23 Feb 2021

On 29 January, the Bar Tribunals Adjudication Service (BTAS) and the Bar Standards Board (BSB) announced that the current Sanctions Guidance covering professional misconduct has been under review since last year and that proposals from the review will be published and subject to consultation. 

The review is being taken forward by the BTAS secretariat together with the BSB with guidance from the BTAS Strategic Advisory Board which exists to provide an independent source of advice and challenge to BTAS. The Strategic Advisory Board has both lay and professional members and its terms of reference and membership are on the BTAS website.

We can now give more details as to how the changes to the Sanctions Guidance will be subject to consultation with both the Bar and with the wider public.

The intention is to undertake a first public consultation over a period of six weeks beginning in April seeking views on proposals to amend the recommended ranges of sanctions for specific types of breaches.

In the light of that consultation, the full Guidance will then be re-drafted and submitted for a further ten-week consultation which it is intended will begin in July. We expect the revised Guidance to come into force in November.

We very much hope that all those with an interest in these important matters will take part in the consultations and give their views. The consultation documents will be published on the BTAS website and Press Notices will be issued.

Anyone who wishes to register their interest in the consultation in advance should please email [email protected]<mailto:[email protected]>”



Notes to editors

About the BTAS Sanctions Guidance

This guidance has been developed by the Bar Tribunals and Adjudication Service (‘BTAS’) in collaboration with the Bar Standards Board (‘BSB’), for use by members of BTAS’s Disciplinary Tribunals when considering what sanctions should be imposed where a finding of professional misconduct has been made for a breach of the BSB Handbook. The current Guidance can be found here https://www.tbtas.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/BTAS-Sanctions-Guidance-2019.pdf.  

About disciplinary tribunals

The appointment, operation, and decisions (including sentencing) of disciplinary tribunal panels are performed by the Bar Tribunals and Adjudication Service (BTAS). BTAS is run independently of the Bar Standards Board, the barristers' regulator. The BSB is responsible for bringing charges of professional misconduct against barristers, which BTAS tribunal panels then adjudicate. The sanctions imposed are a matter for the tribunal having regard to BTAS Sanctions Guidance.

About the Bar Standards Board

Our mission is to regulate barristers and specialised legal services businesses in England and Wales in the public interest. For more information about what we do visit: http://bit.ly/1gwui8t


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