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The Faculty of Advocates
The Faculty of Advocates – Scotland’s independent Bar – ensures that clients seeking representation in court or legal guidance have access to the very best independent, objective legal advice. The Faculty has been at the forefront of legal excellence since 1532 and regulates the training and professional practice, conduct and discipline of advocates in Scotland.
As well as ensuring excellence in the specialist field of courtcraft, the Faculty is constantly evolving and is at the forefront of innovations in alternative dispute resolution methods such as arbitration and mediation. Its collegiate atmosphere allows advocates to exchange views in a way that gives them a unique insight into the law and helps ensure that they are always at the leading edge of analysis.
All advocates are members of the Faculty. Advocates appear in courts and tribunals all over Scotland as well as in the UK Supreme Court, the Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights.
The Faculty is led by elected office-bearers: the Dean of Faculty, the Vice-dean, the Treasurer, the Clerk and the Keeper of the Library, and by an elected Faculty Council. Key decisions are made by Faculty Council, which comprises members elected for constituencies within the Bar. Much of the Faculty’s work is undertaken by committees established for particular purposes.
Faculty members also elect the Chairman of Faculty Services Limited, a company established to provide administrative and other support services to advocates. Although all advocates are independent sole practitioners most belong to one of nine stables. The stables are served by an advocates’ clerk and deputy clerks who can assist with selecting and instructing an advocate with appropriate skills and experience.
Instructing an advocate
The Faculty of Advocates comprises both practising and non-practising members. Practising members of Faculty are available for instruction as advocates in accordance with the cab-rank rule, set out in the Court of Session Act 1532 and ratified in the Court of Session Act 1540.
Advocates may be instructed by solicitors and other persons authorised to conduct litigation in Scotland and, under the Faculty’s Direct Access Rules, by members of a variety of other professional organisations and other designated bodies.
The non-practising membership includes, among others, members of the judiciary, law officers, parliamentarians, academics, retired advocates and advocates who are employed in various capacities.
Each stable’s clerks will assist clients with selecting and instructing an advocate with appropriate skills and experience.
To find a practising advocate click here.
The nine stables are:
The Advocates Library
Members of the Faculty have access to the Advocates’ Library, widely regarded as the finest working law library in the British Isles. It contains a comprehensive range of materials built up over more than 300 years. This, and a modern library management system utilising the latest technology, ensure that the Advocates Library accommodates the increasingly complex needs of advocates, while at the same time making the Library’s stock available to the public through the National Library of Scotland.
More information on the Faculty of Advocates can be found at www.advocates.org.uk
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