21 September 2019

Blog: Monthly message from our Chair Sir Andrew Burns KCMG

Sir Andrew Burns

Earlier this month, we launched a new consultation about the standard of proof used in professional misconduct proceedings.

Currently we use the criminal standard. But we are seeking views as to whether the time has come to change our regulatory arrangements to apply the civil standard.

Switching to the civil standard would reflect the evolution of thinking in legal circles and bring the Bar's disciplinary arrangements in line with those of most other professions.

We would like to know whether or not you think this change should be made and, if you do, whether you think the change should only be made if and when the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal also changes to the civil standard.

As with all our consultations, where we are judging what would be in the best public interest, we are also seeking views from those outside the profession including consumers of legal services, as well as bodies and individuals involved in other regulatory disciplinary systems.

The consultation, which closes on 21 July, also asks for views on whether changing the standard of proof would create adverse impacts for any of the protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010.

You can read our consultation paper on our website.