23 September 2019

Civil standard of proof set to be adopted for professional misconduct proceedings for barristers

Following a public consultation earlier this year, we have decided to change the standard of proof applied when barristers, and others regulated by us, face disciplinary proceedings for professional misconduct. Subject to approval from the Legal Services Board (LSB), the standard of proof will change from the criminal standard ("beyond reasonable doubt") to the civil standard ("on the balance of probabilities"). The change will bring the Bar's disciplinary arrangements in line with most other professions.

The change to the standard of proof will require the approval of the LSB and a period of preparation for us and the Bar Tribunals and Adjudication Service. We therefore propose to apply the civil standard to alleged breaches of the Code occurring after 31 March 2019. Read more in our press release.