The Bar Council's Race Working Group
A new 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 and Inns of Court, as well as networks created to support barristers and Bar students from different ethnic minority communities.
Race awareness training guide and materials
The Bar Council has developed a guide on having a conversation about race in chambers. It is designed to increase understanding of race and promote anti-racism at the Bar. The materials are available free of charge and include a summary of legal and regulatory duties, as well as explaining different types of racism.
We strongly recommend that those who lead the discussion in your chambers are experienced or qualified race or equality and diversity trainers, or barristers and chambers staff with experience of supporting these types of conversation. We are currently in the process of establishing a panel of suitable facilitators who will be available to deliver this course in your chambers. If you would like to be contacted about having a qualified trainer deliver the materials in your chambers when the panel is established, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 research, helplines, training and guidance and 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; 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, please email email@example.com.