The Bar Council published
The Brexit Papers - Second Edition, a comprehensive and
easy-to-read guide on legal issues raised by Brexit. Among the
issues covered are employment rights of UK workers, maintaining
London as the global centre for financial services and the need for
a 'Plan B' if no deal is reached with the EU in two years
In a briefing to MPs considering the Prisons and Courts Bill,
the Bar Council has warned that
the quality and the reputation of our system of justice must not
suffer as plans for online and virtual hearings are taken
forward. Chairman of the Bar, Andrew Langdon QC said: "Appropriate
safeguards must be put in place to ensure that the quality of
justice and the high regard in which our system is held are not
Robin Allen QC, Chairman of the Bar Council Equality and
Diversity and Social Mobility Committee, gave evidence to the House
of Lords Constitution Committee on equality at the bench and recruitment. He
explained proposals which the Bar has developed for Pre-Judicial
Application Education to improve judicial diversity.
The Bar Council, with the Law Society, organised an event for
the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Legal and Constitutional
Affairs at Westminster which focused on the implications of Brexit
for consumers and small businesses. Speakers included Shadow
Solicitor General, Nick Thomas-Symonds MP and Hugh Mercer QC.
The Bar Council's Commercial Development Manager, Danielle
Wright addressed Legalex, billed as Europe's most influential legal
events, about how the Bar Council seeks to help legal professionals
and those who support them to develop strategies for meeting the
challenges of an increasingly competitive and cost-conscious
environment for the delivery of legal services.
To mark International Women's Day, the Bar Council produced a
short video of some leading barristers sharing their experiences.
Retaining talented women in the profession and encouraging them to
apply for Silk and judicial appointment is a key priority for the
As the Government embarks on a post-legislative review of LASPO,
Chairman of the Bar, Andrew Langdon QC reminded the Ministry of
Justice that a succession of cuts in legal aid rates in the Crown
court had resulted in cuts in advocates' remuneration of 37% in the
six years before LASPO was implemented. Four years on, with
no index-linked increases at any stage, the cuts are now deeper
than 40%. "No other sector of public funding has come close to
suffering that sort of carnage" he said.
The Bar Council has warned HMCTS that plans to extend court room sittings would
adversely affect barristers with caring responsibilities,
especially women. Chairman of the Bar, Andrew Langdon QC, said:
"These arrangements will make it almost impossible for parents with
childcare responsibilities to predict if they can make the school
run or to know when they will be able to pick children up from the
child-minders. The biggest impact will be on women."
The Bar Council organised a well-attended Developing your Mentoring Skills training
session, to support those who are considering or currently
mentoring in any scheme across the Bar.
The Bar Council, in partnership with the Citizenship Foundation,
staged the 26th National Bar Mock Trial Competition in
which over 230 schools, 300 barristers and 90 judges took part. The
competition gives state-school students a unique opportunity to
experience advocacy training from practising barristers and have
their performance evaluated by real judges.