Does it only apply to barristers or also solicitors? Why or why not?
- What is the basis/rationale for the cab rank rule?
The cab rank rule has been a defining feature of the English Bar for several hundred years. It original purpose was to ensure that parties to a case would obtain representation regardless of the predilection of the barrister to take the person as a client. There were periods, such as during the IRA bombing of mainland Britain in the 1970s, when defence counsel were difficult to come by. The cab rank rule was invoked by the Bar to ensure defendants had counsel in court... Source
- Why not solicitors?
Because barristers and solicitors operate under their own, distinct sets of rules.
The "cab rank rule", found at rC29 of the Bar Standards Handbook, is specific to barristers called to the Bar. Solicitors do not have a comparable rule or requirement.