Bar Council to create new body

The Bar Council is poised to split its regulatory and representative arms, in a move prompted by the...

The Bar Council is poised to split its regulatory and representative arms, in a move prompted by the Clementi Review.

The council has unveiled proposals to create a new independent Bar Standards Board, for the regulation of barristers, which will have a brief to act in the interests of the Bar's professional and public clients.

Lord Falconer, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs, is expected to make a statement this month regarding the Clementi Review, and the government intends to publish a white paper in the summer, with legislation to follow in 2006.

The model developed by the Bar Council envisages a future Legal Services Board treating the Bar Council as a front-line body for the purposes of self-regulation. It envisages a new regulatory arm, under a Bar Standards Board containing both legal and non-legal representatives.

The Bar Standards Board would provide independent supervision of all regulatory matters relating to barristers in England and Wales, including rule-making, discipline, casework, standards and quality.

Guy Mansfield QC, chairman of the Bar Council, said: "The Bar as a profession is committed to the public interest and to the provision of a cost-effective service to its professional clients and to lay consumers.

"Our proposal is for a totally reformed constitution for the Bar Council."

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