Encouraging diversity

Public Equality Duty - Equality Act 2010

The Bar Council as the Approved Regulator of barristers is committed to meeting in full the general public equality duty. This requires that public authorities have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between those who share a protected characteristic (i.e. age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, sex, sexual orientation, religion or belief and marriage and civil partnership) and those who do not share it. In addition, the Bar Council is subject to the Specific Duties Regulations 2011 that require public authorities to publish equality evidence and equality objectives to help us achieve the general duty.

The Bar Standards Board, the regulator of barristers, is developing equality objectives that relate to its public functions. The Bar Council has adopted priorities on widening access to the profession, strengthening diversity within the profession and promoting a working environment for its members and staff where processes are open and fair.

We will publish our equality objectives by 6 April 2012 and these will be developed in the light of our equality evidence.

We are committed to providing clear and transparent data and statistics to anyone with an interest about those seeking to enter the profession, the composition of the profession, our staff and the diversity impact of our policies.

Diversity evidence

1. The Bar Barometer contains information about diversity trends in access to training for the profession and on those in practice from 2005-10.

2.  Barristers' Working Lives:  A Biennial Survey of the Bar 2011. This provides a baseline and an evidence base on which we can monitor trends in the profession and formulate new policies. It includes breakdowns by the main protected characteristics, by academic background, by the main specialist practice areas, by judicial and silk appointments. Socio-economic status is measured by reference to type of secondary schooling.

3.  General Council of the Bar's Exit Survey 2011 on barristers who have ceased subscribing or changed their practice status from 2001-10.

If you would like further information please contact the Bar Council Equality and Diversity team.

Equality impact analysis

To demonstrate compliance with the Equality Act 2010, the Bar Council conducts equality analysis on all its new policies.