September 9th, 2016
If you are accused of breaking the law and are ordered to go to court, you will get a Duty Solicitor—a lawyer who is supplied to you for free. This is legal aid.
They will talk to you before your court case and will go to court with you to put your side of the story across. It’s very important for you to tell them everything and be honest with them, so they can help you.
If you are under 16, you must have a parent or guardian with you in court. If they aren’t there, it will hold up the process.
The Youth Court is for people aged 10 to 17. It isn’t as formal as adult court. You won’t see the judge and lawyers in wigs or gowns. If you are there because you have been accused of something, you will sit near the judge. Your lawyer will ask you questions, and so will the lawyer for the other side. They may also question witnesses or a victim, if there is one.
It will help you to stay calm and to speak clearly, taking the time you need for your answers.
If you are accused of something very serious, you may have to go to Crown Court, which is also where adults are sent.
Regulators make sure that lawyers do their job properly when they go to court. For example, the Bar Standards Board (BSB) makes sure that lawyers who are barristers do their job well. The BSB and other regulators are working to make standards in Youth Court as high as possible. They want young people to get the best legal support they can.
Lawyers are working harder to make sure that young people with special needs get the right help and support when they go to court.
If you have a legal problem and don’t know what to do, find out where you can get help.
Article categories: BSB
July 27th, 2015
There are over 15,000 barristers practising law in England and Wales.
Barristers provide specialist advice and representation in legal disputes, including representing their clients in court cases.
Often, if you have instructed a solicitor or another type of lawyer, they will find and appoint a suitable barrister for you.
However, nowadays you can also approach many barristers directly to get help without needing to go through another lawyer first. This is known a ‘Public Access’, or ‘Direct Access’.
As well as advising and representing you in court cases, Public Access barristers can help you with things like drafting legal documents, or giving specialist advice on a particular area of law.
But where can you find a suitable barrister? And how do you know if the barrister you are thinking of instructing, is an expert in the area of law that you need help with?
Well, the Bar Council – the professional body which represents barristers – has recently launched a new online Direct Access portal. It is an easy way to find and contact specialist Direct Access Barristers, Mediators and Arbitrators.
The Bar Standards Board (BSB) regulates all barristers. It sets the rules for what a barrister learns and how they must do things. All barristers must be registered in order to give legal advice. You can check whether a barrister is registered using the BSB’s online Barristers’ Register. It can display details of all barristers who are authorised to practise in England and Wales.
Finally, if you are not sure if the person who you are dealing with is really a barrister, please check out this Legal Choices article for advice.