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SANCTIONS GUIDANCE SECOND CONSULTATION
The Bar Tribunals and Adjudication Service seeks views on its draft Sanctions Guidance.
The draft Guidance incorporates many suggestions received in response to the first consultation that took place earlier in the year. The proposed new Guidance includes a clearer structured approach to deciding sanctions and new ‘Misconduct Groups’. Indicative sanctions ranges have been reviewed and in particular the lower end of the sanction ranges have been raised to 12 months suspension for misconduct of a sexual nature and discrimination, non-sexual harassment and bullying.
This consultation will be of interest to the public, those representing equality groups, members of the Bar, BTAS panel members and regulators. The consultation can be found here [Sanctions Guidance review – Second Consultation paper (Sept 21) For Publication] and the draft new Guidance here [BTAS Sanctions Guidance 2022 Draft for Consultation – For Publication].
Responses should be received by 21 October 2021 – unfortunately extensions cannot be granted.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 and on the payment of the transcription fee.
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.