Speaking as he took on his year-long role as head of 4,000 prosecution and defence barristers in England and Wales, he said:
“I wholeheartedly support the efforts made by Tim Dutton QC, the Chairman of the Bar, to prioritise the attraction and retention of talented young people to the Bar. If we are to continue to provide the highest quality service to the public, we must ensure that the brightest and best come to the Bar, no matter what their background”.
He went on:
“There continues to be an enormous number of people training for the bar. A huge percentage will never gain pupillage and a significant number should not. There are important standards issues surrounding the entry onto Bar Vocational Courses. The control and regulation of course content is a key issue for the bar, and for the Bar Standards Board, which regulates BVC providers. Those training for the Bar must know that their qualification will stand them in good stead, whether they pursue a career at the Bar or elsewhere; this is a vital part of our continued efforts to ensure that talent and excellence are at the centre of the Criminal Bar.
At a time of considerable pressure on the Criminal Bar, I will be continuing my predecessor Sally O’Neill’s work to ensure that the Criminal Bar retains its independence, so that it can continue to act in the public interest”.