Bar Readers’ Course
The Bar Readers’ Course (BRC) is central to The Western Australian Bar’s commitment to promoting the highest standards of competence and ethical practice by persons choosing to practice as independent barristers.
The BRC is an integral part of commencing practice at the Bar, and is designed to ensure that members meet the recommended Australian Bar Association (ABA) standards.
Pursuant to clause 5(1)b of The WA Bar’s Constitution, new members are required to undertake the BRC, subject to any exemption granted by Bar Council.
The BRC comprises four modules: Ethics and Practice; Jurisdiction and Procedure; Evidence; and Advocacy. The BRC is conducted once each year, and is only open to members or prospective members.
Seminars in the Ethics and Practice, Jurisdiction and Procedure, and Evidence modules are conducted during May and June each year. Each module comprises a 6-8 two hour seminars, held one night per week (commencing at 5 pm).
The fourth BRC module (Advocacy) is completed by undertaking the Essential Trial Advocacy Course (ETAC). The ETAC is conducted under the auspices of the ABA in conjunction with The WA Bar and the South Australian Bar Association (SABA). The organisation of the ETAC alternates between The WA Bar and the SABA and is held alternatively in Perth and Adelaide. In 2021, ETAC will be held in Perth in July (date TBC).
The ETAC is designed to cater for new barristers starting at the smaller bars in Australia. It is an intensive course conducted over one week, which follows the ABA’s teaching of advocacy model. This model has been used in programmes throughout Australia since 2007. The course provides a unique opportunity for participants to benefit from intensive and effective training provided by an experienced coaching faculty. It allows participants to develop their skills by practising various aspects of advocacy and to experience the challenges and stresses which a barrister experiences before and during a trial. Performances are recorded and reviewed by a coach and the participant, providing a rare opportunity for barristers to receive supportive feedback from highly experienced and respected barristers.