Is the Priestley 11 on the chopping block?

The Law Admissions Consultative Commission has recently released a discussion paper  Review of Academic Requirements for Admission to the Legal Profession in which they propose to conduct a ‘limited review’ of the Priestley 11 Academic Requirements for Admission.  They are calling for submissions on the following questions by 31 March:

6.1 Should any or all of the following areas of knowledge be omitted from the Academic Requirements:

  • Civil Procedure
  • Company Law
  • Evidence
  • Ethics and Professional Responsibility?

6.2 If so, why?
6.3 Should Statutory Interpretation be included as an Academic Requirement?
6.4 Is any other area of knowledge, not presently included in the Academic Requirements, now of such basic potential importance to the great majority of practitioners today, that no law graduate should be permitted to practise without it?
6.5 If so, should any such area be added to the Academic Requirements?
6.6 Should the drafting technique used in the Academic Requirements be amended in any way?
6.7 If so, how?
6.8 In the light of the development of the TLOs, should the Academic Requirements be altered or supplemented also to take account of intellectual skills and personal attributes necessary to process and deploy the areas of knowledge prescribed by the Academic Requirements in legal practice?
6.9 How might the Academic Requirements be altered or supplemented to resolve some or all of the problems of consistency of standards referred to above; and, in particular,
6.10 How might the Academic Requirements be altered or supplemented to ensure that appropriate and consistent assessment regimes exist to certify that each successful student has demonstrated the common required knowledge and skills in each Academic Requirement to a common minimum standard?

That should be enough to keep everyone busy over Christmas …

In particular questions 6.3 and 6.10 seem to be deep seated concerns of LACC.  The two key questions not asked are, “How much can reasonably be expected of a university legal education in 2014?” and “What is the purpose of a university legal education?”

Kate Galloway has already posted a detailed blog responding to the issues it raises http://katgallow.blogspot.com.au/2014/12/changing-academic-requirements-for.html

There is likely to be a lot to say.

Alex Steel

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One thought on “Is the Priestley 11 on the chopping block?

  1. Prue vines says:

    It does seem like an awful lot of overkill. I think the way the judges are treating academics needs to be pushed back. They are saying to us that we do not know what we are doing. In fact, there is a lot of evidence that we do know what we are doing; further there is no evidence that their desire for extra assurance in the form of exams or particular subjects will have the desired effect which I presume they are after – competent statutory interpretation. Why are we going through this process yet again when there is no credible evidence of a problem? I can point to plenty of judgments that don’t do statutory interpretation very well, and plenty of others that do. The fact that one associate doesn’t do it well proves nothing. The fact that students never admit to having been taught anything also doesn’t prove either that they haven’t been taught it or that they didn’t learn it – just that they don’t wish to be put on the spot at the moment. This whole exercise just wastes our time.

    Liked by 1 person

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