cards available not just to our members, but all practising solicitors in England and Wales, thanks to the assistance of the Law Society, and we look forward to issuing these cards via our website.”
Original article on lawsociety.org.uk