The Bar Council's Race Working Group
A Bar Council Race Working Group was formed in June 2020 to report into our Equality Diversity and Social Mobility (EDSM) Committee, and to help advise on Bar Council activity.
The working group includes representatives from all the Circuits, Specialist Bar Associations (SBAs) and Inns of Court, as well as networks created to support barristers and Bar students from different ethnic minority communities.
Race at the Bar report
Read the Bar Council’s Race Working Group's 2021 report addressing inequality at the Bar and proposing a series of recommendations for action.
This short report includes an update on pupillage and silk appointments by ethnicity for 2022 and a summary of race-based activity across the Bar in the past year.
The Bar Council’s Race Working Group's 2021 report addressing inequality at the Bar and proposing a series of recommendations for action.
Race awareness training
Developed by the Race Working Group, Introduction to race training: Starting a conversation about race in chambers is an introductory training course designed to raise awareness of race equality issues and promote anti-racism at the Bar.
Delivered by a member of our race training delivery panel, the course provides a summary of legal and regulatory duties with respect to race as well as introducing different types of racism. Participants will be guided through a series of practical exercises and scenarios drawn from the experience of barristers from ethnic minority backgrounds, providing an invaluable starting point for further training and education on race.
Join the Race training delivery panel
If you are interested in joining the panel as a paid facilitator, and have experience of delivering training (with specific reference to equality, diversity and inclusion/race or anti-racism training), you can read full information and apply here.
Other Bar Council initiatives
The Bar Council’s efforts to modernise the Bar and make it a more diverse profession are wide-ranging. They include a mixture of direct support, including:
- training and guidance
- positive action programmes – for example, Bar Placement Week, PAJE and the Bar Council Leadership programme as well as a number of allocation of work/flexible working projects
Work undertaken since June 2020
The Bar Council, supported by the Race Working Group, has:
- Made regular public statements and taken action to assist barristers who have reported racism to us;
- Promoted Bar-based initiatives on race including Black History Month through product launches and blogs;
- Produced a comprehensive and short positive action guide and a Framework for Taking Action on Race;
- Agreed a revised approach to terminology, referencing different ethnic communities in line with current good practice;
- Signed up as a supporter of the Black Talent Charter
- Supported the 10,000 Black Interns initiative; and
- Supported networking and collaboration.
What we are doing now
- Developing further guidance
- Advising chambers on developing positive action programmes by applying the Bar Council’s positive action guides and Framework
- Improving data collection and reporting where gaps have been identified
Working with others
The Bar Council recognises that a wide range of race-related initiatives are in development across the Bar. Whilst we are focusing on initiatives that are specifically tailored to the Bar, we’re very keen to hear about other programmes, and to look at how action taken elsewhere might support our work with the Bar.
To get in touch, email [email protected].