Guidelines for the appointment of Queen's Counsel in Gibraltar
HE The Governor, Sir Adrian Johns, is pleased to announce updated guidelines for the appointment of Queen’s Counsel in Gibraltar. The guidelines, which replace those in effect since 1986, have been drafted following consultation with the Judicial Service Commission and the Bar Council in Gibraltar.
The rank of Queen’s Counsel in Gibraltar is available to a limited number of senior legal practitioners who have a minimum of 15 years’ experience since Call or Admission to the Bar and who will normally be expected to have displayed competence in litigation, although, in exceptional cases an applicant may come from a non-litigation background. Whatever the background, those appointed as QC will be of the highest standard of professional reputation and integrity, and recognised as being of eminent stature in the practice of the law.
There will be a biennial invitation for applications, which will be considered by the QC Appointments Committee. The Committee will be chaired by the Chief Justice and will comprise two members nominated by the Judicial Services Commission (of which they may be members) and two members appointed by the Governor, acting in his discretion. The Governor, as HM’s Representative, will make appointments to the rank of QC on the advice of the QC Appointments Committee.
The Governor said: “The last QC to be appointed in Gibraltar was in 2002 and so I am delighted that we now have an up to date process that will enable us to recognise the quality and status of the top practitioners in Gibraltar’s legal profession through the prestigious appointment as Queen’s Counsel.”
The new QC Committee will be formed and announced next month. Its first task will be formally to set out the process and to seek applications for appointment as QC. It is expected that this process will be completed in the course of the autumn and recommendations then submitted to the Governor. Given the likely level of interest, the Committee will ensure that its procedures allow good time for all those wishing to apply to have the opportunity to do so.