The responsibility to robe pupil
The Committee’s attention was drawn to recent instances of pupils or family members requesting the master or solicitor moving the call to apply to the Court for a family member to robe the pupil upon admission to the Bar by the Presiding Judge.
The Committee would like to bring to members’ (and pupils’) attention that pursuant to Ruling 10.04 (3) of the Bar Council Rulings (made pursuant to s 57 of the Legal Profession Act 1976), only an Advocate & Solicitor with a valid practicing certificate and with at least 7 years standing shall robe a pupil. The Ruling is produced in full (emphasis added):
“CHAPTER 10 – PUPILLAGE
10.04 Duties and obligations of masters as regards his pupil’s call to the Bar
(1) It is the master’s duty to arrange for an Advocate and Solicitor of more than 7 years’ standing to move his pupil’s call to the Bar.
(2) The master shall make every effort to be present in Court for his pupil’s call.
(3) Only an Advocate and Solicitor with a valid Practising Certificate and who has at least seven (7) years’ standing shall robe a pupil upon admission to the Bar by the Presiding Judge.
(4) Any Advocate and Solicitor who robes a pupil on the admission to the Bar shall be in Open Court attire.
(5) The master shall ensure that his pupil strictly follows the Open Court attire.”
Masters/movers who face such requests from the pupil or their family members are requested to bring the abovementioned Ruling 10.04 (3) to their attention and to resist such requests and not to make such application to the Presiding Judge in view of the Ruling.
Taking photograph of call proceedings
It was also brought to the Committee’s attention that photographs are being taken of proceedings during the call in open court particularly when the pupil is being robed before the Presiding Judge.
This is unusual as photographing are not allowed during proceedings. Admissions to the Bar are strictly court proceedings, it is not a social occasion or to be treated as a lesser proceedings. Masters, movers and pupils are urged to take note of this and to ensure that photographs are not taken during proceedings.