Hearings under the Inns’ Conduct Committee Rules
Inns’ Conduct Committee hearings are held in accordance with the Inns Conduct Committee Rules – 2020 to determine:
(1) Whether applicants for admission to one of the four Inns of Court are fit and proper persons to become practising barristers, and hence whether they are eligible to become student members of the Inn (membership of an Inn being a prerequisite for studying to be a practising barrister).
(2) Whether, in the case of student members of an Inn studying towards becoming practising barristers, their conduct has been proved to amount to a ‘Serious Matter’ (within the meaning of the Bar Training Rules (Section 4B of the Bar Standards Board Handbook ); and if so, what sanction it is appropriate to impose.
(3) Appeals by student members of an Inn against decisions by their Inn of Court regarding minor internal disciplinary matters against them.
The Inns’ Conduct Committee has produced a Statement of Principles and Guidelines [Due to be Updated]. This document is to assist applicants/students and other interested parties by providing information on the principles and practice of the ICC in relation to hearings.
The Disputed Facts Protocol 2020 has been drafted for cases in which the ICC is asked to make a finding of fact (for example in response to an allegation made about a student member of an Inn). Please note that this protocol only applies in such situations and the ICC, under its rules, is obliged to treat the findings of other recognised bodies as facts against which a person’s suitability for the bar will be judged.
ICC cases are heard by members of the COIC Disciplinary Pool – a group of individuals selected, trained and regularly appraised to ensure their ability to consider and determine such matters is of the highest standards. An ICC Panel consists of two legally qualified members, one of whom acts as Chair at the hearing, and a Lay (non-lawyer) member. Normally, a panel hearing lasts less than one hour but the length of time is determined by the circumstances and mitigation presented.