The Bar Standards Board is investigating eight cases of alleged sexual harassment and seven incidents relating to social media – around 7% of its entire caseload, it revealed last week. The sexual misconduct figure appears to be lower than that of the solicitor branch of the profession when numbers of practitioners are taken into account.
In total, 204 complaints are being investigated by the bar regulator; 15 of which are related to alleged sexual misconduct and inappropriate use of social media platforms.
According to the BSB’s annual enforcement report, issues relating to social media are increasing, raising questions about the boundary between professional and personal life. Three sets of proceedings were brought in 2018/19.
Reports of sexual misconduct appear to have remained steady, however, with nine incidents of sexual harassment reported in 2018/19. The regulator has updated its case management system to monitor such complaints and is also piloting a harassment support scheme through which barristers can access confidential help.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority is investigating 117 cases related to sexual misconduct, following a surge in reporting.