Pupillage Funding Claim Fails


An attempt to prove that a rule requiring chambers to fund pupillages led to indirect race discrimination against an applicant, has failed in the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

The case, Iteshi v The Bar Council, concerned a Nigerian-born barrister who was unable to secure a pupillage and was prevented by professional rules from securing an unfunded pupillage. He claimed the rule on funded pupillages, which was introduced in 2003 to help non-wealthy applicants into the profession, indirectly discriminated against black Africans.

The EAT heard that fewer black Africans secured pupillage in the years 2004 to date than did in 2000/2001, but that there were not enough statistics for the tribunal to reach a conclusion. The appeal was dismissed.