To understand who criminal appeal barristers are, it is important that one first understands who a barrister is. Barristers are specialist advocates who possess distinctive legal competencies. Also known as bar-at-law or barrister-at-law, this type of advocate works at much higher levels of court and mainly specializes in courtroom litigation and advocacy.
The tasks of a barrister include drafting legal pleadings, taking cases to tribunals and superior courts, giving expert legal opinion, researching the hypothesis, philosophy, and history of law, and drafting legal pleadings for clients. These experts are considered legal scholars.
The services of a criminal appeals barrister (and all barristers in general) are quite different from those of solicitors. A solicitor is a legal expert that has more direct access to a client, and who, from time to time, does transactional-type legal work. Barristers-at-law are rarely approached or hired by a client directly.
Historically, barristers were the ones who had access to courts while access to clients was virtually exclusive to solicitors. In the 19th century, it was resolved that barristers could only act only after a solicitor instructed them to and they were precluded from dealing with clients directly. It was the task of a solicitor to select and instruct a barrister.
Criminal appeal barristers are lawyers who have been admitted to plead at the bar. This means that he/she has been called or approved to the bar by benchers of either one of the four available Inns of Court that is Lincolns Inn, Grays Inn, the Middle Temple, and the Inner Temple. Subject to pupilage requirements, a barrister, is allowed to appear before a court to appeal or argue a clients case.
Some of the requirements to call include going through the Inns of Court School of Law, attaining a second-class honours law degree, or validation from any authorized Bar Vocation Course for one-year and passing the final bar exam. The call is then followed by pupilage in chambers for one year, where an apprentice barrister benefits from attendance and association at court with a veteran barrister.
Engaging Criminal Appeal Barristers
A criminal appeal barrister is an advocate that specialises in handling criminal appeal cases. Most people looking to initiate or even respond to any legal action in court will have to first engage a solicitor for initial advice. Depending on the nature of your case, a solicitor will advise a client on whether or not he or she should consider engaging a barrister. If there is need to engage one, then the solicitor finds and briefs a barrister on behalf of the client.
The same applies to clients that are looking to have their criminal case appealed. If you feel that judgement on your case was not fair, and you feel that it needs to be revised, then you should consider looking for a criminal appeal barrister. But as it goes, you will first have to look for a solicitor who will consult with you, revise your case, and consider if it is worth appealing.
If they find there is a reason for legal action to be taken, they will then move to select a barrister that has the appropriate experience and skills in the law area involved and to prepare a brief that contains all the relevant information related to your cases issues and facts. In some instances, solicitors may also create a summary of all relevant legal decisions and legislations.
Once your case is underway, your instructing solicitor and appeal barrister work on a consultation basis. In summary, criminal appeal Barristers are specialist advocates that are able to provide an independent view of arguments and objectives in a case, argue on behalf of their client with specialist skills that have been honed and developed from frequent appearances in actual court environments, and advise both the instructing solicitor and the client on which legal strategies to take.