If a barrister or person we regulate appears to have broken the rules in the BSB Handbook, the Independent Decision-making Body decides whether to pass the case on to a Disciplinary Tribunal, to deal with the case themselves under the Determination by Consent rules, or, if there is not enough evidence that the rules have been broken, to dismiss the case.
Staff in the Investigations and Enforcement Team can also take decisions to dismiss cases where there is no evidence that the rules have been broken. Staff can also impose administrative sanctions and refer some cases to disciplinary action, for example, where a barrister has been convicted of a criminal offence involving deception or dishonesty.
The Independent Decision-making Body also makes decisions about appeals that have been made against a decision not to license a body to provide legal services, or appeals against decisions not to allow a barrister or authorised body not to meet specific BSB Handbook requirements. You can read more about this on our page about authorisations decisions.
The Independent Decision-making Body is made up of 32 decision makers, 13 of whom are barristers and 19 are members of the public who are not solicitors or barristers.
Decisions about individual cases are made by small panels of three or five decision makers. This ensures that decisions can be made efficiently and swiftly. Panels always include both barrister and non-legally qualified members and always include more non-legally qualified members than barristers.
All review requests are dealt with by an Independent Decision-making Body Panel on paper only.
Independent Decision-making Body Annual Report
The Independent Decision-making Body publishes an annual report of its work. The report for 2019-20 is available online.