Gray's Inn

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.

8 December 2017


The Brief, Scottish Legal, Politics Home - The UK could remain a member of the EU single market and customs union after Brexit, the barristers’ profession has said.

Chair of the Bar, Andrew Langdon QC said: “There is no logical or practical necessity for the UK to be a member of either the EU or the EEA [European Economic Area] in order to be a member of the internal market or the customs union,” the Bar Council’s Brexit working group said in a report published yesterday.

Chair of the Bar Council Brexit Working Group Hugh Mercer, QC said: “By building on the legal framework covering the EU’s existing opt-outs, the government could solve some of the most difficult issues in the current talks, while keeping the power to negotiate bilateral deals on agriculture, fisheries, competition, trade and environment, which would end ECJ [European Court of Justice] jurisdiction in those areas.”

CDR Magazine - In the closing address of CDR's Autumn Arbitration Symposium, Hugh Mercer QC, of Essex Court Chambers, gave an overview of the impact of Brexit on dispute resolution, and international arbitration in particular.

Mercer, who chairs the Bar Council of England & Wales’ Brexit Working Group, first looked at the United Kingdom government’s most recent paper on enforcement and dispute resolution.

Having published The Brexit Papers, a series of detailed legal briefings produced by the group, Mercer noted that the UK government’s paper bore striking similarities to the conclusions reached by the group’s own work on that subject, “which is very flattering”, he remarked, tongue-in-cheek.


Politics Home - Aspiring barristers competing for coveted pupillage positions, and those in pupillage, will now receive wellbeing support from new online resources, created by the Bar Council’s Wellbeing at the Bar Working Group, with input from the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust (CWMT), who specialise in young people’s mental health.

These resources are specifically aimed at those post-BPTC, seeking pupillage, and pupils up until they complete their training to become a barrister.

Sam Mercer, Head of Equality, Diversity & CSR at the Bar Council, said:

“The Bar Council and the Inns of Court recognise the unique challenges faced by those applying for pupillage and pupils themselves, and the wellbeing issues that commonly arise as a result. We felt there was a particular gap in support for those that had completed their BPTC but not yet achieved pupillage – particularly considering the pressure and level of competition often experienced by individuals seeking to secure their professional futures.”

Bar Council Tweets @thebarcouncil

4 December 2017

Immigration – indefinite detention

Lawyer Monthly - Judges have joined barristers, solicitors and a range of specialists in airing a catalogue of concerns over the Government’s treatment of immigration detainees in a report published last week that condemns inflexible Home Office rules and target-obsessed officials.

Speaking under the condition of strict anonymity for an independent study commissioned by the Bar Council, one judge claimed simply that ‘too many people are being banged up’.

Responding to ‘Injustices in Immigration Detention’ written by Dr Anna Lindley of SOAS, the Chair of the Bar Andrew Langdon QC said: “This is a very detailed and well-researched report drawing on interviews with judges, barristers, solicitors and a range of specialists.

“It shows that there is a growing sense of frustration with how the Home Office manages immigration detention. The Home Office is one of the great offices of state, but the quality of its decision-making is unacceptably poor. Dr Lindley’s research paints a picture of officials acting with little accountability, unable or unwilling to pursue obvious and viable alternatives to detention.

“It is right that Government should set immigration and removal targets according to the mandate for which it was elected, but given that the liberty of the individual is at stake, proper scrutiny is essential.

“If we cannot remove or detain people fairly and in accordance with the rule of law, we fail to live up to the standards we expect of others.”

Bar Council Tweets @thebarcouncil


Date posted: 04 December 2017