Forcing non-UK law graduates to do a GDL/CPE = Discrimination?


Reeta
The law graduates from the UK after completing their LLB are allowed to directly apply for the LPC/BVC programme while law graduates from any other English common Law country after completing their full-time LLB programme have to compulsorily first do a one year GDL/CPE programme before starting a LPC/BVC programme in the UK.

As all of you are already aware, GDL/CPE is a one year full-time (two years part-time) conversion programme for non-law graduates who are desirous of pursuing a law career.

Forcing law graduates from any other English common law country to do a one year full-time GDL/CPE programme before starting their LPC/BVC in the UK is:

1. Highly discriminatory in nature and such blatant discrimination should be, perhaps, challenged both in the UK and the EU courts.
2. Seems nothing more than a money making scheme by any University and/or private college in the UK conducting the GDL/CPE programme as (i) This may be a means by which such Universities and/or Colleges can end up enrolling more students for the GDL/CPE programme (ii) Non-UK law graduates enrolling for this programme are generally charged more tuition fees than the UK students enrolling for this programme.

Again, law graduates from an English common law country are good enough to appear for the QLTT (now QLTS) exam but not good enough to directly enrol for the LPC/BVC programme?

Thus, any law graduate from a non-UK English common law country ends up spending an additional year doing the GDL/LPC programme in the UK besides spending considerable money and effort doing such a programme (before being allowed to enrol for the LPC/BVC programme).

May I request forum members from all over the world (from English common law countries) to write to the Law Society of England and Wales asking them to explain the rationale behind such a discriminatory practice.
The law graduates from the UK after completing their LLB are allowed to directly apply for the LPC/BVC programme while law graduates from any other English common Law country after completing their full-time LLB programme have to compulsorily first do a one year GDL/CPE programme before starting a LPC/BVC programme in the UK.

As all of you are already aware, GDL/CPE is a one year full-time (two years part-time) conversion programme for non-law graduates who are desirous of pursuing a law career.

Forcing law graduates from any other English common law country to do a one year full-time GDL/CPE programme before starting their LPC/BVC in the UK is:

1. Highly discriminatory in nature and such blatant discrimination should be, perhaps, challenged both in the UK and the EU courts.
2. Seems nothing more than a money making scheme by any University and/or private college in the UK conducting the GDL/CPE programme as (i) This may be a means by which such Universities and/or Colleges can end up enrolling more students for the GDL/CPE programme (ii) Non-UK law graduates enrolling for this programme are generally charged more tuition fees than the UK students enrolling for this programme.

Again, law graduates from an English common law country are good enough to appear for the QLTT (now QLTS) exam but not good enough to directly enrol for the LPC/BVC programme?

Thus, any law graduate from a non-UK English common law country ends up spending an additional year doing the GDL/LPC programme in the UK besides spending considerable money and effort doing such a programme (before being allowed to enrol for the LPC/BVC programme).

May I request forum members from all over the world (from English common law countries) to write to the “Law Society of England and Wales” asking them to explain the rationale behind such a discriminatory practice.
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Kerfuffle
Is this a new policy? I'm wondering if the UK is responding the protectionist policies of other countries e.g. Canada and many US states and/or trying to limit the massive surplus of law graduates. The UK has always had a relatively open policy for foreign qualified lawyers (although I'm not sure about non-qualified foreign law grads).

The rationale for the extra year is that before sitting the Bar or LPC you must have completed the foundational law courses on English and Welsh law. But it seems somewhat harsh that common law degree holders need to take such courses.
Is this a new policy? I'm wondering if the UK is responding the protectionist policies of other countries e.g. Canada and many US states and/or trying to limit the massive surplus of law graduates. The UK has always had a relatively open policy for foreign qualified lawyers (although I'm not sure about non-qualified foreign law grads).

The rationale for the extra year is that before sitting the Bar or LPC you must have completed the foundational law courses on English and Welsh law. But it seems somewhat harsh that common law degree holders need to take such courses.
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Craig
+1 to what Reeta has stated in her above post.

This, I am afraid, is indeed a discriminatory practice from whatever way you look at it and no amount of spin "The rationale for the extra year is that before sitting the Bar or LPC you must have completed the foundational law courses on English and Welsh law" can basically distract from the underlying fact that it is just that i.e. a discriminatory practice being indulged by the law society of England and Wales.

The review of such a policy is long overdue and I think time has now come to do so....
+1 to what Reeta has stated in her above post.

This, I am afraid, is indeed a discriminatory practice from whatever way you look at it and no amount of spin "The rationale for the extra year is that before sitting the Bar or LPC you must have completed the foundational law courses on English and Welsh law" can basically distract from the underlying fact that it is just that i.e. a discriminatory practice being indulged by the law society of England and Wales.

The review of such a policy is long overdue and I think time has now come to do so....

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Craig
Kerfuffle wrote:

"I'm wondering if the UK is responding the protectionist policies of other countries e.g. Canada and many US states and/or trying to limit the massive surplus of law graduates".

Talking specifically of GDL/CPE....where is the question of "trying to limit the massive surplus of law graduates" because even if LLB from English common law countries were directly allowed to join the LPC programme, these international lawyers would still need a work permit after completing their LPC and before taking up a job in the UK.

All GDL/CPE does is end up wasting a year of non-UK law graduates from English common law countries compulsorily doing a programme which is primarily meant for non-law graduates.
Kerfuffle wrote:

"I'm wondering if the UK is responding the protectionist policies of other countries e.g. Canada and many US states and/or trying to limit the massive surplus of law graduates".

Talking specifically of GDL/CPE....where is the question of "trying to limit the massive surplus of law graduates" because even if LLB from English common law countries were directly allowed to join the LPC programme, these international lawyers would still need a work permit after completing their LPC and before taking up a job in the UK.

All GDL/CPE does is end up wasting a year of non-UK law graduates from English common law countries compulsorily doing a programme which is primarily meant for non-law graduates.
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Kerfuffle
So if it's not protectionism, why the policy Craig? It has to be more than simply wasting a year.
So if it's not protectionism, why the policy Craig? It has to be more than simply wasting a year.
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blueskies
If I want to do the LPC in the UK, I need to take a whole year to do just one subject on the GDL as I am exempt from everything else. Surely there is a more practical solution such as making me sit it as an entrance exam, which graduates could study for during the summer after graduation and then sit the exam in August, or even just adding the extra module to my LPC. I know in one way I'm lucky that I can work as one subject takes up very little of my time. I have a lot of sympathy for those who have to do a whole year of extra full-time study, are given no credit for their law degrees and are treated no differently to people who have no experience of studying law.
If I want to do the LPC in the UK, I need to take a whole year to do just one subject on the GDL as I am exempt from everything else. Surely there is a more practical solution such as making me sit it as an entrance exam, which graduates could study for during the summer after graduation and then sit the exam in August, or even just adding the extra module to my LPC. I know in one way I'm lucky that I can work as one subject takes up very little of my time. I have a lot of sympathy for those who have to do a whole year of extra full-time study, are given no credit for their law degrees and are treated no differently to people who have no experience of studying law.
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Sid5
+2 as I also broadly agree with the sentiments expressed by Reeta in her post.

Surely a country that likes to sit on a moral perch sanctimoniously lecturing to the rest of the world about Human Rights etc. cannot herself indulge in such type of open and blatant discrimination, could she?

Kerfuffle, you talk of "UK is responding the protectionist policies of other countries e.g. Canada and many US states....". So, according to you, two wrongs make a right? And this type of measure coming from the UK, once a beacon of light and hope to the remaining world as well as the oldest democracy in the world and all that..

Not only are law graduates from the other English common law countries literally forced to do a programme meant for non-law graduates but, to add insult to injury, even asked to pay through the nose in form of higher tuition fees for such a programme. Hmm..
+2 as I also broadly agree with the sentiments expressed by Reeta in her post.

Surely a country that likes to sit on a moral perch sanctimoniously lecturing to the rest of the world about Human Rights etc. cannot herself indulge in such type of open and blatant discrimination, could she?

Kerfuffle, you talk of "UK is responding the protectionist policies of other countries e.g. Canada and many US states....". So, according to you, two wrongs make a right? And this type of measure coming from the UK, once a beacon of light and hope to the remaining world as well as the oldest democracy in the world and all that..

Not only are law graduates from the other English common law countries literally forced to do a programme meant for non-law graduates but, to add insult to injury, even asked to pay through the nose in form of higher tuition fees for such a programme. Hmm..
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Reeta
All lawyers will recognise the oft cited aphorism of Lord Hewart from Rex v Sussex Justices; Ex parte McCarthy:

it is not merely of some importance but is of fundamental importance, that justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done.

Lord Bowen from Leeson v The General Medical Council (1889) 59 LJChNS 233 at 241:

Judges (in this case various law societies in democratic countries), like Caesars wife, should be above suspicion .

Lord Atkin from Ambard v Attorney-General for Trinidad and Tobago [1936] AC 322 at 335:

Justice is not a cloistered virtue.
All lawyers will recognise the oft cited aphorism of Lord Hewart from Rex v Sussex Justices; Ex parte McCarthy:

“… it is not merely of some importance but is of fundamental importance, that justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done.”

Lord Bowen from Leeson v The General Medical Council (1889) 59 LJChNS 233 at 241:

“… Judges (in this case various law societies in democratic countries), like Caesar’s wife, should be above suspicion …”.

Lord Atkin from Ambard v Attorney-General for Trinidad and Tobago [1936] AC 322 at 335:

“Justice is not a cloistered virtue.”







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Good Gosh
I don't see how this is discriminatory at all. Why should you be allowed to do the LPC/BVC if you have not studied all the foundation subjects necessary in order to be allowed on to the course? Even UK graduates in joint honour degrees such as Law and Anthropology - or even sometimes in straight law degrees - who have not completed the foundation subjects have to make up the subjects before they are allowed on to the LPC/BVC. Your law degree from India/America/Nigeria does not cover all the foundation subjects needed to practice in England and Wales. You need to make it up. So make it up. Why should the rules be bent for your benefit?
I don't see how this is discriminatory at all. Why should you be allowed to do the LPC/BVC if you have not studied all the foundation subjects necessary in order to be allowed on to the course? Even UK graduates in joint honour degrees such as Law and Anthropology - or even sometimes in straight law degrees - who have not completed the foundation subjects have to make up the subjects before they are allowed on to the LPC/BVC. Your law degree from India/America/Nigeria does not cover all the foundation subjects needed to practice in England and Wales. You need to make it up. So make it up. Why should the rules be bent for your benefit?
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blueskies
I have no objection to making up subjects in areas where there is a genuine difference in the law between the UK and the other country, but there could be other ways of doing this rather than a full year on the GDL. It is plainly offensive to say to somebody from a common law country who has spend three or four years studying law (maybe more with postgrads) that they need to do everything that a non-law graduate does. Either the GDL is too short a crash-course for non-law grads, or too long for law grads. I don't know which but the same course cannot be suitable for both. With regard to people with UK law degrees that need to make up modules, may I ask is this generally due to their own decisions in selecting subjects during their degree or are there actually cases of UK universities offering law degrees that do not offer the foundation subjects?
I have no objection to making up subjects in areas where there is a genuine difference in the law between the UK and the other country, but there could be other ways of doing this rather than a full year on the GDL. It is plainly offensive to say to somebody from a common law country who has spend three or four years studying law (maybe more with postgrads) that they need to do everything that a non-law graduate does. Either the GDL is too short a crash-course for non-law grads, or too long for law grads. I don't know which but the same course cannot be suitable for both. With regard to people with UK law degrees that need to make up modules, may I ask is this generally due to their own decisions in selecting subjects during their degree or are there actually cases of UK universities offering law degrees that do not offer the foundation subjects?
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Good Gosh
with regards to UK students: both. sometimes they don't take all 7 foundation subjects out of negligence (or because they don't anticipate a career as a barrister/solicitor so they pick other modules that interest them more), whereas with joint honour degrees sometimes you can't take all seven.
with regards to UK students: both. sometimes they don't take all 7 foundation subjects out of negligence (or because they don't anticipate a career as a barrister/solicitor so they pick other modules that interest them more), whereas with joint honour degrees sometimes you can't take all seven.
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blueskies
Thanks for answering that one Good Gosh.

I feel there has to be some middle ground here. OK, if somebody hasn't been examined in UK law, they obviously need to be before they can practice it, but giving them zero credit for the fact that they have a law degree and not some other discipline seems a bit harsh.

I suppose it's a tricky problem, fairly unique to law in some respects, because of the differences in the laws of different countries. There are other disciplines such as sciences where this question doesn't really arise as the subject is much more uniform across the world.
Thanks for answering that one Good Gosh.

I feel there has to be some middle ground here. OK, if somebody hasn't been examined in UK law, they obviously need to be before they can practice it, but giving them zero credit for the fact that they have a law degree and not some other discipline seems a bit harsh.

I suppose it's a tricky problem, fairly unique to law in some respects, because of the differences in the laws of different countries. There are other disciplines such as sciences where this question doesn't really arise as the subject is much more uniform across the world.
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Sid5
"Even UK graduates in joint honour degrees such as Law and Anthropology - or even sometimes in straight law degrees - who have not completed the foundation subjects have to make up the subjects before they are allowed on to the LPC/BVC".

How?
"Even UK graduates in joint honour degrees such as Law and Anthropology - or even sometimes in straight law degrees - who have not completed the foundation subjects have to make up the subjects before they are allowed on to the LPC/BVC".

How?
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Sid5
"if you have not studied all the foundation subjects necessary in order to be allowed on to the course"?

(i) What is the exact basis for you to have come to such a conclusion?

(ii) Are you, also, hinting that foundation subjects are different in all the English common law countries?
"if you have not studied all the foundation subjects necessary in order to be allowed on to the course"?

(i) What is the exact basis for you to have come to such a conclusion?

(ii) Are you, also, hinting that foundation subjects are different in all the English common law countries?

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Craig
Good gosh wrote:

"I don't see how this is discriminatory AT ALL. Why should you be allowed to do the LPC/BVC if you have not studied all the foundation subjects necessary in order to be allowed on to the course?

You first state "at all" and then in the very next line state "IF you have not studied"....and is this the best explanation you could come up with? Surely you can do better than that....come on, give it another shot....this time, albeit, in a slightly more convincing manner.
Good gosh wrote:

"I don't see how this is discriminatory AT ALL. Why should you be allowed to do the LPC/BVC if you have not studied all the foundation subjects necessary in order to be allowed on to the course?

You first state "at all" and then in the very next line state "IF you have not studied"....and is this the best explanation you could come up with? Surely you can do better than that....come on, give it another shot....this time, albeit, in a slightly more convincing manner.
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Kerfuffle
Craig, rather than simply attacking what other people are discussing here - why not give your opinion on the matter?
Craig, rather than simply attacking what other people are discussing here - why not give your opinion on the matter?
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Craig
"All GDL/CPE does is end up wasting a year of non-UK law graduates from English common law countries compulsorily doing a programme which is primarily meant for non-law graduates".
"All GDL/CPE does is end up wasting a year of non-UK law graduates from English common law countries compulsorily doing a programme which is primarily meant for non-law graduates".
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Craig
Kerfuffle wrote:

"Craig, rather than simply attacking what other people are discussing here".

By "other people" you mean having a difference of opinion with people who are vociferously trying to defend a rather discriminatory policy? So are you then only looking for "yes men"?
Kerfuffle wrote:

"Craig, rather than simply attacking what other people are discussing here".

By "other people" you mean having a difference of opinion with people who are vociferously trying to defend a rather discriminatory policy? So are you then only looking for "yes men"?
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Kerfuffle

Kerfuffle, you talk of "UK is responding the protectionist policies of other countries e.g. Canada and many US states....". So, according to you, two wrongs make a right? And this type of measure coming from the UK, once a beacon of light and hope to the remaining world as well as the oldest democracy in the world and all that..


Why do you assume it's necessarily "wrong"? If a non-qualified law graduate doesn't have the prerequisite knowledge - ie. the 7 (or 6 - I forget how many there are now) foundational courses on English and Welsh law - it seems correct that they should study this before embarking on the practical-based courses. Otherwise, they have gaps in their basic legal knowledge. Bear in mind, UK law graduates also face them same rules and GDL course when their degree becomes 7 years old - ie. it becomes "stale". However, yes, I agree, it is unfair if the foreign common law graduate has already studied those 7 foundational law courses in English and Welsh law in their home country (and especially so if, as someone says above, they only had to sit one exam).

The vast majority of countries make foreign non-qualified lawyers jump hoops before they can sit the bar (and often make lawyers with many years of PQE jump hoops too) - this can be viewed as blatant protectionism and/or creating ensuring a certain academic standard, but whatever the reasoning, why do you think the UK should operate any differently? (because of its history and "sanctimonious lecturing"....??).

For qualified lawyers, qualifying in the UK remains easier than many other countries (eg. there is no academic stage to complete, but two years of work exp. - some in the UK - and the QLTT). Check out how qualified lawyers fare trying to get in Canada and some US states.
<blockquote>
Kerfuffle, you talk of "UK is responding the protectionist policies of other countries e.g. Canada and many US states....". So, according to you, two wrongs make a right? And this type of measure coming from the UK, once a beacon of light and hope to the remaining world as well as the oldest democracy in the world and all that..
</blockquote>

Why do you assume it's necessarily "wrong"? If a non-qualified law graduate doesn't have the prerequisite knowledge - ie. the 7 (or 6 - I forget how many there are now) foundational courses on English and Welsh law - it seems correct that they should study this before embarking on the practical-based courses. Otherwise, they have gaps in their basic legal knowledge. Bear in mind, UK law graduates also face them same rules and GDL course when their degree becomes 7 years old - ie. it becomes "stale". However, yes, I agree, it is unfair if the foreign common law graduate has already studied those 7 foundational law courses in English and Welsh law in their home country (and especially so if, as someone says above, they only had to sit one exam).

The vast majority of countries make foreign non-qualified lawyers jump hoops before they can sit the bar (and often make lawyers with many years of PQE jump hoops too) - this can be viewed as blatant protectionism and/or creating ensuring a certain academic standard, but whatever the reasoning, why do you think the UK should operate any differently? (because of its history and "sanctimonious lecturing"....??).

For qualified lawyers, qualifying in the UK remains easier than many other countries (eg. there is no academic stage to complete, but two years of work exp. - some in the UK - and the QLTT). Check out how qualified lawyers fare trying to get in Canada and some US states.
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Kerfuffle
Kerfuffle wrote:

"Craig, rather than simply attacking what other people are discussing here".

By "other people" you mean having a difference of opinion with people who are vociferously trying to defend a rather discriminatory policy? So are you then only looking only for "yes men"?


No, I'm not looking for the "yes men" - I don't in any way intimate that. I'm simply discussing the problem - you seem to be looking to attack opinions and offer nothing meaningful.

As you'll see from my posts - if you stop cherry picking my words - I agree it is discriminatory practice, but only if a foreign law graduate has substantial knowledge of English and Welsh law.
<blockquote>Kerfuffle wrote:

"Craig, rather than simply attacking what other people are discussing here".

By "other people" you mean having a difference of opinion with people who are vociferously trying to defend a rather discriminatory policy? So are you then only looking only for "yes men"? </blockquote>

No, I'm not looking for the "yes men" - I don't in any way intimate that. I'm simply discussing the problem - you seem to be looking to attack opinions and offer nothing meaningful.

As you'll see from my posts - if you stop cherry picking my words - I agree it is discriminatory practice, but only if a foreign law graduate has substantial knowledge of English and Welsh law.
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