The LSRA today publishes two separate reports with recommendations to the Minister for Justice, in fulfilment of its statutory mandate to ensure the maintenance and improvement of standards in the provision of legal services by legal practitioners.

Both reports have been submitted to the Minister, as required under section 34 of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015.

Recommendations for Legal Practitioner Education and Training

The first report, Setting Standards: Legal Practitioner Education and Training, recommends reforms to, for the first time, define the competence and standards required to practise as a solicitor or barrister.

It also recommends the establishment of a statutory framework to accredit existing providers of legal practitioner education and training as well as, for the first time, allowing new providers to be accredited to provide professional training for solicitors and barristers.

Recommendations on Unification Question

In the second report, Greater than the Sum of Its Parts? Consideration of Unification of the Solicitors’ Profession and Barristers’ Profession, the Authority concludes that at this stage in its regulatory timeline it would be premature to recommend that the two branches of the profession be unified.

The Authority undertakes in the report to return to the matter within five years, when it anticipates that the landscape for legal services provision will have evolved sufficiently in order for it to reconsider the question of unification as posed in the Act.

Setting Standards: Legal Practitioner Education and Training is available here.

Greater than the Sum of Its Parts? Consideration of Unification of the Solicitors’ Profession and Barristers’ is available to download here.

The press release can be found here.