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The 2022 South Eastern Circuit Bar Mess Foundation
Advanced International Advocacy Course at
Keble College, Oxford

The course will take place from Tuesday 30th August 2022 until
Saturday 3rd September 2022 (concluding at 17.00hrs).


Format and Applications:

The aim of this course is to encourage and develop the highest standards of advocacy amongst practitioners in London and the South East. The course is the most demanding and intensive of any advocacy course in the UK.  

To qualify for the course, you must join the Circuit and be a practising member of the Bar, over three years’ call at the time of attending the course.  

The course is massively subsidised by the Circuit and the cost to each participating Circuit member is £1,400.00 / £2,400.00 + VAT (Crime / Civil respectively). 

The Circuit subsidy represents at least the participant cost all over again: i.e. the Circuit is making a large investment in its Practitioners.

Previous courses have been accredited by the Bar Standards Board (includes 33 CPD hours, 9 Advocacy hours).

The course takes place at Keble College, Oxford and participants must attend each day of the course.

The Inns of Court offer funding for up to five of their members practising as Barristers in publicly funded work, which covers the full cost of attending the Advanced Advocacy Course at Keble College, Oxford. 

To apply for a scholarship from your Inn for the 2022 course, please complete both the application form and the Inns' scholarship application form and submit them together to the Circuit Administrator.

Download Application Form

Download Inn Scholarship Application Form

 

The Course:

Every participant undertakes each piece of work – which includes written and oral advocacy. Each advocacy exercise is filmed. 

Advocacy takes place in small break-up groups of around 6. There is immediate critique in the classroom followed by private one-on-one video critique. The purpose of the sessions during the week is to improve advocacy skills in all areas associated with a trial including expert witness handling.  When making your application to attend the course, you must decide on either the Crime or Civil course with a Medical or Accountancy expert course – the expert day will be on the Thursday. 

On the last day of the course (Saturday) a full trial takes place (also filmed) for criminal practitioners before a judge and jury, and for civil practitioners before a High Court Judge or Deputy. The jury's deliberations are filmed: each participant receives the film. Jurors also complete a confidential questionnaire on each advocate's performance.

Midway through the week a day and a half is devoted to working with experts in a trial setting. The experts will either be specialist Hospital Consultants (a medical negligence/manslaughter case) or accountants from one of the large accountancy firms.  Voice and performance coaching is also available throughout the week from two experts in the field.  

Whilst the work on this course is demanding and difficult, firm friendships are made in the context of a supportive collegiate environment. Participants will be living and working with some of the great advocates of this generation, whose intentions are to help each participant realise his or her true potential.

This course is internationally recognised as arguably the best and most intensive advocacy course in the world. In recent years, we have been fortunate enough to have participants from the War Crimes Tribunals in The Hague, and faculty and participants from the Scottish Bar, the Florida Bar, the South African Bar, and the Bars of Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, Hong Kong and Malaysia. We, and they, all gain immeasurably from this dimension.

 

The Faculty:

The faculty consists of domestic and international senior juniors, silks and judges, all of whom have undergone teacher training including specific training for this course. The ratio of participant to teacher is approximately 2.5:1.

 

Arrangements on Campus:

You will be provided with a single ensuite room for the duration of the course and three meals a day in the main hall (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). Throughout the week, breaks are facilitated with tea coffee, fruit, and sugary snacks each day.

Whilst we insist on a dark suit for the Saturday mock trial, the class time leading to that day is kept fairly casual, although we would suggest smart casual when it comes to packing and comfortable shoes, especially those of you are undertaking the crime course, as I mention later on. 

Members of the faculty would be delighted if you were to join them each evening for a pre-dinner drink at the Lamb & Flag or at the college bar (behind the main hall) – ask your head tutor for further details. Whilst an intensive course, the faculty are incredibly social, you will be introduced to some you already know and many you will not. 

Upon arrival on Tuesday morning, you should check in at the Porters Lodge and make your way to your room.  I would suggest you take a stroll around the grounds to accustom yourself with the various rooms indicated on the map provided in the digital bundle we will provide you 5/6 weeks prior to the course.

We would certainly recommend a look around the grounds if you are undertaking the Crime course.  The Civil course classrooms are above the main lecture theatre, but the Crime classrooms are dotted around the campus (hence, comfortable shoes).  Please also familiarise yourself with the location of your video feedback room – these can be a little tricky to locate but are next to the college bar. 

On the first day (the Tuesday) please come to the lecture theatre behind the main quad and register – please collect your name badge (with a green lanyard) and a memory card – these cards will film your advocacy to enable your faculty member to provide feedback on later viewing over the course of the week. 

Whilst the course is designed for seasoned barristers, please utilise the faculty for any questions you may have, although please wait until after class time if your query is not related to the training provided on that day.

Each classroom will have a member of the Bar as a Helper, to assist with any matters relating to the recordings.  The SEC administrator will also be available to help in any way. 

We also suggest each classroom sets up a WhatsApp / Slack group, as you will be working together for the week and these tend to help with communication if any changes are made to the running programme. 

A copy of the 2019 Programme is available here

The deadline for the submission of application forms and references is Friday 10th June 2022, however, please apply early as places are filling up incredibly fast this year. 

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