The Bar Standards Board’s handling of complaints against barristers has received a clean bill of health in an independent report published today, which praised the process as ‘prompt, thorough and fair’.
The report, by independent observer Isobel Leaviss, commended the board for its fair, consistent and well-reasoned decision-making as well as its ‘genuine commitment to continuous improvement’.
Leaviss said she was impressed by the ‘collective dedication’ of the profession conduct department and committee to ensure its policies and procedures are ‘robust’ and that its handling of complaints is ‘prompt, thorough and fair’.
After spending 55 days observing the BSB’s handling of complaints, Leaviss said she had ‘consistently’ observed good practice and encountered a ‘healthy attitude to constructive challenge’ and ‘genuine commitment to continuous improvement’.
The findings of the report were presented at the BSB’s monthly meeting last night.
The report sets out a number of recommendations designed to help enhance the regulator’s disciplinary processes – including publishing a summary of the appointments process for its prosecutors at disciplinary tribunals, and assigning new prosecutors an experienced ‘mentor’.
The BSB said that all the recommendations have been accepted and most have already been implemented.
Chair of the BSB’s professional conduct committee Simon Lofthouse QC said the report is a ‘testament to the dedication and professionalism’ of BSB staff.