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Barrister - Explained

barrister (also known as barrister-at-law or Bar-at-law) is a type of lawyer in common law jurisdictions with a split legal profession. Barristers specialise in courtroom advocacy and litigation. Their tasks include taking cases in courts and tribunals, drafting legal pleadings, researching the philosophy, hypothesis and history of law, and giving expert legal opinions. Often, barristers are also recognised as legal scholars.

Barristers are distinguished from solicitors, who have more direct access to clients, and may do transactional-type legal work. Barristers are rarely hired by clients directly but instead are retained (or instructed) by solicitors to act on behalf of clients. Also, barristers can be appointed as judges, whereas solicitors not. In some legal systems, including those of ScotlandSouth AfricaScandinaviaPakistanIndiaBangladesh, the British Crown dependencies of JerseyGuernsey and the Isle of Man, the word barrister is also regarded as an honorific title.

In a few jurisdictions, barristers are usually forbidden from "conducting" litigation, and can only act on the instructions of a judge who performs tasks such as corresponding with parties and the court, and drafting court documents. In England and Wales, barristers may seek authorisation from the Bar Standards Board to conduct litigation. This allows a barrister to practise in a 'dual capacity', fulfilling the role of both barrister and solicitor.[1]

In some countries with common law legal systems, like New Zealand and some regions of Australialawyersare entitled to practise both as barristers and solicitors, but it remains a separate system of qualification to practise exclusively as a barrister.

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