The Bar Standards Board (BSB) announced that the standard of proof applied in disciplinary proceedings for professional misconduct will be lowered.

It will change from the criminal standard (beyond reasonable doubt) to the civil standard (on the balance of probabilities), bringing the Bar’s disciplinary arrangements in line with most other professions.

It follows a consultation and is subject to approval from the Legal Services Board. If approved, the change will apply to alleged breaches of the Code occurring after 31 March 2019.

BSB Chair, Sir Andrew Burns, said the shift ‘will be an important step forward in the BSB’s ongoing work to modernise the regulation of the Bar in the public interest’.