SPA Common Professional and Advocacy Training Programme (CPAT)
SPA CPAT programme is designed to underpin the success of SPA in its core function of prosecutions. This programme will be provided to SPA Prosecuting Officers working in the UK and in Germany. The training is designed to raise the skills levels and learning opportunities of all Officers entering SPA as Prosecutors, and elevate them to the highest standards of all lawyers operating in the field of military law. It will be a programme designed to serve the wider interests of all three Services by enhancing the professional competencies of military lawyers who servie in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, and by instilling confidence in SPA, the work of which is vital in underpinning Service discipline.
All Prosecutors who will prosecute cases on behalf of SPA are officers who will have the ability to prosecute cases referred to SPA at Courts Martial and before other courts as necessary, commensurate with their experience. Such Officers will be drawn from the single Services and will be either barristers or solicitors with higher rights of audience or the potential to acquire such rights. In certain exceptional circumstances, employed advocates or advocates from private practice may be employed to advise or conduct cases on behalf of SPA, where insufficient Prosecutors are available from within SPA, or the case is of such complexity as warrants the use of external advocates.
On joining SPA, Prosecutors will be briefed by a Managing Prosecutor on particular procedures applicable to the conduct of cases within SPA.
All Prosecutors will be introduced on arrival to a formal SPA personal Induction Programme. In addition to both the personal individual induction and CPAT programmes there will be a formal advocacy introduction course, held twice a year, for those who require such additional training or a refresher course.
The CPAT programme is a purpose designed course for all Officers including Managing Prosecutors who will conduct cases on behalf of SPA and will be the main vehicle for training delivery. There will be a senior officer appointed to oversee the training programme which will be conducted under the personal superintendence of the DSP. It will cover all aspects of military law and procedure which Prosecutors are likely to be required to understand in the ordinary course of their work. The course will provide a full advocacy training programme consistent with courses provided by the Inns of Court. Officers have been trained by advocacy teachers from the Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn to conduct such advocacy training. There will be regular law and procedure updates, and written materials will be provided to underpin the subject matter of the courses. These will also be available on SPA intranet.