Bar Qualification Rules

BSB Handbook

Rule Q35 Where provision is made under this Section for a review by the BSB of a decision, any request for such a review must be accompanied by:

.1    a copy of any notice of the decision and the reasons for it received by the person requesting the review (“the applicant”);

.2    where the decision is a decision of an Inn or the ICC, copies of all documents submitted or received by the applicant which were before the Inn or the ICC;

.3    any further representations and evidence which the applicant wishes the BSB to take into account; and

.4    payment of such fee or fees as may be prescribed.

Rule Q36 Where the decision under review is a decision of an Inn, the BSB will invite the Inn to comment on any further representations and evidence which the applicant submits under Rule Q35.3.

Rule Q37 On a review under this Section the BSB:

.1    may affirm the decision under review or substitute any other decision which could have been made on the original application;

.2    may in an appropriate case reimburse the fee paid under Rule Q35.4; and

.3    will inform the applicant and any other interested person of its decision and the reasons for it.

Rule Q38 Where provision is made under this Section for a review of a decision by the BSB, this review may be delegated to an Independent Decision-Making Panel, where specified by the BSB.

Rule Q39 Where under this Section provision is made for a review by the BSB of a decision, no appeal may be made to the High Court unless such a review has taken place.

Rule Q40 An individual who is adversely affected by a decision of the BSB under Section B.2 may appeal to the High Court against the decision. 


1) A request for review must be submitted to the BSB with one month of notification of the original decision (eg the date of the relevant decision letter).

Independent decision-making body

2) The Independent Decision-Making Body (IDB) is a non-executive body with responsibility for taking all regulatory decisions that require independent input.

3) The IDB consists of a pool of 40 decision makers, 17 of whom are barristers and 23 are members of the public who are not solicitors or barristers (lay members). Panels of lay and barrister members will be formed to take decisions on individual cases. Three-person panels will be used for authorisations cases. All panels will have a lay majority and each panel meeting will have a Chair, drawn from the IDB pool.

4) The IDB ensures that all requests for review are determined fairly, effectively and efficiently and in accordance with the relevant regulations and guidelines.

Types of request for review

5) There are four main types of review considered by the IDB.

Review of a decision taken by the BSB (exemptions/waivers of the Bar Qualification Rules, AETO authorisation decisions) OR Review of a decision of the Inns’ Conduct Committee (ICC) on the admission and/or conduct of a student

Application Form


Application Guidelines


Review of an entity authorisation decision

Application Form


Application Guidelines


Review of a decision of the Bar Council Records Office regarding the issue/amendment/revocation of a practising certificate

Application Form


Application Guidelines


6) An individual seeking a review of a practising certificate decision may apply for a temporary practising certificate, pending the outcome of the request for review. Applications for the issue of a temporary practising certificate should be made on the same application form as the application for review. If a temporary practising certificate is issued it will usually be valid for three months from the date of issue.

Other types of review

7) For information on the results review process for the BPTC Centralised Assessments, please see Part 2B (B4) of the Bar Qualification Manual.

Appeals to the High Court

8) For information on appealing decisions of the BSB to the High Court, please see Part 2E (E2) of the Bar Qualification Manual