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SANCTIONS GUIDANCE CONSULTATION
BTAS has issued a consultation document [BTAS Sanctions Guidance Consultation (2021)] seeking initial views on proposed revisions to parts of the BTAS Sanctions Guidance. The Guidance is used to guide Disciplinary Tribunals when considering the appropriate sanctions to impose following findings of professional misconduct against barristers. The responses to this consultation will inform the contents of the final draft Guidance which will be subject to a further, second consultation commencing in July 2021. The deadline for responding to the first consultation is 14 June 2021.
BTAS AND THE CORONAVIRUS
The BTAS Tribunal Suite is closed to the public until further notice. If you wish to contact BTAS please do so by emailing email@example.com. We cannot guarantee to respond to postal and telephone enquiries.
Following the lockdown on 5 January 2021, hearings will be listed to take place remotely save where, after hearing the parties, there is a direction by a Tribunal Chair or Directions Judge that it is necessary in the interests of justice that the matter be dealt with in person in whole or in part.
BTAS cannot at present say when in person hearings will re-commence. It will keep the situation under review in the light of current legislation and government guidance and will take into account whether a particular matter needs to be dealt with urgently.
Members of the Public may request to observe an online hearing. Transcripts of online hearings will be made available on request.
PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL OF THE INNS OF COURT
On behalf of the President of the Council of the Inns of Court (COIC), the Bar Tribunal and Adjudication Service (BTAS) is responsible for appointing and administering:
- Disciplinary Tribunals for barristers facing charges of professional misconduct under the Bar Standards Board Handbook (Part 5B Enforcement Regulations; The Disciplinary Tribunal Regulations)
- Panels appointed under the Interim Suspension Rules of the Bar Standards Board Handbook (Part 5D Enforcement Regulations; The Interim Suspension and Disqualification Regulations)
- Panels appointed under the Fitness to Practice Rules of the Bar Standards Board Handbook (Part 5E Enforcement Regulations; The Fitness to Practise Regulations).
- Panels appointed under the Inns’ Conduct Committee (ICC) Rules appointed to consider admission and disciplinary cases brought by the Inns of Court against student members or applicants for admission to an Inn of Court.
Judicial, barrister and lay members are nominated by the President of the Council of the Inns of Court to sit on disciplinary tribunals and other panels. He also appoints barrister, judicial and lay panel members to sit on the Inns’ Conduct Committee and its panel hearings.
Panel members who sit on these hearings are appointed to a pool by the President, on the recommendation of the independent Tribunal Appointments Body (TAB).
Disciplinary hearings take place in public unless there has been a specific order that a particular hearing be held in private. Members of the public, press and the profession are welcome to attend those hearings held in public.
Inns’ Conduct Committee
The Inns’ Conduct Committee (ICC) is responsible for dealing with the misconduct of student members of all four Inns of Court. The committee is also responsible for considering applications for admission to an Inn, where details are disclosed which might affect an applicant or student being considered a fit and proper person to become a practising barrister.