13 February 2016

Disciplinary tribunals and findings

The information on this page is for barristers and authorised bodies who are facing disciplinary action and for anyone who wants to know more about the Bar Standard Board's disciplinary processes.

Following our investigation of a complaint, we may decide to refer it to disciplinary action if we consider we have enough evidence to prove that there has been a serious breach of the Handbook. Disciplinary action can be taken in two ways:

1) by the determination by Consent procedure; or

2) by a hearing in front of a Disciplinary Tribunal.


Disciplinary Tribunals

Disciplinary tribunals are arranged by an independent organisation called the Bar Tribunals and Adjudication Service (BTAS). It appoints members of Disciplinary Tribunal panels and arranges hearings.

Tribunal panels are made up of barristers, lay people (non-legal professionals), and sometimes judges. All panels will include at least one lay person.

There are two types of Disciplinary Tribunal: three-person panels and five-person panels. We will decide which type of panel is most suitable to hear a case, depending on the seriousness of the potential breach of the BSB Handbook. Both types of panel follow the same process, but the sentencing powers are slightly different.

When a case is referred to a Disciplinary Tribunal, we will ask a prosecutor to represent us at the hearing. The prosecutor is chosen from a panel of prosecutors maintained by the Professional Conduct Department.


You can find out more about the disciplinary process by reading our leaflet on Disciplinary Tribunals and by clicking on the links below:

Hearings: The  Forthcoming Hearings page of the BTAS website contains further information for anyone wishing to attend a hearing, as well as details of hearings scheduled for the forthcoming weeks.

Decisions: You can find out how to view a decision of a Disciplinary Tribunal or search a barrister's disciplinary record on our Disciplinary Findings page.

You can also view the names of all disqualified persons here.

Appeals: All persons and bodies we regulate who have been found guilty of charges of professional misconduct at a Disciplinary Tribunal have the right to appeal the findings. For more information on the appeals process, please click here.

You can also view judgments (decisions of a court written by the Judge) from the appeals of Disciplinary Tribunals and Judicial Review proceedings here.

Interim suspensions: If it is in the interest of the public to stop a BSB authorised person from providing legal services before their case has reached a Disciplinary Tribunal, an Interim Panel can impose a period of 'interim suspension'. More information about interim suspensions can be found here.

Determination by Consent (DBC)

The determination by Consent Procedure (DBC) is an alternative way of dealing with cases that would otherwise be referred to a Disciplinary Tribunal. You can read more about the DBC procedure here.