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Bar Standards Board seeks public input on academic legal training definition changes

Bar Standards Board seeks public input on academic legal training definition changes


BSB launches consultation for feedback on altering academic legal training definition and related exemptions

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has initiated a comprehensive three-month public consultation, inviting opinions on proposed alterations to the definition of academic legal training and the management of consequential waivers and exemptions.

Training for aspiring barristers encompasses three key elements: academic, vocational, and work-based training. Recognizing the need for an overhaul, the BSB has undertaken a review of the existing regulations governing the academic segment of Bar practice training. They've identified that these regulations no longer effectively uphold their objectives of maintaining high standards, flexibility, accessibility, and affordability.

The proposed amendments aim to streamline and simplify the current definition of academic legal training. This entails consolidating dispersed requirements from the BSB Handbook, Bar Qualification Manual, and the Curriculum and Assessment Strategy into a singular, coherent definition. Details outlining what constitutes academic legal training will be outlined in the revised Curriculum and Assessment Strategy.

The BSB advocates granting vocational training providers the authority to determine the readiness of individuals to commence the vocational training component. This includes making admissions decisions and evaluating students who previously sought waivers and exemptions from the BSB. Clear guidance will be developed to ensure adherence to standards, organizational policies (especially concerning equality, diversity, and inclusion), and evidence of consistent application of these guidelines.

Additionally, the proposal suggests that training providers decide the eligibility of non-graduates or overseas applicants to commence a Graduate Diploma in Law course. Guidance would be established to steer this decision-making process.

The consultation period remains open for three months until April 8, 2024. The full consultation document containing detailed proposals is available for review and feedback.