The ICCA has, for many years, delivered a range of advocacy training to advocates in jurisdictions overseas, responding to invitations extended by local bar associations, law societies and other professional organisations.
We are grateful to the barristers and judges who carry out this training on our behalf who have each been accredited by their own Inn of Court to train advocates at the highest levels in England and Wales.
The ICCA, as required by its constitution, is committed to assisting overseas Bars – particularly in the developing world – with improving standards of advocacy training to help maintain the rule of law.
We have conducted or participated in advocacy training programmes in many overseas jurisdictions, including Hong Kong , India, Pakistan, South Africa, Australia, Bermuda, Ireland, Dubai, Zimbabwe, Poland, Sierra Leone as well as the International Criminal Court and the United Nations. These courses usually last 2-3 days and, particularly when repeated, show remarkable results in raising confidence and standards of advocacy and assisting local Bars to establish their advocacy training faculties. All ICCA trainers offer their time on a pro bono basis. Our international work is overseen by our International Committee.
To ensure these projects are of solid and lasting benefit to the overseas Bar, we take a ‘seed corn’ approach, ensuring they work alongside local members of the legal profession to develop and implement their own advocacy training provision and methods.
Working with a host organisation, a lead trainer will prepare a training programme to meet the needs of local advocates; this ensures that the training is directly relevant in the jurisdiction in which delegates will be practising. The focus of the training is on advocacy rather than questions of law and procedure, however, we strive to ensure that the materials and the programme reflect the practice of the jurisdiction in which it is training.
The programme will include lectures on the skills required for different aspects of advocacy; these may include sessions on opening speeches, examination and cross examination of witnesses and closing speeches. However, witness handling and narrative advocacy involve different skills and are, therefore, considered separately and the focus of the course is very much on practical exercises conducted by the delegates.
Typically, a mock trial will be created with a number of witnesses. Delegates benefit from the opportunity to practise their skills and obtain one-to-one feedback on their performance; experience also shows they benefit from witnessing demonstrations of their peers and hearing their feedback.
To provide the mock trial experience, delegates take it in turns to play the role of witness being questioned by another delegate. This provides opportunity to experience what it is like to be questioned, something which delegates have indicated improves their own performance as an advocate.
Programmes are usually between 2-3 days in length with delegates being taught in groups of six with a maximum of eight. Depending upon the number of trainers who are able to attend, up to 42 delegates can be trained on one programme.
The benefits of this are two-fold. First, each delegate has sufficient time perform each exercise and to have it reviewed by one of the ICCA trainers. Second, because that review takes place in front of the other five delegates in the class, everyone has the opportunity to see a variety of styles and how the trainers respond to them.
Materials are generally produced by the ICCA and papers will be circulated to delegates two weeks before the programme starts, whenever possible. This is intended to provide delegates with sufficient time to prepare as if in a real trial.
We follow a method of training which has been used throughout the common law world for many years. It bears the name of Professor George Hampel AM QC. To find out more about the Method, click here.
Our trainers provide their time on a voluntary basis, they do not accept payment for the time they spend preparing for and attending the training programmes.
For the majority of our training programmes, the ICCA requires that all costs of the trainers’ attendance are met; this includes the cost of travel, accommodation, vaccinations, visas and any necessary expenses.
We do have a limited budget to assist with funding in jurisdictions where self-funding is more difficult. Should contribution to the costs be sought by the host jurisdiction, the extent of this contribution will be agreed with the host before the training begins. Funding is provided where the programme proposed has a realistic prospect of promoting or improving the rule of law.
In 2018/19, we offered training in America, Guernsey, Kenya, Malaga, Mauritius, Poland, Sierra Leone, Ukraine and Zimbabwe. Reports on each of our trips can be found here: