23 September 2019

Cross Cultural Communication

In January we held a symposium entitled 'Does Cross-Cultural Communication Matter at the Bar?' BSB Board members and staff were joined by voluntary sector organisations, consumer groups and members of the Bar to explore the issue of cross-cultural communication (CCC) - appropriate and effective communication between individuals from different cultures and backgrounds. The aim of the symposium was to build our understanding of CCC, how it impacts upon our regulatory objectives, and ways in which we can build CCC amongst barristers through our regulatory tools.

Sir Andrew Burns, Chair of the BSB, opened the event by highlighting how we have identified CCC as a priority area for focus and a potentially significant risk area through the Supervision regime and the Professional Conduct Committee. As the Bar and its clients become increasingly diverse and levels of international work rise, it is timely to address issues of CCC not only in terms of ethnicity but by focussing on all protected characteristics and backgrounds. Presentations were delivered by experts in the field of CCC including Ranjit Sondhi CBE (QC Selection Panel) and Brie Stevens-Hoare QC (Hardwicke Chambers). The symposium increased engagement and strengthened working relationships between us and E&D stakeholders with many delegates offering to continue to engage with us in the future on this agenda. An independent report of the symposium can be found on our website and contains recommendations for us to consider as part of our Regulatory Risk, Consumer, Equality, Access to Justice and Future Bar Training programmes of work.