A new website devoted entirely to helping barristers with ethical and practice queries has been launched by the Bar Council to support its members.
The new online tool, the Ethics & Practice Hub, which can be used on a mobile phone or tablet, provides guidance on ethical issues faced by barristers in meeting their regulatory obligations as set out in the Bar Standards Board's Handbook. In addition, the site offers barristers and their chambers guidance materials on IT, equality and diversity, international practice and remuneration issues in relation to practising at the Bar.
The new site www.barcouncilethics.co.uk has been designed to enable barristers to access the Bar Council's guidance documents quickly and more easily, and is there to supplement the Bar Council's Ethical Enquiries Service.
This is a confidential service, by phone and email, for the benefit and assistance of barristers (and, where appropriate, their clerks and other staff connected with barristers' professional practices) to help them to identify, interpret and comply with their professional obligations under the BSB Handbook.
Andrew Langdon QC, Chair of the Bar, said: "This is a step up in the services that the Bar Council offers to barristers and chambers in the crucial areas of professional ethics and practice. Our Ethical Enquiries Service received more than 6500 calls and emails from barristers in the last year, and will continue to be one of our most highly-valued services, but we also produce a wide range of excellent and informative guidance documents. These should be the first port of call for barristers and their staff who are looking for help in these areas, whether they need to deal with an ethical issue urgently or are looking for a more in-depth consideration of good practice.
"The new site will make these documents much more accessible, and thus help to disseminate the good advice that they contain across the whole Bar. Given the importance of ethics and practice management to the Bar, an easy to use and quick access website such as this is essential."
Currently, the Bar Council's ethics and practice guides sit on the Bar Council's main website. Barristers and chambers will now be directed to the new, stand-alone ethics hub from the main Bar Council site. The site will be updated regularly by the Ethical Enquiries Team in the Bar Council, with support from the Bar Council's Ethics Committee and other committees.