of Senior Counsel (postnominal SC; 資深大律師 in
Kong; 高级律师 in Singapore) or State Counsel is given to a
senior barrister or advocate in some countries, especially in current
or former Commonwealth countries or jurisdictions in which the
British monarch is no longer head of state, such as Hong Kong, Ireland, South Africa, Singapore, Guyana and Trinidad and
The use of SC was introduced by former Commonwealth nations and
territories after independence from Britain. The dropping of the
colonial legal title of QC was necessary when all ties to the
monarchy needed to be severed, like in the case of Hong Kong
following the handover in 1997.
It replaces the title Queen's
(or in times with a male sovereign, King's Counsel
jurisdictions have adopted similar titles such as Senior Advocate in India , Bangladesh and Nigeria (see
Senior Advocate of
Nigeria), and President's Counsel in
The rank of Senior Counsel has also been introduced in Australia
. It was temporarily established in New Zealand from 2007 until 2009.
It is in the process
of being abolished by the New Zealand Government in favour of
restoring the title of Queen's Counsel. Those appointed as Senior
Counsels have been given the option of becoming Queen's Counsels or
remaining as Senior Counsels.
State Counsel are the
public prosecutors in the legal system of Sri Lanka.
An example of dress in court.
Senior Counsel may style themselves as silks
, like their
British counterparts. This is the case in Australia, Hong Kong and
In Hong Kong, Senior Counsel (men or women) must wear the black
stuff and silk gown. When wigs are worn, they should cover the
Junior counsel do not wear the full gown, but the dress code
remains conservative and black.