The Bar Standards Board (BSB) is the regulatory body for barristers in England and Wales. It was established under the Legal Services Act 2007, which brought in sweeping changes to the way legal services were regulated in England and Wales.
In this article, we will explore the establishment of the BSB and its role in regulating the legal profession, as well as how to make a complaint.
Legal Services Act 2007
The Legal Services Act 2007 was a major piece of legislation that reformed the way legal services were regulated in England and Wales. Prior to the Act, the regulation of legal services was split between a number of different bodies, including the Law Society and the Bar Council. The Act established a single regulatory body for all legal services, known as the Legal Services Board (LSB). The LSB was given the power to oversee all legal regulators, including the BSB, and to set standards and enforce regulations.
Establishment of the Bar Standards Board
The Bar Standards Board was established under the Legal Services Act 2007 as an independent regulatory body for barristers in England and Wales. It became operational in January 2008, taking over the regulation of barristers from the Bar Council. The BSB’s main role is to regulate the education, training, and conduct of barristers, with the aim of maintaining the highest standards of professionalism and ethical behaviour in the profession.
The BSB is governed by a board of directors, who are responsible for setting the strategic direction of the organisation and ensuring that it fulfils its statutory obligations. The board is made up of 15 members, including barristers, lay members, and a representative of the Attorney General’s Office.
Role of the Bar Standards Board
The main role of the BSB is to regulate the education, training, and conduct of barristers in England and Wales. This includes setting standards for entry to the profession, regulating the training of barristers, and enforcing professional conduct rules.
The BSB is also responsible for ensuring that barristers are competent to practise, by setting and enforcing continuing professional development (CPD) requirements. Barristers are required to undertake a certain amount of CPD each year, in order to maintain their skills and knowledge.
The BSB also has the power to take disciplinary action against barristers who breach its rules and regulations. This can range from a simple reprimand to suspension or even disbarment. The BSB’s disciplinary process is set out in the BSB Handbook, which sets out the procedures that must be followed when making a complaint or referring a matter to the BSB.
How to report a concern to the Bar Standards Board
If you have a complaint about the conduct of a barrister, you can report a concern to the BSB. The BSB has a complaints procedure in place to ensure that complaints are dealt with fairly and efficiently.
The easiest way to report something to the Bar Standards Board is to use the Online Reporting Form.
You can also report your concern by using this Word version of the form and by sending it by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to: The Bar Standards Board, 289-293 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7HZ.
After assessing the concern and the information provided, the action the BSB can take include:-
Reporting concerns about barristers Bar Standards Board (BSB)
- Giving the barrister informal advice in order to reduce the risk of the problem happening again.
- Informing our Supervision Team of your concerns. They could then ask that a barrister, or an organisation, do something to improve the situation or to prevent the problem happening again.
- Referring the concern to our Investigation and Enforcement Team where there is potential breach of our Handbook rules for a formal investigation to be carried out to decide if enforcement action should be taken. There are a number of possible outcomes of an investigation. See how we make enforcement decisions to find out more about enforcement decisions.
- Deciding not to take any action. However, we will keep the information you have given us to inform our work in the future.
BSB Handbook 4.6
The BSB Handbook is a set of rules and regulations that govern the conduct of barristers. It sets out the standards of professionalism and ethical behaviour that barristers are expected to uphold, and the procedures that must be followed when making a complaint or referring a matter to the BSB.
BSB Handbook 4.6 sets out the rules and procedures for dealing with complaints about the conduct of barristers. It covers the requirements for making a complaint, the investigations process, and the sanctions that can be imposed if a barrister is found to have breached the BSB’s rules.
One important aspect of BSB Handbook 4.6 is the requirement for barristers to co-operate fully with any investigation into their conduct. This includes providing information and documents as requested, attending interviews, and responding to correspondence in a timely manner. Failure to co-operate fully with an investigation can result in additional sanctions being imposed.
Misconduct by a King’s Council (KC) Barrister ?
Whilst watching AAA & others v The Secretary of State for the Home Department on the Court of Appeal Civil Division Court 73 YouTube Channel, I wondered :-
Is it normal practice for an experienced barrister, such as Raza Husain KC, to
- Have their hands in their pockets when addressing a judge ?
- Not look at the judge who has asked the question when giving a reply ?
Other points of presentation can lead to points being deducted, including swigging from water bottles, putting your hands in your pockets while addressing the judge or allowing a mobile phone to ring in the middle of a legal exercise – an offence that will cost three points.Trainee barristers told they will be marked down…. The Guardian
Raza Husain KC told the Court of Appeal at the start of a four-day hearing that Rwanda was an authoritarian one-party state that did not tolerate opposition and claimed it imprisons, tortures and murders opponents.Asylum seekers launch appeal to overturn High Court’s decision that plans to send migrants to ‘authoritarian one-party’ Rwanda are lawful Daily Mail
The Bar Standards Board plays a vital role in regulating the legal profession in England and Wales and is essential for maintaining public confidence in the legal system.. It is responsible for maintaining the highest standards of professionalism and ethical behaviour among barristers, and for ensuring that they are competent to practise.
If you have a complaint about the conduct of a barrister, you can make a complaint to the BSB. The BSB has a complaints procedure in place to ensure that complaints are dealt with fairly and efficiently. The BSB Handbook 4.6 sets out the rules and procedures for making a complaint, and for dealing with investigations and sanctions.
Check out our article on the highly questionable Sussex Family Justice Board and make up your own mind.
We recommend you should always seek formal legal advice if required, from a qualified and reputable lawyer (solicitor or barrister).
Read our review of Gavin Howe Barrister
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