UCL Faculty of Laws


Research on the ethical knowledge and skills acquired by new advocates published this week

4 October 2016

The Centre for Ethics

New research, carried out by members of UCL Laws for the Inns of Court College of Advocacy (formerly The Advocacy Training Council), has been released with the aim of informing, through independent research and evidence, the development of ethics training by professional bodies and specialist practitioner groups.

Through a survey of 349 advocates, including barristers, solicitors and Chartered Legal Executive Advocates, and 77 interviews, the research, carried out by Professor Richard MoorheadCatrina Denvir, Nigel Balmer of UCL Laws and Mark Sefton, an independent consultant,  garnered views on ethical training and interviews assessed how new advocates would respond to a set of ethical problems. In this way we were able to test the ethical capacities of new advocates with realistic problems assessed by experts from practice. The survey also considered advocates’ values and their influence on ethical decision making.

Professor Richard Moorhead said:

“Testing professional competence and ethicality and learning from those findings is an important part of professional development. In my view, this research emphasises the need for professional training and mentoring in ethics to be strengthened beyond the professional courses and training on entry.”

Read the full report