The Douglas Wilson Advocacy Scholarship Trust has been providing assistance to lawyers to attend advocacy training programmes since 1986.
Initially it was for attendance at the annual Litigation Skills Programme but today its assistance is available for 11 different programmes. To be eligible an applicant must show financial need and that attendance at the programme will be of practical benefit both to themselves and users of legal services.
The Trust was established by the Law Society with seed funding and with donations from the profession. It was also part funded by royalties, donated by Oxford University Press, from Mauet’s Fundamentals of Trial Techniques.
In 2000, with the cessation of that text, the Law Society through its CLE Directorate, published Introduction to Advocacy with proceeds going to the Douglas Wilson Advocacy Trust.
Since that time the primary source of income of the trust has been from sales of the text. Recently between $16,000 and $29,000 has been awarded annually to applicants. Many lawyers who could not otherwise have attended training programmes have been assisted due to the trust’s resources. The text‘s second edition was published in 2008.
At the Trust’s recent annual general meeting, the trustees warmly welcomed the third 2014 edition. Under the stewardship of Sir Bruce Robertson QC (editor-in-chief) and Andrew Beck and Simon Mount (consulting editors), the text has been thoroughly reviewed and updated.
The trust is indebted to the editors and to the 26 contributing authors who include judges of the Court of Appeal, High Court and District Courts as well as a number of QCs and other members of the practising profession