The Portfolio will contain summaries of twenty-five cases where you have provided advice and assistance to clients at the magistrate's court.

On registration, you will be issued with a copy of our regulations which will provide detailed guidance on the format, content and assessment criteria.

The purpose of the Portfolio is to:

Enable you to demonstrate the level and range of your experience of conducting cases in the magistrates' court.
Encourage you to consider and reflect upon your magistrate's court practice.
Enable us to assess your performance, by reference to the competence standards.

The Portfolio will test a number of your key skills and knowledge areas. These will include:

Interviewing and advising skills
Recording skills
Gathering appropriate and sufficient information

Assessment Format

The Portfolio is divided into two sections:

Section 1 - Short Notes on twenty cases
Section 2 - Detailed Summaries of five cases

The case studies must be cases in which the candidate has personally represented a client in a magistrates' court in respect of an allegation of one or more criminal offences or quasi-criminal offences (e.g. enforcement proceedings relating to a fine or other order of the court).

All twenty-five cases must be reported and submitted in chronological order within 12 months of the chosen submission date. There is no minimum period over which the cases or court appearances must have occurred.

Case Selection

Where a candidate has represented more than one client at the magistrates’ court in respect of one allegation, this can only be included as one case. In such cases, the potential ethical issues of conflict of interest should be addressed.

Cases in which the client is not present at court can not be included in the Portfolio.

Candidates should note that trials do not form part of the Duty Solicitor Scheme and are not suitable for inclusion.

A range of applications and submissions must be included, such as:

Procedural Adjournment
Where one of the parties to the case is unable to proceed with the case that day and makes an application to adjourn.

Venue Submission
A mode of trial decision taken after a not guilty plea.

Bail Application
When bail is opposed by the prosecution and a full bail application is pursued.

Plea in Mitigation
Full mitigation is put forward following a guilty plea.
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