The Dickson Poon School of Law at King’s College London has entered into an agreement with the Inns of Court College of Advocacy to act as the validating body for their new Bar Course. This means that the first graduates of the ICCA Bar Course, who are expected to qualify in 2021, will receive a Postgraduate Diploma in Bar Practice from King’s College London on their successful completion of the programme. The Office for Students has also officially registered the ICCA as a Higher Education Provider with the first course starting in September 2020.
Drawing on significant experience in teaching and innovating the delivery of distance and online programmes, King’s Online has been instrumental in helping the ICCA to develop Part One of the new Bar Course. This part of the course, which focuses on criminal and civil litigation, will take between 12-16 weeks to complete (although this can be extended if needed) and is delivered entirely online. During Part One, where students can join interactive forums, tutors will deliver introductory lessons online. Students will have access to over thirty films featuring real-life courtroom scenes, which underpin the teaching of litigation in practice as well as being able to work through a variety of different practice exercises and assessments.
Following the successful completion of Part One of the course, students will study Part Two of the course, which will run for a further 20-22 weeks, and will be undertaken in person within the precincts of the Inns of Court. Part Two will be dedicated to skills teaching, preparing students for practice and a career at the Bar. There will be a high number of advocacy classes which will include specialist sessions on vulnerable witness handling, youth justice advocacy and expert witnesses.
Lynda Gibbs, Dean at the ICCA, is to be appointed as Queen’s Counsel (Honoris Causa) on 16 March in recognition of her work on vulnerable witness training and for being at the forefront of this revolutionary Bar training approach. She said: “We are delighted to be announcing this academic partnership with King’s College London and that our students will receive their Bar qualification from this prestigious Russell Group university. When we started to develop the ICCA Bar course, we set out to bring a completely fresh approach to Bar training and to deliver an innovative, high quality, flexible and affordable course providing students with a credible qualification to take them into pupillage and beyond.”
Lynda continued: “We have developed an inclusive applications process which has borne fruit; we have been thrilled with the quality and diverse range of applications we have received so far. Our OfS registration and associated QAA approval demonstrates the high regard in which our course, governance by COIC and our Board of Governors and our financial structures are held, as well as our commitment to our students. We are very much looking forward to welcoming the first ICCA students in September this year.”
Chris Howard, Director of Professional Legal Education at the Dickson Poon School of Law and the head of its new Professional Law Institute said: “We are extremely happy to be supporting the ICCA on such a forward-thinking, high-quality course. It will widen participation and inclusivity through its two-part programme structure and blind application process. The course removes many of the financial risks typically associated with Bar courses by offering it in two parts and reflects our own goal to embed employability within our programmes. This innovative collaboration with the ICCA, one of our key London civic partners, is in line with our London Strategic Vision 2029 with King’s being at the heart of national and global networks.”
From the ICCA:
From King’s College London:
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