The High Court has granted the Criminal Bar Association (CBA) permission to proceed with its legal challenge to the introduction of a compulsory advocacy assessment.

The association issued an application last month for judicial review of the Legal Services Board’s decision to press ahead with the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (QASA).

The Bar Standards Board and the Solicitors Regulation Authority were named as interested parties in the action.

A date for the hearing has yet to confirmed, but the CBA chairman Nigel Lithman QC indicated that it will take place by 17 December. The court has yet to decide whether to grant the CBA a protective costs order.

Lithman said: ‘It’s a piece of great news as we anticipated it would be.’

Registration for the QASA scheme opened last Monday. At the end of last week the BSB said that two barristers had signed up. The SRA would not reveal how many solicitors had registered, but it is understood to be fewer than 20.