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Its simple.

Competence is fitness to undertake a legal procedure or the ability to understand a legal process.

If you are competent when you confirm you are competent then all is good.

If you are subsequently found to have been incompetent when you confirmed you were competent, how can you be penalised, you were incompetent. Res ipsa loquitur. Just using res ipsa loquitur in a sentence should be enough for full certification for life, but I digress.

I guess we have to wait and see what the rule says but I do love these new regulations. You have to admit that in the old days when lawyers had proper ethical training, careful supervision and we all had a copy of the annotated Code of Conduct it was really quite dry and dull ~ I mean you could actually read the rules in one place, understand them easily, get your answer to a specific problem quickly and solve it yourself.

Now you need a mnemonic memory and a masters in double speak to understand outcomes focussed and risk based client solutions, not to mention the non-exhaustive indicative outcomes the SRA requires to ensure compliance with the particular contexts covered by the principles, taking of course, into account, supplementing the mandatory Outcomes with the non-mandatory “Indicative Behaviours.”

Again I digress but can anyone imagine what would happen to the traffic death toll if the people who write this stuff re-wrote the Road Code.

Now any young hip-hop person with a degree in basket weaving can do the LPC and be advising real people with real problems for money in a year or two. He can sign as many certificates as you put in front of him to self certify his competence.

I just ask can we all get a big golden bordered self signed diploma/ certificate to hang in our office with a seal (maybe a picture!) and all done up fancy being a "Certificate of Legal Competency" with a cool red ribbon maybe. Can’t get enough of that shit. The clients love it. What about other self certificates? Let our imaginations RUN WILD. Think of the reassurance if this great idea spread to the other professions. How much better would you feel if you could read your surgeons glossy self certified certificate of competence just as the gas mask dropped on your face. I certify that I am a good surgeon. Signed Me.

Finally, is it competence beyond any reasonable doubt, or competence on the balance of probabilities? What about probable cause? Reasonable suspicion? Set the bar low is my advice. If you are able to sign – you pass.

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