SLAB responds to solicitor concerns with changes to draft criminal Code of Practice


Tuesday, Jun 06, 2017

Following responses received from the profession in our recent consultation we are making changes to the draft Criminal Code of Practice.

Join us at one of the events being organised in July and August and help develop the new Code.

What’s happening?

We are currently analysing the responses we received to the recent consultation on the new draft Code of Practice. Further meetings with solicitors and local Faculties will take place over July and August to help us respond to feedback and revise and develop the new draft Code.

How many responses were received?

We received 42 responses: 33 from individual solicitors; four from solicitors’ organisations; three from bar associations/local faculties; and two from other criminal justice organisations. The main issues raised on the draft Code were broadly in connection with its operation, the inclusion of duty requirements, and the extent of professional practice areas which should be covered by the Code.

Will any changes be made to the new Code as a result of these responses?

Yes. We are currently considering the extent of the changes which will be made to the draft Code in light of the issues raised and the suggestions made in the responses. Our discussions with local solicitors will also help us better understand the concerns expressed in a number of the responses about increased administration burdens on solicitors, and consider whether these require further changes to the Code.

What changes will be made?

We are re-visiting the police station and duty requirements, and looking at how we can best set out the arrangements for solicitors who do very little or no criminal work but who want to remain on the Criminal register. We are also considering revisions to clarify some of the requirements set out in the Code. We will also consider what information can be published alongside the Code on how SLAB manages its own statutory responsibilities, how we monitor compliance and how we respond to non-compliance. 

What will happen next?

We want your help in shaping and revising the draft code, and we plan to hold a number of meetings with solicitors and local faculties around the country in July and August. Details of these events will be published shortly. This will help us prepare a revised version of the Code which will be sent to the Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs for approval before it can be issued as the new Code.

For further information, please contact:
Kingsley Thomas, Head of Criminal Legal Assistance, E: thomaski@slab.org.uk


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