BCI proposes minimum experience for practice at HC, SC

Advocates' regulatory body, the Bar Council of India on Friday proposed to introduce a mandatory two years of experience for new entrant to practice in the High Court and the Supreme Court. It said at least two years of practice at district court would be mandatory for a lawyer to represent a client in the high courts and similarly two years of practice at a high court would be required before letting a counsel argue a matter in the Supreme Court.

The BCI is proposing to amend its Rule and would exercise its powers vested under Section 7 and 49 of the Advocates Act, 1961, chairman Manan Kumar Mishra said.

All these rules are likely to be made effective from March 2020, he announced.

The move comes a day after CJI S A Bobde suggested for considering “imposition of qualification for appearing before the Supreme Court” to have a better legal system, in his speech at a felicitation function organised by the SC Bar Association.

“Any advocate could join the HC Bar now only after producing the certificate (as per the format prescribed by the BCI to be granted by an advocate having a minimum standing of 15 years at the Bar and the concerned district judge). No High Court Bar Associations can provide membership to any advocate unless the said experience certificate is produced along with the other materials to support the same,” he said in a press statement.

Likewise, experience certificate would be required by the HC Bar Association and Registrar General along with minimum appearances for practice in the SC.

The BCI also proposed a continuous legal education for advocates up to 10 years of practice as mandatory.

Mishra welcomed the suggestion to raise the retirement age of HC and SC judges but said: “then there should be no post-retirement assignment for the retired judges and assignments in tribunals, boards and commissions should be meant for deserving advocates only.”

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