The current Equality and Diversity Code for the Bar is principally a guidance document which was developed to assist barristers and their employees to apply good equal opportunities practice in the development and running of chambers.

The equality provisions of the Code of Conduct for barristers are being updated to reflect the requirements of the Equalities Act 2010. The aim of the modification is to continue to ensure that no barrister is prevented from achieving their potential by unfair recruitment practices or unnecessary barriers to progress.

The consultation proposes that some elements of the current good practice guidance become mandatory. Consultation questions include:

  • Should barristers that are involved in the recruitment of tenants, pupils, clerks and mini-pupils be trained in fair recruitment processes?
  • Should there be a requirement for chambers to offer their members a minimum of six months’ parental leave?
  • Should chambers be required to collect equalities data on an annual basis?
  • Should all chambers be required to produce written policies on harassment and flexible working?

Comment is also sought on the accompanying guidelines document which will assist barristers in meeting their legal and regulatory duties whilst following best practice in equality and diversity.

The guidelines feature example scenarios which aim to make the guidance more useful for readers.

The closing date for submissions is 1 March 2011.

To view the consultation online please visit the following link: