Representing the Bar

In its representative capacity, the Bar Council secretariat provides support to the Chairman's office as well as a number of representative committees, sub-committees and working groups. The secretariat supports the Bar Council's work by:

  • Communicating regularly with the profession about key matters affecting its interests

  • Influencing the development of public policy and legislation affecting the provision of specialist advocacy and advisory services and, more widely, in the profession's and the public interest, and

  • Developing and promoting the work (and the values) of the Bar at home and abroad to governments, legislatures, the media and other stakeholders helping to make entry to the profession open to all with the requisite ability to provide rewarding careers and to sustain the long-term future of the Bar.

How barristers can get involved in representative work

There are a number of ways in which barristers can become involved in the representative work of the Bar Council. 

Becoming a member of the Bar Council

The Bar Council comprises about 115 barristers who are elected or who represent the Inns, Circuits and other interest groups. Elections are held annually and elected members serve for a period of three years. The Bar Council meets about seven times a year when there is an opportunity for members to contribute to debates on key issues facing the profession.

For further information, please contact Natalie Zara.

Joining a committee of the Bar Council

Much of the Bar Council's day-to-day work is undertaken by individual Committees, made up of members of the Bar Council and co-opted members. Committees usually meet once a month and members can get involved in a variety of activities including debating policy issues and representing the Bar Council at other meetings and events. Find out more about our Committees.

Assisting with careers outreach work

The Bar Council runs a scheme called ‘Barristers in Schools’ through which barristers visit schools to talk to students about a career at the Bar. Read more about the scheme.

The Bar National Mock Trial Competition

This is a prestigious competition, which is held annually. It is organised by the Citizenship Foundation and funded by the Bar Council, the Faculty of Advocates, the Bar Council of Northern Ireland, the Inns of Court and the Circuits. Barristers act as advisers to teams of up to 15 students (16 in Scotland) aged between 15 and 18 from schools across the UK, who prepare the prosecution and defence of two specially written criminal cases and take on the roles of lawyers, witnesses, court staff and jurors in a mock trial. Their performances are judged by Circuit Judges, Recorders (Sheriffs in Scotland) and senior barristers or advocates. Each team takes part in regional heats, held in November each year, and the winners of the heats go on to the national final, held in Spring the following year. The competition is one example of the Bar's commitment to promoting public understanding of the legal system and encouraging a broader range of people to join the legal profession.

For more information about the competition, please visit the Citizenship Foundation website.