02 July 2012

New Equality and Diversity Rules for barristers approved

The Bar Standards Board (BSB), the regulator of barristers in England and Wales, has incorporated new equality and diversity rules into its Code of Conduct, which will be effective from 1 September 2012.

The rules, which have now been approved by the Legal Services Board (LSB), the overarching legal regulator, include a number of new requirements for self-employed barristers and barristers' chambers. The new rules include requirements for chambers to:

  • have a flexible working policy
  • use fair and objective selection criteria
  • ensure fair distribution of work amongst pupils and members of chambers

Baroness Ruth Deech, Chair of the BSB, said:

"We are very pleased to be implementing these new equality and diversity rules in September of this year. We are committed to ensuring that the Bar has appropriate structures in place to record important equality and diversity data and for chambers to be more proactive in the way they approach equality and diversity."

Ends

Notes to Editors

1. Information about the Bar Standards Boards approved application relating to new Equality and Diversity Rules, including a full list of the new rules, can be found through the following link: www.legalservicesboard.org.uk/what_we_do/regulation/applications.htm

2. Further information from the Bar Standards Board Press Office on 020 7611 1452.

3. The Bar Standards Board regulates barristers called to the Bar in England and Wales in the public interest.

It is responsible for:

  • Setting the education and training requirements for becoming a barrister
  • Setting continuing training requirements to ensure that barristers' skills are maintained throughout their careers
  • Setting standards of conduct for barristers
  • Monitoring the service provided by barristers to assure quality, and
  • Handling complaints against barristers and taking disciplinary or other action where appropriate.