24 August 2019

Blog: Monthly message from our Director General, Dr Vanessa Davies

Last month, we published our Annual Report for 2018-19.

As well as describing our day-to-day work in regulating the Bar, it provides a useful summary of our policy development during the year. This included finalising the new Bar Qualification Rules, which went live on 1 April 2019, and concluding most of the policy work relating to the new transparency rules for the Bar, which subsequently took effect from 1 July 2019.

You can read more about the publication of our 2018-19 Annual Report on our website.

Having carefully considered the views of key stakeholders at a roundtable meeting in June, last month, we decided to update our policy on the publication of disciplinary findings for professional misconduct.

The new policy will introduce revised lengths of time for which we will put disciplinary findings in the public domain. For findings that do not result in a sentence involving a period of suspension or disbarment, there is no change to the current publication policy: we will continue to make them available for a period of two years. For suspensions of 12 months or fewer, the publication period will reduce from ten years to five years, whilst for longer suspensions, the publication period will change from "indefinitely" to ten years. For disbarments, the publication period will change from "indefinitely" to 60 years.

This update will help to ensure that we continue to meet the requirements of data protection legislation and seeks to strike the right balance between public protection and the impact on the profession of publication. 

You can read more about the new publication policy on our website. It is due to come into effect on 15 September 2019.

Finally, in the online version of this month's Regulatory Update, we have published updated details about transitional arrangements for existing Pupillage Training Organisations and prospective Authorised Education & Training Organisations. If your Chambers offers pupillages, please make sure that you  read this important information.