29 May 2013

New equality and diversity goals set out at Board meeting

Twelve equality objectives for 2013-14, set out in five priority areas, were approved and adopted by the Bar Standards Board at the May Board meeting - in line with statutory equality duties. 

They include a programme of interviews with chambers, to evaluate progress in implementing the new equality and diversity rules, as well as monitoring the equality impact of the new Bar Course Aptitude Test, which was introduced in March 2013.

The new objectives, which are aimed at improving equality in the profession and internally within the BSB, were developed by the BSB Equality and Diversity Committee, and will build upon the 2012-13 objectives.

The objectives for 2013-14 have been published on the BSB website - and the BSB Equality Strategy 2013-16 will be updated to reflect the new goals.

Chair of the Bar Standards Board's Equality and Diversity Committee, Rolande Anderson, said: "I am delighted the Board has approved these objectives for the coming year, which demonstrate our continuing commitment to improving diversity - both in our own organisation and throughout the profession."

The Board were also asked to note the results of the Year End Performance Report, 2012-13, which shows that the BSB has progressed well, overall, against its objectives and activities. Key achievements include the design and distribution of the 2012 Chambers Monitoring survey, the publication of a new Equality and Diversity Strategy, and the appointment of Patricia Robertson QC as the new Vice Chair.   

This information will feed into the Annual Report 2012-13, which is due for publication in September 2013.

Finally, the Board considered the Director's Report, which noted, among other things, the formal submission this month of the new Handbook to the Legal Services Board for approval. The new Code of Conduct is due to come into effect in January 2014.

The Bar Standards Board is made up of 15 people, a combination of lay people and barristers. It has a lay majority. More information on Board meetings and members, is available on the BSB website.

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For more information contact the Bar Standards Board Press Office on 020 7611 1392.

Notes to editors 

The Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) Regulations 2011 requires public bodies to publish their equality objectives no later than 6 April 2012. Objectives must be re-published at intervals of not greater than four years following the date of first publication.

A consolidated update of actions completed and objectives that are current for the coming year have been published on the BSB website.