10 of the things the Bar Council did in December

2 January 2018

  1. Andrew Walker QC, the new Chair of the Bar for 2018, delivered his inaugural speech at the Bar Council AGM in Lincoln's Inn. The new Chair told the audience the Bar was at a turning point. 

  2. The Bar Council's Brexit Working Group published 'Brexit Paper 25: The relationship between the single market, the customs union and the European Union' which looked at the legal and historic links between the EU, the internal market and customs union. 

  3. The outgoing Chair of the Bar, Andrew Langdon QC, congratulated the 119 new Queen's Counsel   who were today appointed by Her Majesty The Queen on the advice of the Lord Chancellor, David Lidington MP, following consideration by the independent Queen's Counsel Selection Panel.  

  4. New online resources, created by the Bar Council's Wellbeing at the Bar Working Group, with input from the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust (CWMT), who specialise in young people's mental health were published on the Wellbeing at the Bar Portal for aspiring barristers. These new student/pupillage resources are specifically aimed at those post-BPTC, seeking pupillage, and pupils up until they complete their training to become a barrister. 

  5. The Bar Council expressed disappointment that key opportunities to address diversity in the judiciary were missed in the Government's response to the Lammy Review. Chair of the Bar Council's Equality & Diversity Committee, Robin Allen QC, said: "It is critical to the public's confidence in our justice system that the judiciary is representative of the communities it serves, whilst drawing on the best talent the legal profession can offer. We need to address the lack of BAME progression into the senior judiciary. This requires a collective effort from all bodies that hold this responsibility." 

  6. The Bar Council's Young Barristers' Committee announced via BarTalk that it would be hosting a new Primer Series of events in conjunction with other organisations to raise the profile of the Young Bar amongst potential clients. 

  7. Pupil barrister Ian McDonald was announced as the winner of the first prize of £4,000 in the 2017 Bar Council Law Reform Essay Competition. His essay, entitled "One rule for all: An end to the Abouloff double standard on fraud and foreign judgments" was praised by Fergus Randolph QC, Chair of the Bar Council's Law Reform Committee. Other winners and runners-up essays covered corporal punishment, no-fault divorce and asylum seekers. 

  8. President of the European Court of Justice, Baron Koen Lenaerts, used the Bar Council's Annual Law Reform Lecture to set out how the CJEU's role will remain relevant post-Brexit. 

  9. The Bar Council marked International Human Rights Day by highlighting the injustice of the indefinite detention of migrants in the UK. 

  10. Responses were submitted by the Bar Council to two major consultations on new legislation on offensive and dangerous weapons and revised Home Office Codes of Practice.