1. Robin Allen QC, Chair of the Bar Council's Equality & Diversity and Social Mobility Committee welcomed the Ministry of Justice's announcement for funding a new programme of Pre-Application Judicial Education to both educate and boost diversity within the judiciary. 

  2. Exempting the Home Office from new data protection rules could lead to serious miscarriages of justice, the Law Society and Bar Council warned as it emerged that the Data Protection Bill exempts the Home Office from personal data requests, undermining the ability of British and EU citizens, as well as other non-UK nationals, to challenge unlawful deportation or detention by the Home Office. 

  3. The Bar Council issued a statement in response to the  Ministry of Justice's announcement on the launch of a new online service for people to start a claim in the County Court for amounts up to £10,000. Chair of the Bar, Andrew Walker QC, said: "New technology can be a powerful tool…But this must not be at the expense of justice itself, or of the involvement of real judges and human interaction in the determination of those disputes in which this is necessary.  Nor should it be assumed that online processes are open to all, or can lead to an effective outcome in all cases." 

  4. The Bar Council, Bar Human Rights Committee and other organisations sent an open letter to Turkish authorities, voicing their concern over the rising tide of human rights violations against lawyers and threats to the legal profession in Turkey in conjunction with Turkey's Lawyers' Day on 5 April. 

  5. The Bar Council's Training of Lawyers on the European Union's Data Protection Reform (TRADATA) conference took place to assist barristers, as well as chambers staff, with their preparations for the GDPR, which all organisations must comply with from the 25 May 2018. 

  6. The Bar Council's Young Barristers' Committee and the Foreign Press Association hosted the final Primer series event. A debate about free speech in an online world was the topic of discussion. 

  7. A video promoting the Employed Bar Awards appeared on Bar Council TV. The short film highlighted the contribution made by the employed Bar. 

  8. A special edition of BarTalk, the Bar Council's fortnightly e-newsletter, was published, focusing on GDPR and what barristers and chambers need to know ahead of full implementation on Mat 25. 

  9. Entries opened for the Bar Council's Law Reform Essay Competition. Students entering the annual competition can win a top prize of £4000. 

  10. The Bar Council turned out along with the Justice Alliance and others for the Vigil for Justice outside the Ministry of Justice to highlight the lack of funding in the justice system.