Members of the public may now go directly to a barrister without having to involve an instructing solicitor or other intermediary. In the past it was necessary for clients to use a solicitor or other recognised third party through whom the barrister would be instructed. Although the barrister's role remains essentially the same, members of the public may instruct a barrister directly through the PUBLIC ACCESS scheme.
What are the advantages of the PUBLIC ACCESS scheme?
The main advantage of the PUBLIC ACCESS scheme is that it could potentially save you money whilst giving access to the Bar, since you would be paying a barrister only instead of a barrister and solicitor. It may be that your case is such that you would benefit from both. For assistance see the Bar Council website.
Examples of proceedings you may face include:
Road traffic : speeding, driving whilst unfit through drink or drugs, failure to identify driver (s.172), failure to provide a specimen for analysis, "totting" (amassing 12 penalty points), "exceptional hardship" arguments (avoiding a 6-month disqualification despite amassing 12 points owing to mitigating circumstances), "special reasons" arguments (avoiding obligatory disqualification or endorsement);
Sex : indecent exposure, outraging public decency, indecent assault on a child, sexual assault, rape;
Drugs : possession of and/or intent to supply cannabis, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy;
Violence : battery, assault ABH or GBH;
Public disorder : affray or riot, football banning orders;
Breach of court orders : non-molestation orders, restraining orders, community orders.
Nick Robinson is regulated by the Bar Standards Board.