How the hearings process works
In relation to barristers, BTAS organises Bar Disciplinary Tribunal hearings, as well as hearings under the Interim Suspension Rules and Fitness to Practise Rules (hearings under the latter rules are to determine whether a barrister’s fitness to practise is impaired because of health issues). Panels also consider Appeals against Administrative Sanctions imposed by the Bar Standards Board.
BTAS also organises Inns’ Conduct Committee (ICC) panel hearings. ICC panels are 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.
Panel members who sit on these hearings are appointed through open competition by the President of COIC, on the recommendation of the Tribunal Appointments Body under the Appointments Protocol 2019. They are appointed against agreed competencies designed to identify individuals who will approach their work with integrity and objectivity and who will produce well-reasoned and fair decisions. There is currently a pool of 72 lay (people who are not from the legal profession) and barrister panel members. Both lay and barrister panel members are wholly independent of the Bar Council and the Bar Standards Board.