1 Sep 2020

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has today published a new version of the BSB Handbook (version 4.5) to reflect the new Internal Governance Rules (IGRs) that govern its relationship with the Bar Council. It has also amended a few of the procedural requirements of the Handbook’s Disciplinary Tribunal Rules and updated guidance on compliance with barristers’ Core Duty 9, which will enhance the effectiveness of its regulation.  

The new IGRs, set by the Legal Services Board (LSB), aim to further enhance the BSB’s regulatory independence and this new edition of the Handbook therefore reflects the requirements of the new rules.

The amendments to the Disciplinary Tribunal Rules enhance the BSB’s regulatory effectiveness by enabling Disciplinary Tribunals to rely on wasted cost orders as proof of conduct occurring. They also clarify that Directions Judges have the discretion to make cost orders. These amendments do not impose any new obligations on barristers.

The BSB has also provided barristers with updated guidance on Core Duty 9, making clear that barristers’ duty to co-operate with their regulators includes all relevant regulators and ombudsman schemes.

The BSB will be issuing a protocol to make clear that BPTC students taking centralised examinations in Professional Ethics following study during the 2019/20 and previous academic years will be examined on the syllabus issued in February 2020, which was based on the previous version of the Handbook.

A BSB spokesperson said: “I am pleased that this new version of the Handbook reflects the important changes recently made to the Internal Governance Rules. Together with the other amendments we have announced today, this will further enhance the independence and the effectiveness of our regulation”.


Notes to editors

About the Bar Standards Board

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