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Home » Featured, Legal Affairs

Bar Standards Board publishes diversity report on professional conduct decisions

Submitted by editor on October 1, 2011 – 2:20 pm No Comments
Bar Standards Board publishes diversity report on professional conduct decisions

The Professional Conduct Department at the Bar Standards Board (BSB) has published its annual diversity report, analysing the gender, ethnicity and disability profiles of barristers who were the subject of complaints in 2009 and 2010; and, in relation to external complaints, the complainants who submitted the complaints.

 

The report highlights the following trends which:

  • External complaints (complaints raised by members of the public, solicitors, other professionals or organisations) closed: BME barristers were over-represented in 2010 in relation to the proportion (13% {9}) of complaints upheld. This was mostly caused by a high number of complaints proved against barristers of African origin (5 proved out of 11 barristers across 2009 and 2010). While analysis of the individual complaints shows that this was caused by the individual circumstances of the complaints, this is generally an area which requires monitoring to establish if it is sustained.
  • Internal complaints (complaints raised by the Bar Standards Board) opened: BME barristers were over-represented in 2010 in relation to the proportion of internal complaints (32% {36}) opened against them. While analysis of the individual complaints highlighted some areas where the statistics were distorted, this is again an area that needs to be monitored.
  • There was no evidence of significant and sustained disproportions in the diversity statistics that would give serious cause for concern in terms of inequality of treatment either in relation to the BSB’s decision making processes or in relation to the findings made by independent panels.

The report concludes that further independent research will be carried out in conjunction with the Equality and Diversity department, analysing the data collected over a five year period; the aims of which should be:

  • To ascertain whether there is any statistical evidence that the disproportions seen in external complaints closed and internal complaints opened over 2009/10 (or in any other area not identified by this report) are significant and should be cause for concern;
  • To identify the sources of any disproportions identified; and
  • To give guidance to the BSB on future reporting on the protected characteristics.

An executive summary and full copy of the report can be downloaded below:

BSB Professional Conduct Department: Diversity Report 2009/10

 

Related posts:

  1. Bar Standards Board: Committee opportunities
  2. Report reveals racism at the heart of the UK legal profession
  3. Improving diversity and social mobility in the legal profession
  4. African Children’s Rights Committee publishes first ever decision
  5. SRA publishes evaluation of work-based learning pilot

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