PC conditions for readers

1. Reading Program 

The holder of this certificate (‘the reader’) must do the following:  

a. Read with at least one but not more than two barristers for not less than 12 months (the reading period). The reader must choose each of these barristers from a list of potential tutors kept by Bar Council or a barrister who arranges to be added to that list of tutors  (a barrister so chosen is a tutor).  The reading period: 

i) begins on the date this certificate is issued;  

ii) may include the period of the Bar Practice Course; and  

iii) ends when all tutors certify that the Holder is fit to practise without restriction;

b. Complete the Bar Practice Course, to the satisfaction of Bar Council; or its delegate under the Bar Practice Course Policy

c. Within six months of commencing the reading period: i) participate with a leader in a total of at least 10 days of preparation, conferences and hearing(s) of criminal proceedings (‘criminal reading’) according to the requirements for criminal reading as approved by Bar Council; and ii) participate with a leader in a total of at least 10 days of preparation, conferences and hearing(s) of civil proceedings (‘civil reading’) according to the requirements for civil reading as approved by Bar Council;  

d. Meet the requirements of the Bar Council’s Continuing Professional Development program.  For the purposes of these conditions a leader is defined as a barrister who is senior counsel or who has more than five years experience as a barrister and holds an unrestricted practising certificate.

2. Practice rights during and prior to satisfactorily completing the Bar Practice Course  

The reader has no right of practice during the period of the Bar Practice Course.  Prior to completing the Bar Practice Course to the satisfaction of Bar Council or its delegate under the Bar Practice Course policy:  

a. the reader must not appear in any court or tribunal except if led by a barrister who holds a current practising certificate without readers restrictions; and  

b. the reader may undertake opinion work for a solicitor, with the prior consent in writing of a tutor.

3. Reading with tutor  

During the reading period, the reader must do the following:  

a. Attend on the tutor(s), appear as an observer with the tutor(s) and comply with the reasonable directions of the tutor(s);  

b. Study diligently:  

i) the art of advocacy; 

ii) the general work and practice as a barrister, including drafting documents, advising clients and dealing with solicitors, clients, witnesses and the public; and 

iii) the proper conduct and ethics of a barrister;  

c. Study under the tutor(s), including reading and discussing briefs with the tutor.

4. Practice rights after satisfactorily completing the Bar Practice Course but prior to the completion of both criminal and civil reading requirements  

After completing the Bar Practice Course to the satisfaction of Bar Council or its delegate under the Bar Practice Course Policy but prior to satisfactory completion of both the criminal and civil reading requirements:  

a. within six months of commencing reading the reader may not appear in any court or tribunal except :  

i) if led by a barrister who holds a current practising certificate without readers’ restrictions, or  

ii) with a tutor’s approval for each such appearance.  

b. where the reader has failed satisfactorily to complete their criminal and civil reading within six months of commencing reading (as required by condition 1(c)) the Reader:  

i) must apply to the director, professional development for a formal extension of the holder’s civil and criminal reading period, and  

ii) may appear in any court or tribunal only with a tutor’s prior written approval for each such appearance; or 

iii) if led by a barrister who holds a current practising certificate without readers’ restrictions.

5. Practice rights after satisfactorily completion of both the Bar Practice Course and criminal and civil reading requirements  

After receipt of certification of the completion of both the Bar Practice Course and the criminal and civil reading requirements to the satisfaction of Bar Council, the reader may appear in any court or tribunal without being led and, subject to condition 6, without a tutor’s approval for the particular appearance. 

6. Direct client access restriction before completing the reading period  

The reader must not during the reading period accept a brief from a person other than a solicitor without a tutor’s written approval for the particular brief. 

Exception: This restriction does not apply if the reader held an unrestricted solicitor’s practising certificate immediately before being issued with this certificate, or in cases where the reader is participating in the Duty Barrister Schemes conducted in the Local Court or the District Court.

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