The Bar Standards Board has suspended registration for the troubled Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (QASA) as the legal challenge to the scheme rumbles on.
A renewed application for permission to appeal the Divisional Court’s dismissal of the judicial review in January has been listed at the Court of Appeal for 9 May.
In light of the move, the scheme’s designer, the Joint Advocacy Group, comprising the Bar Standards Board, Solicitors Regulation Authority and ILEX Professional Standards, has 'reviewed the registration timetable'.
All advocates who wish to practise in criminal courts are intended to register by 31 December.
The three regulators have adopted different approaches to continued uncertainty over the future of the scheme, although in a joint statement they all said they ‘remain committed’ to the December deadline for registration.
The BSB has suspended the phasing in of QASA registration pending the outcome of the hearing on 9 May, after which the timetable will be reviewed.
The SRA will review the current registration timetable for solicitors once the court has made a decision on the renewal application. It will then issue further information on registration requirements.
Meanwhile the closing date for CILEx advocates to register under the QASA scheme remains 30 May, as previously notified to advocates. ILEX Professional Standards will review the date after 9 May and will let advocates know whether it needs to change then.