Bar Council backs calls to end harassment at the Bar

23 May 2018

Calls to tackle harassment in the barristers' profession have been strongly backed by the Bar Council, the representative body for barristers in England & Wales, ahead of a debate about the issue in London tonight (Wednesday 23 May 2018). 

As barristers prepare to attend tonight's Behind the Gown discussion event Ending harassment at the Bar?, the Bar Council has said that harassment and bullying has been and remains a key priority for the organisation. 

Sam Mercer, Head of Equality & Diversity at the Bar Council, said: "The Bar Council is absolutely against any abuse of power in any organisations in which barristers work. Tackling issues of harassment and bullying is a top priority for the Bar Council. We devote considerable resources to supporting and encouraging barristers in their careers. Over the last few months we have updated sample anti-harassment policies and enhanced guidance to assist barristers' chambers, and we are in the process of rolling out a specific training programme to support the profession. 

"The Bar Council has campaigned successfully for more to be done to enable male and female barristers to progress equally through their careers; we have been working, and will continue to work closely with chambers and the Inns of Court, as well as the regulator, the Bar Standards Board (BSB), to tackle unacceptable behaviour. Therefore, we welcome the Behind the Gown initiative and look forward to working in conjunction with it to find additional and better ways to prevent harassment from happening in the first place - and to ensure that there are appropriate remedies and solutions when it does."  

  • Barristers can call the confidential Bar Council helpline on 0207 611 1321 or email equality@barcouncil.org.uk. If you call this number you will be put through to Sam Mercer or a member of the Bar Council's Equality and Diversity team. At no point will you be required to give your name or the name of your chambers.  

Ends 

Further information is available from the Bar Council Press Office on 020 7222 2525 and Press@BarCouncil.org.uk.

The Bar Council represents barristers in England and Wales. It promotes: 

  • The Bar's high quality specialist advocacy and advisory services

  • Fair access to justice for all

  • The highest standards of ethics, equality and diversity across the profession, and

  • The development of business opportunities for barristers at home and abroad.

The General Council of the Bar is the Approved Regulator of the Bar of England and Wales. It discharges its regulatory functions through the independent Bar Standards Board .