THE INNS OF COURT COLLEGE OF ADVOCACY: PRINCIPLES FOR REMOTE ADVOCACY

In an extremely short amount of time the Inns of Court College of Advocacy has produced a remarkable guide “Principles for Remote Advocacy”. The document has entered the public domain today, with no restrictions on its use, it is available from the link here.

 

A GLIMPSE OF ITS ADVICE

Since the guidance follows its own rules and doesn’t waste a word it is difficult to extract key elements. Matters that caught my eye include:-

5. Make the best use of written argument

 Be aware that it is likely that rather more weight will fall on the written argument than
it does in typical hearings.
 Use the written argument to provide a clear road-map of the key issues and how you
expect to approach them.
 Use the written argument to provide a way of finding any key document, especially if
you are dealing with a complex body of evidence. Recognise that it is harder to
follow a remote presentation, and that the judge may well need an aide memoire
that can be consulted before and after the hearing.
 Do not, however, be tempted to shoehorn a mass of material of secondary
importance into the written argument. If anything, this is even worse when the oral
hearing is compressed, because it is likely to leave your written argument
disconnected from your oral presentation.
 Give careful thought to which parts of the argument will require oral presentation or
expansion, and how you are going to do that.

 

 

6. Be prepared, then be brief and to the point

 Your preparation needs to be more meticulous than it would be for a normal
hearing. In a remote hearing, time is at a premium. Remote communication has less
impact and less subtlety than face-to-face communication. Much of what follows is
general good advice for advocacy, but the requirement is heightened for remote
hearings