Detailed Syllabus for the Bar Transfer Test

Detailed below are the syllabuses for each area of the Bar Transfer Test

Detailed below are the syllabuses for each area of the Bar Transfer Test. Please note that:
•    Questions set in one section of the Test may require knowledge of the syllabus of a separate section.
•    Latest editions of recommended texts should always be used. Candidates should ensure that later editions have not superseded those indicated.  They will be expected to be familiar with the law in force at the time of their sitting the Test.
•    Inns of Court School of Law Course Manuals. These are manuals prepared for use on the Vocational Course at the Inns of Court School of Law and published by Oxford University Press. They are available from bookshops.
Opinion Writing
1.         The candidate must be able to:
•    identify and address the needs and objectives of the client and seek (subject always to ethical considerations) to provide a practical solution to the client’s problems
•         identify accurately and show a thorough grasp of all the material facts, the relevant law, the real issues, the relevant procedure, parties and evidence, distinguishing one issue from another;
•    identify and ask for further information/evidence, when necessary;
•    give clear, sound, practical advice on the matters raised in the instructions and advise on any practical steps to be taken
•    where appropriate, advise on the need for expert evidence, on quantum of damages, and on any limitation aspects
•    and generally give realistic and practical advice as to steps to be taken, including further inquiries or investigations, compliance with pre-action protocols, and other protocols necessary to take the matter forward.
in addition, opinions must:
•    cover everything that needs to be covered, be fully reasoned and follow a clear line of reasoning
•    answer all questions put in instructions
•    use  a clear and appropriate structure, dealing with each issue in a logical order and separating issues into paragraphs in a sensible way, dealing with one issue at a time and giving each its due weight and significance
•    be signed and dated, properly headed and  laid out, making sensible use of sub-headings where appropriate, and written in a style appropriate to an Opinion
•               be in clear grammatical English, correctly spelt, appropriately punctuated and written fluently and concisely in appropriate language
•    follow a logical order, distinguishing between different topics with appropriate subheadings
•   be as short as is consistent with advising properly on all aspects of the matter.
1.         The candidate must be able to:
• demonstrate a sound understanding of the nature, function and value of pleadings
• draft a full range of pleadings and other documents from simple to complex in civil and criminal proceedings using precedent appropriately
• draft a variety of documents (for example Particulars of Claim in a Claim Form; Any Statement of Case; Order; Witness Statement; Indictment; Grounds of Appeal and Advice on Appeal in a criminal case. Part 8 Claim Form; compromise agreement)
• draft documents that are written in clear grammatical English, correctly spelt and appropriately punctuated, and in a style that is fluent and concise, and appropriate to the document
• organise  documents that are well structured, properly headed and laid out, neat on the page, and containing all necessary formalities
• produce work that is accurate and contains correct figures and sums
• produce drafts that are precise and unambiguous, in terms that are appropriate, in compliance with the requirements of practice, sound in law, settled in the appropriate court and drafted to achieve the objectives agreed with the client
• make a critical use of the appropriate precedents, and relate structurally to other documents, consistent with any accompanying advice
• analyse and set out the material facts and tell a clear story, identifying the material issues and omitting all immaterial matters
• state accurately the client’s case, and identify the relief sought.
Contract Syllabus
1          Formation of Contracts
• Offer/Acceptance
• Intention to create legal relations
• Consideration
• Privity of contract
• Capacity/Formalities
2          Terms of the Contract
• Express terms, implied terms, particularly implied from statute (Sale of Goods
Act, Supply of Goods & Services)
• Conditions and warranties
• Exemption clauses
3          Vitiating factors
• Misrepresentation
• Mistake
     o      Duress/undue influence
o     Illegality/restraint of trade
4          Discharge of Contract
• Discharge by performance
• Discharge by frustration
• Discharge by breach
• Remedies
• Damages
•Specific performance
• Injunction
• Restitution
Tort Syllabus
1          Negligence
• Duty of care
• Negligent statements
• Professional negligence
• Nervous shock
•Breach of Duty
• Remoteness
• Causation
2           Employers’ liability
3          Trespass torts; Nuisance
4           Breach of statutory duty
5          Occupiers liability
6          Common issues in Tort and Contract
• Professional liability
• Product liability
• Mufti-party transactions
• Economic loss
• Misrepresentation
• Unfair Contract Terms Act
• Remedies
Land Law Syllabus
1           General
• Estates and interests which can be held in land and how these can exist
• Ways in which legal estates can be held
• The respective roles of trustees and beneficiaries
• The formalities governing the acquisition of interests in land
• Matters which may defeat an estate or interest
• Licences and leases in both commercial and residential contexts
• The regulation of land use through private law mechanisms (covenants and easements)
• How estates and interests in land are governed by the unregistered and registered systems of conveyancing.
Equity and Trusts Syllabus
1          Basic principles and rules of equity
• Creation of Private Trusts
o Certainty, formalities for creation and exceptions
o Rules against remoteness of vesting
o Secret trusts
• Charitable trusts
o Requirements for charitable status
o Cy-pres doctrine
o Purpose trusts and unincorporated associations
o Resulting and constructive trusts
o Implied trusts of the home
• Administration of private trusts  
            o Appointment and removal of  trustees
            o Variation of trusts
o Trustees’ powers and duties
o Breach of trust and defences
o Liability of strangers, tracing
English Legal System Syllabus
1.         Sources of English Law
Common Law, Equity and Legislation. (A detailed knowledge of the history of Common Law and Equity is not required).
2.          The Doctrine of Precedent
The operation of the doctrine of stare decisis and the hierarchy of Courts. The relationship between precedent and law reporting. Advantages and disadvantages of precedent. Do judges make law?
3.         The Interpretation of Legislation
United Kingdom legislation including delegated legislation, its advantages and disadvantages. Judicial approaches to the interpretation of statutes. Rules, presumptions and aids to construction. The Interpretation Act 1978. Interpretation of European Legislation.
4.          The Court Structure
The composition and jurisdiction of the House of Lords, the Court of Appeal, the High Court of Justice, the Crown Court, County Courts (including the small claims procedure), Coroners Courts and Magistrates Courts. [A detailed knowledge of rights of appeal is not required for this part of this syllabus, but may fall within the scope of other papers.]
5.         Tribunals
An outline knowledge only of the role and workings of tribunals. A knowledge of the advantages, disadvantages and control of tribunals is required.
6.          Judge and Jury
The appointment and conditions of tenure of the judges of the courts listed in 4 above.
Qualifications for jury service.  The use of juries in civil and criminal cases and the advantages and disadvantages of their use.
The roles of judge and jury.
7.         The Structure and Organisation of the Legal Profession
Barristers, solicitors and legal executives. The professional institutions responsible for the qualifications, conduct and discipline of members of the legal profession
8.         Lay participation in the legal system and alternative methods of Dispute Resolution. Lay magistrate, tribunal members, McKenzie friends, lay assessors. Conciliation, mediation, arbitration: Their advantages and disadvantages.
Constitutional and Administrative Law Syllabus
1          Nature and sources of Constitutional Law
• Doctrines of Constitutional Law
• Institutions of Constitutional Law in the UK and EU
• Government Powers and Accountability
2           EU Law
• Relations with the national legal order
• UK sovereignty and impact of EU Law
• EU remedies
3          Civil Liberties
• The Police
• The Judiciary
• Human rights -the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
4           Administrative Law
• Judicial review
• Jurisdiction – ultra vires
• Principles – natural justice
• Procedures and remedies
• Administrative tribunals
EU Law Syllabus
1          Basics of EU Law
• Recognition of the circumstances in which issues of EU Law may arise
• The relationship between EU and Domestic Law in a practical context
• The main content of and problems existing in some of the major areas of substantive EU Law and the impact of each on English Law, including:
o         Free movement of goods
o        Free movement of People
o        Competition Law
Criminal Law Syllabus
1          General
• The general principles of criminal liability (actus reus, mens rea and defences)
• Ability to apply these general principles to specific offences
• Understanding of the elements of specific offences
• Understanding of the role of case law, the rules of precedent, statutes and rules of statutory interpretation in the operation of criminal law.
2          The basic elements of criminal liability
 • Actus Reus
 • Causation
 • Omissions
 • Mens Rea (intention, recklessness  etc)
                        • Defences (including self defence, effect of mistake)
• Recklessness
3           Non-fatal offences against the person
• Assault and battery
• Assault occasioning actual bodily harm
• Causing or inflicting grievous bodily harm
• Robbery
4           Fatal offences against the person
• Murder
• Manslaughter
5           Modes of Participation
• Accessorial liability
• Inchoate offences
6           Offences involving fraud and dishonesty
• Theft
• Offences of fraud
• Evasion of liability by deception
• Making off without payment
• Handling stolen goods
• Burglary
7          Road Traffic Offences
• Taking a vehicle without the owners consent
• Aggravated vehicle taking
8           Other Offences
• Public order offences
• Criminal damage
9           Weight of evidence
Evidence Syllabus
1.           Introductory: Nature of the subject. Basic concepts; relevance, admissibility, weight, credibility, judicial discretion, Relative roles of judge and jury. Characteristics or a fact in issue, formal admission, judicial notice. Types of evidence. The nature of the hearsay problem, judicial warnings.
2.         Burden of proof; Standard of proof; Presumptions: General rules and exceptions: different categories of presumptions. [Only the following presumptions need to be studied in any detail –res ipsa loquitor, intention, recently stolen goods, legitimacy, death, regularity]
3.          Witnesses and the course of evidence; Attendance of witnesses; Evidence through live television links and video recordings of interviews with children; Sworn and unsworn evidence; competence and compellability; Rules relating to the examination of witnesses; Evidence in chief; including Leading questions; refreshing memory; The rule against previous consistent statements and exceptions; Unfavourable and hostile witnesses. Cross examination; including Previous inconsistent statements; The finality rule and exceptions; Impugning or supporting credibility or veracity. Re-examination.
4.  Evidence of character including previous convictions under the common law and  the Criminal Justice Act 2003.
5.                   Inferences from the accused’s lies, conduct and silence, including  ss.34-38 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, ss.61-65 Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 as amended and s11 Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996.
6.          Hearsay, limits of the exclusionary rule; original evidence, exceptions to the rule-     general. Hearsay in civil cases: Civil Evidence Act 1995. Children Act 1989 s96. Hearsay exceptions in criminal cases: Criminal Justice Act 2003.
7.          Confessions including relevant Codes of Practice; Illegally obtained evidence.
8.          Opinion Evidence. Judgments as evidence of the facts on which they were based. Civil Evidence Act 1968 ss11-13, s74 Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984
9.  Identification evidence including relevant Codes of Practice; Turnbull guidelines.
10. Privilege – general. Particular privileges: self-incrimination, legal professional privilege, other professional and confidential relationships. Statements without prejudice.
11.        Public interest immunity.
12.        Documentary evidence. Real Evidence.
Criminal Procedure Syllabus
1.          This candidate must have detailed knowledge and understanding of the legal procedures relating to:
•    criminal arrest and the various modes of trial and sentencing
•    the roles of the Magistrates, Crown and appellate Courts
•    special measures for juveniles
•    jury trials
•    sentencing powers of the various courts
•    appeal procedures
2.          The candidate must be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:
1.    the processes related to arrest, legal aid, costs, remand and bail
2.    the various modes of trial, including special procedures, summary trials, verdicts and sentencing
3.    appeals from the Magistrates to Crown/Divisional Courts
4.    procedures related to juveniles, and the criminal courts
5.    transfer procedures, indictments, pleas and Crown Court preliminaries
6.    procedural steps in a jury trial, including handling of witnesses
7.    identify grounds for appeal, and be able to follow the procedures for appeal to the Court of Appeal and House of Lords
8.    sentencing powers of the various courts, including procedural steps involved
Civil Procedure Syllabus
1.         The candidate must have detailed knowledge and understanding of how to:
•    analyse and explain the Human Rights Act and its implications
•    consider how to identify a client’s needs for a particular remedy, and give appropriate advice
•    explore the general principles underlying damages for breach of contract and tort, the availability of equitable remedies, and remedies for misrepresentation.
•    provide a sound understanding of the organisation of the High  and  County Courts, the overriding objective of the civil procedure rules, and various types of claims (fast track and multi-track)
•    explain the procedure for applying for an injunction, and the rules and procedures relating to multiple causes of action, multiple parties and Part 20 claims
•        explain the procedure for claiming judicial review and the remedies of quashing order,  mandatory order, prohibiting order, declaration and injunction in judicial review proceedings
•    discuss the law, principles and procedure regulating the disclosure and inspection of documents, the principles relating to the provision of further information, and to freezing injunctions and search orders
•    provide knowledge and understanding of striking out, dismissal, stays and discontinuance, interlocutory-matters
•         explain the law and practice relating to the admission of types of evidence in civil trials, and preparation for trial
•    detail costs and Legal Aid
•         develop skills in applying the different methods of enforcing money and other judgments
2.          The candidate must be able to:
                           1.       demonstrate a sound understanding of the manner in which parties are required to set out and verify the factual basis of their respective cases in statements of case;
                           2.       identify a client’s needs for a particular remedy and give appropriate advice
                           3.       understand the general principles underlying damages for breach of contract and tort
                  4.    understand and advise on the general principles underlying the amount of damages
                  5.     demonstrate a sound understanding of the organisation of the High Court and the County Courts;
                           6.  demonstrate a sound understanding of the procedures that must be observed in the High Court and County Court;
                           7.       have a sound understanding of the procedure for applying for an injunction
                  8.     understand the procedure in cases involving three or more parties including a sound knowledge of the rules and procedures relating to multiple causes of action and multiple parties and Part 20 claims
                           9.       understand and advise on the procedure for claiming judicial review and the appropriate remedies
                10.    understand the  procedures relating to disclosure and inspection of documents, and case management
                11.     demonstrate a sound understanding of when it may be appropriate to seek to make a request for further information, the principles on which requests for further information may be administered or are allowed and how to respond to a request for further information.
                12.     demonstrate a sound understanding of freezing and search orders, striking out, dismissal, stays and discontinuance
                       13.       be able effectively to consider interlocutory matters (including judgment without trial)
                14.     be able to demonstrate a sound understanding of default, summary and other judgments
                       15.       demonstrate  a sound understanding of the law and practice relating to the admission of evidence in civil trials
                       16.       have a sound understanding of preparations necessary for trial
                       17.       to understand and distinguish between different bases of assessment of costs;
                       18.       to gain a sound working knowledge of the different methods of enforcing money and other judgments and the principles and procedures  governing civil appeals;
Advocacy Syllabus
1.          The course seeks to:
•    provide the skills necessary to prepare, manage, present and/or respond to a case or legal argument, both orally and in writing, before a court or other tribunal, whether formal or informal;
•    provide, at an initial level, the essential skills for a persuasive modern advocate, as defined by the Dutton[1] criteria:
o     the ability to persuade orally
o     the ability to persuade in written argument
o      cogent legal and factual analysis
o     the ability to develop reasoned argument, and
o     forensic skills with evidence (both written and oral)
– all of the foregoing undertaken to high ethical standards;
•        prepare candidates for the advocacy training methods to which they will be exposed in pupillage and thereafter;
•    introduce candidates to the advocacy training methods approved by the        Advocacy
Training Council, by training candidates strictly in accordance with those methods;
•        provide knowledge and understanding of the manner in which legal submissions should be made and responded to.
2.          By the end of this unit, following the study of Advocacy, the candidate will be able to:
1.  prepare a case effectively,  understanding  the relevant  law, facts and principles, observing the rules of professional conduct and planning the advocacy task in question
2.   demonstrate basic advocacy skills in a range of civil and criminal scenarios, in
applications and in trial(s), and before a range of tribunals
3.   prepare and deliver each of the following:
a.  an opening speech;
b.  a closing speech;
c.   an unopposed submission; and
d.   an opposed submission.
e.  examine, cross-examine and re-examine witnesses.
Professional Conduct
1.         The candidate must be able to:
•    inculcate the fundamental concepts of professional and ethical values required of a practising barrister at the Bar of England and Wales
•    provide knowledge and understanding of the philosophical issues and purposes underpinning ethical behaviour, including the concept of duty in professional life both to the client and to the rule of law
•    provide in depth knowledge and understanding of the requirements of the Code of
2.          The candidate must be able to:
1.  understand and appreciate the core professional values which underpin practice at the Bar of England and Wales, particularly the additional moral responsibilities held by the profession (over and above the population in general) due to decision­ making roles, functions and authority which are key to practice at the Bar
2.   correctly identify issues of professional ethics and conduct which appear in given situations as likely to arise in a barrister’s practice (e.g. conflict of interest)
3.  demonstrate a sound working knowledge of the provisions of the Code of
Conduct of the Bar of England and Wales, and demonstrate existing and future adherence to that Code
4.   demonstrate the capacity to provide a professional and responsible approach to clients who place trust in the profession on the basis that the service provided will be of benefit
5.   display a professional and responsible approach to the course, staff and other
candidates, and to observe the Code of Practice in order to prevent exploitation of clients and preserve the integrity of the profession, maintaining the public’s trust and ensuring continuance of the provision of service

[1] Report of the Bar Council Working Party, chaired by Timothy Dutton QC, published October 2002.