The Criminal Bar Association is committed to matters concerning equality and diversity which directly or indirectly affect the Criminal Bar and the members of the Criminal Bar Association.
In particular to ensure :
- Equality of Opportunity.
- Compliance with the Equality and Diversity Code of the General Council of the Bar of England and Wales.
- Consideration of Equality and Diversity Principles and their impact on all issues affecting the criminal bar in particular response to government/ consultations, codes of practice / expectation statements issued by the Crown Prosecution Service, H.M.Attorney General and all other bodies in relation to the professional work of the Criminal Bar.
The principles of equality and diversity have long been enshrined in the Bar’s Code of Conduct and the Bar Council along with associations such as the CBA have sought to develop these principles. The report by Lord Neuberger in relation to entry to the bar is just part of that work. It is also increasingly the case that clients such as the CPS or the AG impose their own requirements on those they instruct to demonstrate that they adhere to the principles of equality and diversity. Whilst the general principles are now well established the CBA acknowledges that the practicalities of filling in the CPS report or knowing how to respond to discriminatory instructions may require some guidance. With that in mind we have compiled a series of links to key documents prepared by the Bar Council to assist both the individual practitioner and chambers.
The Code of Conduct, Rule 305.1.
305.1.1 A barrister must not in relation to any other person (including a client or another barrister or a pupil or an employee or a student member of an Inn of Court) discriminate2 directly or indirectly because of race, colour, ethnic or national origin, nationality, citizenship, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, age, religion or belief.