General Council of the Bar

Last updated
General Council of the Bar
Formation1894
PurposeRepresentative body for barristers in England and Wales
Chair
Derek Sweeting
Vice Chair
Mark Fenhalls

The General Council of the Bar, commonly known as the Bar Council, is the representative body for barristers in England and Wales. Established in 1894, the Bar Council is the 'approved regulator' of barristers, but discharges its regulatory function to the independent Bar Standards Board. As the lead representative body for barristers in England and Wales, the Bar Council’s work is devoted to ensuring the Bar’s voice is heard, efficiently and effectively, and with the interests of the Bar (and the public interest) as its focus. . [1]

Contents

History

The General Council of the Bar was created in 1894 to deal with breaches of a barrister's professional etiquette, something that had previously been handled by the judiciary. [2] Along with the Inns of Court it formed the Senate of the Inns of Court and the Bar in 1974, a union that was broken up on 1 January 1987 following a report by Lord Rawlinson. The Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 designated the Bar Council as the professional body for barristers, with the role as a regulatory body being split off in 2006 to form the Bar Standards Board.

Campaigns

The Bar Council campaigns on a range of issues in the profession and the public interest, including on social mobility, diversity and the state of the justice system. Its campaigns involve a range of press and media work, policy work, public affairs, stakeholder engagement and other communications activity.


I am the Bar

In Summer 2018, the Bar Council launched 'I am the Bar', to profile the experiences of those who have succeeded at the Bar from "non-traditional" backgrounds.

The award-winning campaign is designed to:

Raise the profile of social mobility to encourage aspiring barristers from under-represented backgrounds, highlight efforts made to improve access to & diversity at the Bar, support efforts to improve insight into the profession, drawing together social mobility efforts across chambers, Inns, other organisations and individual barristers.


Justice

The Bar Council campaigns for a properly funded and functioning system of justice, putting the case to Government for investment in the system, speaking to the public and highlighting gaps in access to justice in the public interest.

It continues to campaign in this area including through the press, social media and other communications and parliamentary activity.


Modernising the Bar

The Bar Council is leading the way in speeding up progress in modernising the Bar through various programmes and initiatives. We want to break down barriers to progress for all barristers and create a culture change at the Bar.

As the Bar Council celebrated 100 years of women in law, it considered how it wanted to shape the Bar for the next 100 years. This means breaking down barriers and obstacles that prevent women, those with disabilities, Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic and LGBT+ barristers from progressing and building thriving practices.

Its Accelerator Programme is aimed at speeding up progress to modernise the Bar and includes initiatives like: The Bar Council Leadership Programme, mentoring and sponsorship initiatives, best practice guides, supporting the young Bar, tackling discrimination, bullying, harassment and inappropriate behaviours.

List of Chairs

Related Research Articles

Barrister Lawyer specialised in court representation in England and Wales, and some other jurisdictions

A barrister is a type of lawyer in common law jurisdictions. Barristers mostly specialise in courtroom advocacy and litigation. Their tasks include taking cases in superior courts and tribunals, drafting legal pleadings, researching the philosophy, hypothesis and history of law, and giving expert legal opinions.

Sir David Cozens-Hardy Hirst was an English barrister and judge who served as a Lord Justice of Appeal from 1992 to 1999. The Times described him as "one of the leading advocates of his generation".

Terence Etherton, Baron Etherton British former judge

Terence Michael Elkan Barnet Etherton, Baron Etherton, PC is a British retired judge and member of the House of Lords. He was the Master of the Rolls and Head of Civil Justice from 2016 to 2021 and Chancellor of the High Court from 2013 to 2016.

Wayne Martin (judge)

Wayne Stewart MartinQC is a lawyer and former judge who served as Chief Justice of Western Australia from 2006 until his retirement in 2018. Martin is also the Lieutenant-Governor of Western Australia, having been sworn in on 9 October 2009.

Edward Gardner (British politician)

Sir Edward Lucas Gardner, QC was a barrister and British Conservative Party politician. Upon his death, The Guardian referred to him as 'the last of the pre-war-style Conservative QC-MPs'.

Brick Court Chambers is a set of barristers' chambers in London. It specialises in Commercial, EU, Competition and Public Law work. Brick Court Chambers was founded in 1921 by William Jowitt KC, later Lord Chancellor. Its rise to prominence was notable in the 1970s with an increase in shipping and international trade litigation.

Geoffrey Ma

Geoffrey Ma Tao-li is a retired Hong Kong judge who served as the 2nd Chief Justice of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal—the court of last resort in Hong Kong. Between 2001 and 2010, he held various positions in the High Court of Hong Kong, including Chief Judge, Justice of Appeal, and Judge of the Court of First Instance. Before his judicial career, he was a barrister-at-law in private practice at Temple Chambers, and was qualified to practice in England and Wales, Hong Kong, Australia and Singapore.

Sir James Lawrence Munby is a retired English judge who was President of the Family Division of the High Court of England and Wales. He was replaced by Sir Andrew McFarlane on reaching the mandatory retirement age.

Sir Rabinder Singh, styled The Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Singh, is a British Court of Appeal judge and President of the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, formerly a High Court judge of the Queen's Bench Division, a Queen's Counsel and barrister, formerly a founding member of Matrix Chambers and a legal academic.

Sir Andrew Jeremy Coulter Edis PC, styled The Rt Hon. Lord Justice Edis, is a Lord Justice of Appeal, having previously served as a High Court Judge.

Cornerstone Barristers is a set of barristers who specialise in social housing law, planning, common and commercial law.

Sir Timothy Victor Holroyde, PC, styled The Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Holroyde, is an English Court of Appeal judge, formerly a judge of the High Court of Justice of England and Wales, Queen's Bench Division. He was appointed to the Court of Appeal in October 2017. He was sworn of the Privy Council in 2017. In August 2018 he was appointed Chairman of the Sentencing Council.

Mark Ellison QC is a British barrister and present head of QEB Holllis Whiteman chambers.

Sir Peter Marcel Roth, styled The Hon. Mr Justice Roth, is a judge of the High Court of England and Wales.

Sir David Michael Bean is a British judge of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales.

The Right Honourable Sir Stephen John Irwin, is a retired British judge and barrister. From September 2016 until October 2020, he was a Lord Justice of Appeal. From May 2006 to 2016, he served as a judge of the High Court of England and Wales.

Kings Bench Walk, London

King's Bench Walk is a street in Temple, in the City of London. It is mainly made up of barristers' chambers.

Sir Alistair William Orchard MacDonald QC, styled The Hon. Mr Justice MacDonald, has been a judge in the Family Division of the High Court of England and Wales since 2 June 2015. As a lawyer he specialised in child protection.

Anuja Dhir

Dr Anuja Ravindra DhirQC, also styled Lady Lavender, is the first non-white judge to be appointed to sit at the Old Bailey.

References

  1. "About the Bar Council". General Council of the Bar. Retrieved 2015-05-01.
  2. "History". General Council of the Bar. Archived from the original on 2009-08-14. Retrieved 2009-10-03.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 King, Katie (4 January 2017). "Bar Council appoints crime QC as second non-London chairman in three years". Legal Cheek . Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  4. "Making his mark – in Jonathan Hirst, barristers have a leader facing up to the demands of competition". The Law Society Gazette . 13 January 2000. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  5. "The Rt Hon Lord Justice Bean appointed Chairman of the Law Commission and Professor David Ormerod QC re-appointed". Law Commission. 27 March 2015. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  6. "Mr Justice Irwin". judiciary.gov.uk. Courts and Tribunals Judiciary. 31 July 2015. Archived from the original on 29 October 2016. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  7. "Bar Council introduces new leadership". The Lawyer . 12 October 2004. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  8. Hope, Christopher (4 July 2008). "Sharia will 'inevitably' become part of British law, says barrister". The Daily Telegraph . Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  9. "Michael Todd QC Bar Council". New Law Journal . 29 October 2010. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  10. "Nicholas Lavender QC—Chairman of the Bar Council". New Law Journal . 10 January 2014. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  11. 1 2 "New Chairman of the Bar takes the helm at the Bar Council". barcouncil.org.uk. The Bar Council. 7 January 2016. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  12. "Andrew Langdon QC becomes Chairman of the Bar". The Bar Council. 3 January 2017. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  13. "Andrew Walker QC becomes Chair of the Bar". The Bar Council. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  14. "Bar Council Membership, Meetings and Minutes". The Bar Council. Retrieved 12 September 2020.

Official website