The Victorian Bar has today announced the establishment of a new committee which will oversee the development and implementation of an accreditation scheme for criminal barristers through the introduction of a new Indictable Crimes Certificate (ICC).
The ICC will be the first of its kind in Australia, providing a way to differentiate barristers with specific skills, knowledge and expertise in the conduct of trials.
“Victorian criminal barristers who work in the difficult and challenging area of indictable crime and trials deserve a mechanism that signifies their considerable skills and expertise; the ICC will be a clear way to recognise that hard won experience and talent,” said Victorian Bar Chairman, Will Alstergren QC.
“The Bar is confident that this initiative will contribute to the efficient and timely delivery of justice in our criminal justice system, ensuring wise use of public money by offering a clear way defence and prosecution teams can identify skilled trial advocates.”
Mr Alstergren announced that the ICC Committee would be chaired by Geoffrey Eames AM QC. Appointments to the Committee include Stephen Charles QC (Deputy Chair), Jim Peters QC (Victorian Bar Vice Chairman), Peter Morrissey SC (Chair, Criminal Bar Association) and David O’Callaghan QC (Chair, Education and Professional Development Committee), and Jacqueline Stone who has been appointed Head of the new ICC Secretariat
“The ICC builds on the work of the Victorian Law Reform Commission in the Jury Directions Report, and we gratefully acknowledge the support of the Professional Standards Council to investigate the prospect of developing this scheme in response to the VLRC Report,” Mr Alstergren said.
The Committee is now charged with the responsibility of developing the components of the Scheme, including determining CPD requirements and assessment tasks to gain and maintain accreditation, the issuing of certification and ongoing operation.
“The Victorian Bar is committed to professional excellence in advocacy and the administration of justice in our State. This is a landmark initiative for our Bar and the Criminal Bar Association is to be congratulated for their commitment and work in developing this initiative.
“We anticipate this Scheme will promote public confidence in our justice system and serve the public interest by offering a clear and transparent way for everyone involved in the criminal justice process – the public, the profession, government and the courts - to identify skilled trial advocates,” Mr Alstergren concluded.
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