Update on the SRA’s New Route to Qualification in England and Wales

November 17th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) published this week a summary of the responses it received / response to the consultation on the new route to qualification – the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE). The consultation was sent to Bars and Law Societies throughout Europe (including the CCBE which did not reply).

 The paper states, amongst others, that:

– “On our proposals for recognition of qualified lawyers, some respondents disagreed with the proposed approach; some were supportive; and others supported the principle of recognition but disagreed with the proposed approach.”

– “some drafting changes to the proposed SQE regulations and to the principles of recognition for qualifying lawyers seeking admission as a solicitor of England and Wales will be implemented.’’ However, major changes have not been made.”

Stakeholders addressed the need for more detail, as such the SRA will publish more information about the SQE on the:

– “detail of the SQE assessments

– proposed costs

– assessment timetable

– sample assessments

– process for recognition of qualified lawyers.”

The SRA will continue to engage with important stakeholders from the profession and legal academics.

It is anticipated that the next steps regarding the SQE will be that the SRA will ask the Legal Services Board for approval of the SQE regulations. If the regulations are approved, the SRA expects to appoint an assessment provider in April 2018. The SRA will determine on which date the regulations will be implemented, however it will not be earlier than September 2020.

For more information, please find the paper here.

ERA-CCBE Young Lawyers Competition on EU Law in Practice

November 17th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

The Competition, which should have taken place on 7-8 December 2017 in Trier, will be postponed to next year.

Towards a European Education Area by 2025

November 14th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

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The European Commission has set out today out its vision for how to create a European Education Area by 2025.

Amongst the proposals towards a European Area of Education are:

– The mutual recognition of diplomas: by initiating a new ‘Sorbonne process’, building on the “Bologna process”, to prepare the ground for the mutual recognition of higher education and school leaving diplomas;

– Greater cooperation on curricula development: by making recommendations to ensure education systems impart all the knowledge, skills and competences that are deemed essential in today’s world;

– Mainstreaming innovation and digital skills in education: by promoting innovative and digital training and preparing a new Digital Education Action Plan;

The EU Leaders’ meeting on 17 November 2017 in Gothenburg will further discuss the future of education.

For more information, please read the full press release of the European Commission and the factsheets.

Evaluation of the 2011-2020 European judicial training strategy

November 14th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

On 8 November 2017, the Commission has launched its evaluation of the 2011-2020 European judicial training strategy.

The evaluation should feed into the preparation of a new 2019-2025 strategy.

To that end, the Commission published two roadmaps:

The roadmaps, which set out the Commission’s plans, are open for comments until 6 December 2017.

An open publication consultation will be launched by the Commission later this year. The Commission will also organise next year a conference, expert group meetings and interviews which will feed into the evaluation process. The Commission hopes to publish a Communication in September 2018.

According to the roadmaps, new developments to be considered as part of the evaluation are:

– The situation in some Member States, but also in candidate and neighbouring countries, shows that ethics, rule of law and independence of the judiciary are an issue to be addressed, wherever necessary, and that one important priority is to improve and support judicial cooperation in criminal matters, in particular related to counter-terrorism and fighting cybercrime;

– Also training on skills and non-legal topics should be considered both to improve the efficiency of justice and mutual trust among the justice professionals;

– The inclusion of candidate countries, potential candidate countries who all prepare for membership as well as neighbouring countries who wish to model their systems to that of the EU should be considered;

– A reflection should take place on how to complement training activities with access to up-to-date learning material and make the best use of e-justice.