Victorian silks to get choice of QC or SC

The Victorian Bar has announced that Victorian barristers appointed silks by the Chief Justice will from this year have the option to choose between the title of Senior Counsel (SC) or Queen's Counsel (QC).

The process for selection and appointment of Senior Counsel will remain as implemented under the two year pilot model, which has now been permanently adopted. The current model has the Chief Justice as central and sole appointor of Senior Counsel according to a selection and application process conducted annually.

The change will be that on appointment as Senior Counsel, barristers can apply for 'letters patent' from the State by an invitation of the Attorney General. It is the granting of 'letters patent' that enables the use of the 'Queen's Counsel' (or QC) title.

"We welcome this option which allows a choice between the two titles," said Will Alstergren SC, Victorian Bar Chairman. "It will be up to individuals to decide which title they prefer. To date QC's have been entitled to choose to adopt the title SC, but a barrister appointed an SC did not have that option. The process to be recognised a senior advocate at the Bar remains exactly the same."

All barristers holding the title of SC will be able to apply for letters patent so they may use the title QC.

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