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An advocate is someone who speaks on behalf of another person, especially in a legal context. It is used primarily in reference to the system of Scots law, Anglo-Dutch law, Scandinavian and Israeli law, and also to refer to the fused legal professions in the Channel Islands and Isle of Manmarker. Implicit in the concept is the notion that the represented lacks the knowledge, skill, ability, or standing to speak for themselves. The broad equivalent in many English law-based jurisdictions is "barrister".

Advocates in Scotland

Advocates, members of the Faculty of Advocates, are counsel who are entitled to present cases in the supreme courts of Scotlandmarker: the Court of Sessionmarker and High Court of Justiciarymarker.

Faculty of Advocates

Advocates are regulated by the Faculty of Advocates in Edinburghmarker. The Faculty of Advocates has about 750 members, of whom about 460 are in private practice. About 75 are Queen's Counsel. The Faculty is headed by the Dean of the Faculty who, along with the Vice-Dean, Treasurer, Clerk are elected annually by secret ballot.

The Faculty has a service company, Faculty Services Ltd, to which almost all advocates belong and which organises the stables and fee collection. This gives a guarantee to all newly-called advocates of a place. Until the end of 2007 there was an agreement with the Law Society of Scotland, which is the professional body for Scottish solicitors, as to the payment of fees, but this has now been abrogated by the Law Society. It remains the case that advocates are not permitted to sue for their fees, as they have no contractual relationship with their instructing solicitor or with the client [10668]. Their fees are honoraria.

Advocates wear wigs, white bow-ties (or falls in the case of senior counsel), and gowns as dress in court.

Independent working

Advocates do not operate in chambers; they are entirely independent, although organised in eleven 'stables' for administrative purposes, and work out of the Advocates Librarymarker in Parliament Housemarker where the Court of Sessionmarker is situated, in a similar way to barristers in the Republic of Irelandmarker and Northern Irelandmarker. The High Court of Justiciarymarker, where advocates plead criminal cases, is situated across the Royal Mile from Parliament House.

Advocates do not act directly for members of the public, taking instructions from a solicitor. Since October 2006, however, direct access by others has been liberalised, and advocates can now accept instructions directly from an individual or organisation in four main categories - legal professionals, other professionals, public authorities and a wide range of other individuals and bodies. The list includes lawyers from outside Scotland, voluntary organisations, any person or body subject to complaints by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman, any public authority under EU law, recognised charities and voluntary organisations, public limited companies regulated by the London Stock Exchange and anyone acting in a governmental, judicial or legislative capacity [10669].

Becoming an advocate

The process of becoming an advocate is referred to as devilling. All Intrants will hold an LL.B. (Bachelor of Laws) and the Diploma in Legal Practice qualifying them as solicitors or be members of the Bar in another common law jurisdiction.


Devilling, as the period of pupillage or training to become an advocate is generally known, lasts between eight and nine months, and comprises a mix of skills training courses and time spent working with a devilmaster. The compulsory skills training courses, are spread across the devilling period and last for about ten weeks in total. For the balance of the period of devilling, devils work closely with their devilmasters.

All devils have a principal devilmaster who is a practising member of the junior bar of at least seven years standing, and working primarily in civil practice. Devils also spend part of the time with another devilmaster practising in the criminal courts, and many devils spend a short period of time with a third devilmaster working in a different aspect of civil work from their principal devilmaster. All devils and devilmasters are issued the current edition of the Faculty's Devil's Handbook.

In order to take a devil, a devilmaster must be approved by the Dean of Faculty. The Clerk of Faculty maintains a list of approved devilmasters, who may be contacted by email or via the Clerk's office.

Devils are expected to attend court with their devilmasters, and to attend consultations with solicitors instructing their devilmaster and with the solicitors' clients. A devil will also discuss the preparation and presentation of the cases in which their devilmaster is involved and will be required to draft written pleadings and opinions.

During the period of devilling, devils also carry out work for the Free Representation Unit. This is part of the Faculty's commitment to providing access to justice for everyone. The Free Representation Unit enables devils to provide advice and representation to clients of Citizens Advice Bureau from across Scotland.

Admission to the Faculty of Advocates

At the end of the devilling period, a devil's admission to the Faculty is dependent on certification by the principal devilmaster that the devil is a fit and proper person to be an advocate, and that the devil has been involved in a wide range of work in the course of devilling. A devil's competence in a number of aspects of written and oral advocacy is assessed during devilling, and if a devil is assessed as not to be competent, they will not be admitted to the Faculty. Further details of this process can be found in the assessment section.

Recent developments

In recent years, more advocates have come to the Scottish Bar after some time as solicitors, but it is possible to qualify with a law degree, after a year's traineeship in a solicitor's office and almost a year as a 'devil', or apprentice advocate. There are exceptions for lawyers who are qualified in other European jurisdictions, but all must take the training course as devils.

Until 2007, a number of young European lawyers were given a placement with advocates under the European Young Lawyers Scheme organised by the British Council. They are known as 'Eurodevils' in distinction to the Scottish 'devils'. This scheme was withdrawn by the British Council. In January 2009, a replacement scheme began.

Lawyers qualified in other EU states (but not England and Wales) may have limited rights of audience in the Scottish supreme courts if they appear with an advocate, and a few solicitors known as 'solicitor-advocates' have rights of audience, but for practical purposes advocates have almost exclusive rights of audience.

Some well-known advocates

Some well known Scottish advocates in the past were Sir Walter Scott, Alexander Boswell, James Boswell, David Dalrymple, Robert Louis Stevenson, Henry Home and Alexander Wedderburn. Others, at the present day , include Alastair Darling, Menzies Campbell, Malcolm Rifkind, Desmond Browne, Donald Findlay,and Ian Hamilton.

Advocates in the Channel Islands

Advocates, properly called Advocates of the Royal Court, are the only lawyers with rights of audience in the Channel Islands. To become an advocate, one has to possess a valid law degree or diploma, plus a qualification as an English barrister or solicitor, or a French avocat. They must then study for the Guernsey or Jersey Bar. In Guernsey, three months of study of Norman law at the Université de Caenmarker is required; this is no longer the case in Jersey. Guernsey Advocates dress in the same way as barristers, but substitute a black biretta-like toque for a wig, while those in Jersey go bare-headed. Advocates are entitled to prefix their names with 'Advocate'; e.g. Mr Tostevin is called to the Guernsey Bar and is henceforth known as Advocate Tostevin.

Advocates in the Isle of Man

Advocates are the only lawyers with rights of audience in the courts of the Isle of Manmarker. An Advocate's role is to give advice on all matters of law: it may involve representing a client in the civil and criminal courts or advising a client on matters such as matrimonial and family law, trusts and estates, regulatory matters, property transactions and commercial and business law. In court, Advocates wear a horsehair wig, stiff collar, bands and a gown in the same way as barristers do elsewhere.

To become an Advocate, it is normally necessary to hold either a qualifying law degree with no less than lower second class (2:2) honours, or else a degree in another subject with no less than lower second class (2:2) honours complemented by the Common Professional Examination. It is then necessary to obtain a legal professional qualification such as the Bar Professional Training Course or the Legal Practice Course. It is not, however, necessary actually to be admitted as an English barrister or solicitor in order to train as an Advocate.

Trainee Advocates (as Articled Clerks are now more usually known) normally undertake a period of two years’ training articled to a senior Advocate; in the case of English barristers or solicitors who have been practising or admitted for three years this training period is reduced to one year. Foreign lawyers who have been registered as legal practitioners in the Isle of Man for a certain period of time may also undertake a shorter period of training and supervision. During their training, all Trainee Advocates are required to pass the Isle of Man bar examinations, which include papers on civil and criminal practice, constitutional and land law, and company law and taxation, as well as accounts. The examinations are rigorous and candidates are limited to three attempts to pass each paper.

Senior English barristers are occasionally licensed to appear as Advocates in cases which are expected to be unusually long or complex, without having to pass the bar examination or undertake further training: they are permitted only to act in relation to the matter for which they have been licensed. Similarly, barristers and solicitors employed as public prosecutors may be licensed to appear as Advocates without having to pass the bar examination or undertake further training: they are permitted only to act as such only for the duration of that employment.

The professional conduct of Advocates is regulated by the Isle of Man Law Society, which also maintains a library for its members in Douglasmarker. While Advocates in the Isle of Man have not traditionally prefixed their names with 'Advocate' in the Channel Islands manner, some Advocates have now started to adopt this practice .

Advocates in Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway and Sweden) and Finland

The Scandinavian countries and Finland have a united legal profession, which means that they do not draw a distinction between lawyers who plead in court and those who do not. In order to get an official recognition with a advocates title, the candidate must have a legal degree, that is, completed ca. 5–6 years of legal studies, and in addition worked for some time (around 2 – 5 years) under the auspices of a qualified advocate and have some experience from court. When qualified, the candidate may obtain a license as an advocate, in all the Scandinavian languages: advokat. In Finland advokat is the Swedish title for such a qualified lawyer (the equivalent title in Finnish being asianajaja). However, one does not nessisarily have to be an advocate to practice law. In Sweden, for example, any adult can practice law and represent a party in court without any prior approval, training, licence or advocate title.

In English, the Scandinavian title of advokat is interchangeably also translated as barrister, lawyer or attorney-at-law.

Advocates in England and Wales

In Englandmarker and Walesmarker Advocates and Proctors practiced civil law in the admiralty and ecclesiastical courts in a similar way to Barristers and Attorneys or Solicitors in the common law and equity courts.

Advocates, who formed the senior branch of the legal profession in their field, were Doctors of Law of Oxford or Cambridge and Fellows of the Society of Doctors' Commons.

Advocates lost their exclusive rights of audience in probate and divorce cases when the crown took these matters over from the church in 1857, and in admiralty cases in 1859. The society was never formally wound up, but their building was sold off in 1865 and the last advocate died in 1912.

Barristers were admitted to the Court of Arches of the Church of England in 1867. More recently Solicitor Advocates have also been allowed to play this role

Advocates in India

In Indiamarker, the law relating to the Advocates is the Advocates Act, 1961 which is a law passed by the Parliament and is administered and enforced by the Bar Council of India. Under the Act, the Bar Council of India is the supreme regulatory body to regulate the legal profession in India and also to ensure the compliance of the laws and maintenance of professional standards by the legal profession in the country. For this purpose, the Bar Council of India is authorized to pass regulations and make orders in individual cases and also generally.

Also Atul Jaiswal Advocate at High Court of Madhya Pradesh (INDIA) bench at Indore having qualified in all respective branches as example M.S.(Instrumentation), M.Sc., LL.B.(Hon's), Cyber LAw, Advance JAVA from Pentasoft Channai, etc. which helps him to lead the cases sussessfully and helpful for clients Atul Jaiswal having mobile No. 9425347184, and (0731)2590998. and address as "Guru-Kripa" 3A, Sanchar Nagar Main Kanadia Road, Indore Pin 452016 Madhya Pradesh, INDIA.

Each State has a Bar Council of its own whose function is to enrol the Advocates willing to practice predominately within the territorial confines of that State and to perform the functions of the Bar Council of India within the territory assigned to them. Therefore each law degree holder has to get enrolled with a (and only one) State Bar Council in order to be authorized to practice in India. However enrolment with any State Bar Council does not restrict the Advocate from appearing before any court in India even though it is beyond the territorial jurisdiction of the State Bar Council with which he is enrolled.

The advantage with having the State Bar Councils is that the work load of the Bar Council of India can be divided into these various State Bar Councils and also that matters can be dealt with locally and in an expedited manner. However for all practical and legal purposes, the Bar Council of India retains with it the final power to take decisions in any and all matters related to the legal profession on the whole or with respect to any Advocate individually, as so provided under the Advocates Act, 1961.

The process for being entitled to practice in India is twofold. First, the applicant must be a holder of a law degree from a recognized institution in India and second, must pass the enrollment qualifications of the Bar Council of the state where he/she seeks to be enrolled. For this purpose, the Bar Council of India has an internal Committee whose function is to supervise and examine the various institutions conferring law degrees and to grant recognition to these institutions once they meet the required standards. In this manner the Bar Council of India also ensures the standard of education required for practicing in India are met with. As regards the qualification for enrollment with the State Bar Council, while the actual formalities may vary from one State to another, yet predominately they ensure that the application has not been a bankrupt /criminal and is generally fit to practice before courts of India.

Enrollment with a Bar Council also means that the law degree holder is recognized as an Advocate and is required to maintain a standards of conduct and professional demeanor at all times, both on and off the profession. The Bar Council of India also prescribes "Rules of Conduct" to be observed the Advocates in the courts, while interacting with clients and even otherwise.

All Advocates in India are at the same level and are recognized as such. Any distinction, if any, is made only on the basis of seniority, which implies the length of practice at the Bar. As a recognition of law practice and specialization in an area of law, there is a concept of conferral of Senior Advocate status. An Advocate may be recognized by the Judges of the High Court (in case of a Advocate practicing before that High Court) or by the Supreme Court (in case of the Advocate practicing before the Supreme Court). While the conferral of Senior Advocate status not only implies distinction and fame of the Advocate, it also requires the Senior Advocate to follow higher standards of conduct and some distinct rules. Also, a Senior Advocate is not allowed to interact directly with the clients. He can only take briefs from other Advocates and argue on the basis of the details given by them.

Further, under the Constitutional structure, there is a provision for elevation of Advocates as judges of High Courts and Supreme Court. The only requirement is the Advocate must have a ten years standing before the High Court(/s) or before the Supreme Court to be eligible for such. (Article 217 and 124 of the Constitution of India for High Courts and Supreme Court respectively)

Advocates in Pakistan

Four levels of Advocate exist in Pakistanmarker:


The lowest level is the Advocate, who is Eligible to practice in the district courts or lower. One can qualify as an Advocate after completion of a law degree, six months pupillage under an Advocate in his/her chambers and thereafter the Bar Council of the relevant province examine him/her that he is fit or not to become as an Advocate. After passing the interview/examination before the provincial Bar Council, the Bar Council will issue him/her the licence for appearing before the Court.

Advocate High Court

Advocate High Court is the second level, and is eligible to practice in the High Courts of Pakistan and below. A license is obtained after successful completion of two year's practice in the lower courts by application which is reviewed by a body of High Court Judges headed by the respective provincial Chief Justices and the relevant provincial Bar Council. Most applications after successful completion of the requirement are accepted.Because the Pakistani Legal System is based upon the English Legal System (rather than the Scots), persons called to the Bar of England and Wales are automatically enrolled as Advocates of the High Court Also Atul Jaiswal Advocate at High Court of Madhya Pradesh (INDIA) bench at Indore having qualified in all respective branches as example M.S.(Instrumentation), M.Sc., LL.B.(Hon's), Cyber LAw, Advance JAVA from Pentasoft Channai, etc. which helps him to lead the cases sussessfully and helpful for clients.

Advocate Supreme Court

Advocate Supreme Court is the third level. After successful completion of ten years practice at the High Courts by application to the Pakistan Bar Council and reviewed by a panel of Supreme Court Judges headed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan. (Before 1985 the requirement was successful completion of five years practice in the High Courts of Pakistan.) Over fifty percent of the number of applications after successful completion of the requirement are accepted. An unsuccessful application in one year does not bar the candidate from re-applying in the next judicial year.

Senior Advocate Supreme Court

The highest level is the Senior Advocate Supreme Court. It is Pakistan's title equivalent to Queen's Counsel in the United Kingdommarker.

After at least fifteen years practice by invitation by or an application to a panel of Supreme Court Judges headed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan. Very few applications are accepted and even fewer invitations are made. Attorneys General are usually invited by the Supreme Court on appointment to the office. So are some notable High Court judges who upon retirement choose to practice in the Supreme Court where they are still eligible to do so.

Advocates in Sri Lanka

In Sri Lankamarker (formally Ceylon) till 1973 Advocate was a practitioner in a court of law who is legally qualified to prosecute and defend actions in such court on the retainer of clients. Advocates had to pass the HSC exam and enter the Sri Lanka Law College and follow the relevant course. Following changers in 1973 the title was replaced with Attorney at law. The current equivalent to a advocate is a counsel who is a trial lawyer distinguished from an instructing attorney.

See also

External links

  1. Such as Advocate Paul Beckett [1]

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