17 August 2018

Lively debate on Future Bar Training options

Last month, we hosted a lively debate about the future of Bar training. The debate considered five possible future routes to qualification as a barrister. The event was attended by a wide variety of interested parties including barristers, students, training providers and other stakeholders with an interest in how the next generation of barristers are trained and how they qualify.

We have yet to publish a view as to which option we think is best, so we were keen to listen to arguments for and against each of the options before we publish a full consultation later in the year.

Five guest speakers made arguments in support of the three broad options under consideration. The speakers were:

  • James Welsh from BPP University, who spoke in favour of the "Evolutionary" option;
  • Derek Wood QC from Inns of Court College of Advocacy, who spoke in favour of the "Bar Specialist" (Two-stage BPTC) option;
  • Emma Piasecki from Northumbria University, who spoke in favour of the first approach within the "Managed Pathways" option(a combined law degree and vocational training, similar to the current University of Northumbria qualification);
  • Penelope Reed QC from the Chancery Bar Association, who spoke in favour of the second approach within the "Managed Pathways" option (a vocational training programme that is integrated with pupillage);
  • Daren Timson-Hunt from HM Revenue and Customs, who spoke in favour of the modular approach within the "Managed Pathways" option.

After each speaker had made their case, the debate was opened up to all of the delegates present. A wide range of questions, opinions and views were discussed; all of which we are considering both for the upcoming consultation paper and for the ultimate decision that the Board needs to make on this matter in due course. Read more on our website.