News update from The Bar Council

The Bar Council provides a regular News Update on general legal issues that will be of interest to our members.

The most recent News Updates can be viewed below. If you would would like to sign up to receive this News Update by email, please contact The Bar Council.

Friday 26 November

Annual Bar & Young Bar Conference

The Times (print and online) x 2, Law Society Gazette x 2, Legal Cheek, Business Fast, Scottish Legal News – The media report on the weekend’s Bar Council’s Annual Conference.

Most of the media hone in on the fact the Lord Chancellor chose not to attend the conference, sending a recorded message instead. The media highlight criticism from members of the Bar about his no show.

Other reports focus on the Lord Chief Justice’s comments about the poor state of the criminal justice system and the need for funding to tackle the backlog.

Race at the Bar

 BBC Radio Four – Law in Action, New Law Journal – Further coverage appears of the new Bar Council report on race at the Bar, which found barristers from ethnic minority backgrounds in England and Wales find it harder to enter law and progress their careers, are paid less and are at greater risk of bullying and harassment.

The report contains a number of recommendations including identification of goals for improving diversity within a fixed timescale and annual monitoring of data. There are also more specific recommendations relating to access to the profession, retention, progression and culture.

The Bar Council has committed to provide an annual update on actions taken against the recommendations as well as a comprehensive review in 2024.

Barbara Mills QC is interviewed about the report’s findings on BBC Radio Four’s Law in Action.

Budget/Spending review

Reading Chronicle, Market Drayton Advertiser, Bucks Free Press, Newport Advertiser – Further media coverage appears of the Bar Council’s reaction to the recent Budget statement, which saw extra funds for the Ministry of Justice and for tackling the backlog in the courts announced.

The Bar Council said that “there will still be a shortfall of funding to tackle the justice crisis, restore public confidence and reduce the backlogs in our courts and tribunals.”

BAR COUNCIL TWEETS

A photograph of the Times Law tweet

A photograph of the Journalism in Law tweet

Friday 12 November

Race at the Bar

Eastern Eye, The Voice, LawCareers.net, Legal Cheek, New Law Journal – Further coverage appears of the new Bar Council report on race at the Bar, which found barristers from ethnic minority backgrounds in England and Wales find it harder to enter law and progress their careers, are paid less and are at greater risk of bullying and harassment.

Barbara Mills QC and Simon Regis, co-chairs of the Bar Council race working group, said in a joint statement: “Data in the report categorically and definitively evidences, in quantitative and qualitative terms, that barristers from all ethnic minority backgrounds, and especially black and Asian women, face systemic obstacles to building and progressing a sustainable and rewarding career at the Bar.

“Quite rightly, practising barristers within the profession have expressed frustration over the amount of talk about race inequality at the bar, and the lack of action and failure to bring about change.”

The report contains a number of recommendations including identification of goals for improving diversity within a fixed timescale and annual monitoring of data. There are also more specific recommendations relating to access to the profession, retention, progression and culture.

The Bar Council has committed to provide an annual update on actions taken against the recommendations as well as a comprehensive review in 2024.

Derek Sweeting QC, Chair of the Bar, said: “We should reflect honestly on whether long held, and perhaps defensive, assumptions about the bar can survive the evidence and data which the report draws together. The bar is, for most of its members, a modern profession in which hard work and talent offer individuals the opportunity to thrive and contribute to our justice system. That opportunity needs to be open to all.”

Budget

PA Media, Express & Star, Shropshire Star – Further media coverage appears of the Bar Council’s reaction to the recent Budget statement, which saw extra funds for the Ministry of Justice and for tackling the backlog in the courts announced.

Derek Sweeting QC, Chair of the Bar, is quoted in media reports. He said, “there will still be a shortfall of funding to tackle the justice crisis, restore public confidence and reduce the backlogs in our courts and tribunals.”

Wellbeing

Legal Futures - Only 47% of barristers feel generally content with their working lives, a report for the Bar Council has found. A similar proportion, 45%, felt they could “cope with the competing demands” of their job in terms of workload.

The figures are taken from an analysis conducted by Portsmouth University’s quality of working life research group using data from this year’s barristers’ working lives survey. The survey received almost 3,500 responses from barristers in April and May.

BAR COUNCIL TWEETS

A photograph of David Lamy Tweet

A photograph of Bar Council Chair tweet

Friday 5 November 

Race at the Bar

The Daily Telegraph, p2, The Times, The Guardian, Politics Home, Legal Futures, Law Society Gazette, Public.co.uk, Yahoo.com – The national and legal media report on a new Bar Council report on race at the Bar, which found barristers from ethnic minority backgrounds in England and Wales find it harder to enter law and progress their careers, are paid less and are at greater risk of bullying and harassment.

Barbara Mills QC and Simon Regis, co-chairs of the Bar Council race working group, said in a joint statement: “Data in the report categorically and definitively evidences, in quantitative and qualitative terms, that barristers from all ethnic minority backgrounds, and especially black and Asian women, face systemic obstacles to building and progressing a sustainable and rewarding career at the Bar.

“Quite rightly, practising barristers within the profession have expressed frustration over the amount of talk about race inequality at the bar, and the lack of action and failure to bring about change.”

The report contains a number of recommendations including identification of goals for improving diversity within a fixed timescale and annual monitoring of data. There are also more specific recommendations relating to access to the profession, retention, progression and culture.

The Bar Council has committed to provide an annual update on actions taken against the recommendations as well as a comprehensive review in 2024.

Derek Sweeting QC, Chair of the Bar, said: “We should reflect honestly on whether long held, and perhaps defensive, assumptions about the bar can survive the evidence and data which the report draws together. The bar is, for most of its members, a modern profession in which hard work and talent offer individuals the opportunity to thrive and contribute to our justice system. That opportunity needs to be open to all.”

Budget

BBC Radio Four, Law in Action – Law in Action interviews Derek Sweeting QC, Chair of the Bar, on the government measures to tackle the court backlog which were announced in the recent Budget. 

BAR COUNCIL TWEETS

A photograph of the Bar council tweet about Barristers ethnic minority backgrounds 'face systematic obstacles'

A photograph of the legal futures tweet

 

Recent Bar Council News Updates 

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Date posted: 26 November 2021