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Discrimination

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Rise in number of women applying to become judges

Efforts to broaden the profile of the Bench appear to be working, with more women and black and ethnic minority (“BME”) lawyers applying for judicial office. 

31 July 2010
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A flexible approach for a more representative judiciary

A campaign of “mythbusting”, flexible working opportunities and more judicial job shadowing are some of the recommendations of Baroness Neuberger’s report into judicial diversity. 

The final report of the Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Panel on Judicial Diversity, chaired by Baroness Neuberger, rejects the use of diversity quotas and targets for judicial appointments. Instead, there should be a “fundamental shift in approach” towards diversity at all stages of a judicial career. 

31 March 2010
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Bar welcomes report on Judicial Diversity

THE Bar Council has welcomed the publication of the final report from the Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Panel on Judicial Diversity. Chaired by Baroness Neuberger DBE, the Panel has published a report which sets out proposals for a co-ordinated programme designed to deliver ‘sustained progress towards a more diverse judiciary’. The report emphasises the need for a ‘fundamental shift in approach’ which focuses on a judicial career that addresses diversity at every stage. Baroness Neuberger’s report is an important document which complements the work which the Bar itself is undertaking to improve diversity within the profession. 

31 March 2010
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Awareness Toolkit training

Equality & Diversity

In response to a growing demand from the Bar for Equality and Diversity Awareness Training, and to the recommendation for such training in the Neuberger Report on Entry to the Bar, the Bar Council Equality and Diversity Committee has produced a diversity training toolkit. The model is designed to raise awareness of the equality issues that arise at the Bar through a series of worked exercises and is drawn from the practical experience of applying equality and diversity policies in chambers. The course is accompanied by written information on the equalities legislative framework and sessions are aimed at providing a brief and practical introduction to the diversity compliance requirements that affect the Bar. The programme runs for one and a half hours and qualifies for CPD accreditation. Courses based on the diversity toolkit are open to barristers, pupils, clerks and practice managers. Chambers Equal Opportunity Officers are particularly encouraged to attend. If you would like to attend a course please contact Angela Campbell at the Bar Council in the Equality and Diversity Unit acampbell@barcouncil.org.uk

28 February 2010
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Judicial diversity

New diversity statistics show that of 624 lawyers applying for 36 posts as fee paid employment tribunal judges between April and September 2009, 40 per cent of applicants and 54 per cent of those selected were women, while 13 per cent of applicants and 6 per cent of those selected were from a BME background. Solicitors made up 72 per cent of applicants and three-quarters of appointees, and disabled people accounted for six per cent of applicants and appointees.  

28 February 2010
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Taking a Break?

Freya Newbery explains the issues surrounding career breaks for barristers and reports on the recent Bar Council “Managing Career Breaks” seminar.  

As part of its commitment to retaining women in self-employed practice, the Bar Council hosted an immensely practical half-day seminar, “Managing Career Breaks”, on 23 October 2009. The seminar provided practical guidance to both barristers beginning a break or planning to return to practice following maternity leave or a career break, and those in chambers—such as equal opportunity officers, clerks and practice managers—responsible for managing career breaks and helping returners to re-build their practices. 

31 January 2010
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Chambers enter the diversity league

Barristers’ chambers have made a respectable debut in the Diversity League Tables. 

Chambers were included in the annual league table, run by the Black Solicitors Network, for the first time this year, with 23 out of 60 invited sets agreeing to take part. This year’s table expanded to capture data on sexual orientation and disability as well as gender and ethnicity. 

31 January 2010
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No bar to the Bar

Two years after publication of Lord Neuberger’s Entry to the Bar Working Party Report, the Bar Council launched “No bar to the Bar: barristers promoting social mobility”, a brochure setting out the work done by the Bar in this area and the initiatives developed since the Neuberger Report, writes Bhavna Patel. 

At an event held to mark the occasion on 2 December 2009 at Inner Temple, David Lammy MP, Minister of State for Higher Education and Intellectual Property, commended the Bar for the huge strides it has made in this area. 

31 December 2009
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Bar ‘setting the pace’ on social mobility - new report

THE Bar Council, in conjunction with the Inns of Court, has launched No bar to the Bar, a review of the diverse measures adopted by the profession to help all those of ability to have access to a career as a barrister, regardless of their background. 'No bar to the Bar' takes stock of the Bar’s continuing work in this area, and gives a snapshot of just some of the talented applicants who have achieved real success at the Bar and within the judiciary. 

31 December 2009
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New Chair and Vice-Chair of the BSB Equality and Diversity Committee

The Bar Standards Board welcomes Sally Hawkins, as the new Chair of its Equality and Diversity Committee and Declan O'Dempsey as the Vice Chair. 

Sally Hawkins is an equalities consultant. She has assisted some of the UK’s foremost public services and private companies in the development of policies and practices that aim to overcome discrimination and disadvantage. 

Sally also has considerable experience of governance and the development and implementation of professional standards. She is currently a lay member of the General Medical Council and of the Board of the Legal Complaints Service and she is the independent chair of Lewisham’s Standards Committee. She was a member of the Police Complaints Authority and an Independent Director of the Banking Code Standards Board. Declan O'Dempsey is a barrister at Cloisters who specialises in employment, discrimination, public and regulatory law. Declan has particular expertise in relation to the application of the Equality Duties. 

31 October 2009
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Justice for all; a mighty cause

In the battle of ideas and values which the maintenance of the rule of law involves, lawyers remain in the frontline

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