COVID-19: Counsel may appear in criminal courts without instructing agent

A policy allowing counsel to appear in civil courts without an instructing agent has been extended to the criminal courts.

Dean of Faculty, Gordon Jackson QC, stated in a Dean’s Ruling: “Until further notice, counsel may appear without an instructing agent, if the circumstances require, for all criminal work other than trials. This includes preliminary hearings, appeals and bail appeals.

“Plainly if there is an available instructing agent then the usual way of proceeding – with the agent in attendance – should be adhered to. But if not then counsel may appear without an instructing agent.”

He added that the ruling was passed with the blessing of the Lord President.

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