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Code of Practice

Objects of the Association

The Association of Child Abuse Lawyers is an organisation set up on the objects described in Paragraph 3 of its Memorandum of Association. These are reproduced as follows:-

The law and the client’s perspective

Any member of the Association who is a solicitor/legal executive/barrister undertakes:-

  1. that he/she is fully aware of and will always seek to minimise the potential impact of legal advice/proceedings on a client who is a survivor of abuse as well as on themselves;
  2. to ensure that as far as reasonably practicable every avenue of investigation in a case is considered and/or explored;
  3. to be prepared to pursue cases which may break legal boundaries and establish new legal precedents;
  4. to ensure that he/she is fully acquainted with the latest developments in the law relating to abuse and in particular the client’s potential rights under the Human Rights Act 1988.

The impact on the practitioner

  1. Any member of the Association undertakes that he/she will have regard for the impact of abuse cases and all those who are involved in them, whether client, lawyer, or person in any other capacity;
  2. All members of the Association recognise the impact of abuse cases on those who are involved, whether in a legal, medical or any other capacity. All members also recognise the potential prejudice to other cases which may result from that impact.

Assessment of cases

A member of the Association who is also a solicitor/legal executive undertakes to assess any case (involving an allegation of child abuse) referred to him/her by the Association. That member may refuse to assess such a case provided:

  1. he/she does not have requisite expertise for such a case;
  2. there is a potential conflict of interest;
  3. he/she considers that the acceptance of such a case would prejudice the interest of existing clients;
  4. there exists another good reason as to why he/she cannot accept the case

Instruction of experts

Assessment of the case means a thorough assessment of whether civil litigation or an application to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, or any other method of presentation of the case will lead to the award of compensation or other type of legal address for that client.

  1. Any member of the Association who is a solicitor/legal executive undertakes that he/she will only instruct an expert who has appropriate experience and that detailed and comprehensive instructions will be given to that expert;
  2. that member will ensure as far as reasonably practicable appropriate preparation of the client for examination by the expert