Responding to the publication of the Bar Standards Board’s new guidance on barristers’ conduct in non-professional life and on social media, Nick Vineall KC, Chair of the Bar Council, said:

“The Bar Council welcomes the new guidance from the BSB. As we know from our own ethical enquiries service, issues relating to social media and barristers’ private lives can be difficult to navigate. We think that the BSB has struck the appropriate balance, and it is right that the regulator focuses on the use of language that is seriously offensive, discriminatory, bullying or harassing. There is absolutely no place for bullying or discrimination, online or offline, at the Bar.

“The Bar ought to be a profession where everyone is capable of maintaining civil discourse. Regardless of where the line is drawn in terms of professional misconduct, there will be a huge space where comment that does not amount to misconduct is nevertheless unkind, unnecessary, and profoundly undesirable. Ultimately, if you would not say something to someone’s face, don’t say it to them, or about them, on social media.”

Read the Bar Council's response to the BSB consultation (October 2022)