HC Deb 19 May 2003 vol 405 cc653-4W
Mr. Gordon Prentice

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what his policy is on the awarding of QC status to non-practising barristers. [113550]

Ms Rosie Winterton

My noble and learned Friend, the Lord Chancellor, regards Queen's Counsel as a working rank within the profession. Only lawyers who have, and are entitled to exercise, full rights of audience in the High Court or Crown Court, and who regularly appear as advocates in appropriate courts and tribunals, are eligible to apply for appointment. He also recommends to Her Majesty the Queen the appointment of a small number of lawyers who are not in private practice, but who have made a significant contribution to the law, as Queen's Counsel 'honoris causa', a purely honorary appointment.