Nottingham Trent launches UK’s first advocacy centre

Nottingham Trent University has launched Britain’s first academic centre dedicated to the study of advocacy.

The centre, which will form part of Nottingham Law School, will be led by senior lecturer and barrister Jeremy Robson and focus on how to best train lawyers to make sure their advocacy is effective, accurate and ethical.

Robson said: “Courtrooms are the places where an individual’s rights and liberties are put to the test. It is the duty of the advocate to ensure that their client’s interests are protected robustly. Despite the importance of this role there has been very little academic research conducted into what makes an effective advocate.

“Drawing on the expertise of many of the experienced advocates who teach at Nottingham Law School, part of Nottingham Trent University, and working in conjunction with our colleagues in the School of Psychology and School of Forensic Science we aim to change that.”

He added: “The legal system is currently in a state of significant change and one of the consequences of this is that more and more bodies are able to offer advocacy services. It is vital for the preservation of the rule of law that the standard of advocacy is maintained.

“It is also a skill which, if students can demonstrate they can do well, opens up a whole host of opportunities in the jobs market.

Robson was called to the Bar in 1999 and practised in courts throughout the Midlands until joining Nottingham Law School in 2008. He has since taught and designed a number of different advocacy programmes, including leading the LLM in Advocacy Skills, a bespoke programme commissioned by the attorney general of Malaysia.