The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has today launched a new consultation seeking views on the final phase of the Governance Reform outlined in its 2016-19 Strategic Plan. The BSB now proposes to change how it deals with the information it receives as the regulator and to revise its decision-making structures in relation to professional conduct issues.
In its consultation paper, the regulator proposes the establishment of a new Independent Decision-Making Body (IDB) consisting of a pool of 30 lay and barrister members from which panels of three or more will be nominated to take individual regulatory decisions. Under the plan, the IDB will replace the BSB’s Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) which currently consists of 32 lay and barrister members.
BSB Director-General Dr Vanessa Davies said:
“We outlined the proposals we have announced today when we published our Strategic Plan in 2016. They are a major and final component of our modernisation of the BSB in the public interest. It is important that we deal with information we receive and take individual regulatory decisions as consistently and efficiently as possible,while continuing to ensure that the decisions we make are the right ones. We think that today’s proposals reflect this balance and we want to know what barristers and other interested parties think. We encourage people to respond to our consultation and share their views with us.”
The IDB would also take over the role of the current Authorisations Review Panels in dealing with challenges to staff decisions on individual applications for authorisation and waivers from Handbook requirements.
About the Bar Standards Board
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More about the Independent Decision-Making Body
Like the current PCC, panels of the IDB will meet in a way to retain a lay majority for all of the decisions it makes but the panels will be smaller than the current PCC panels which can have over 20 members