Three barristers have so far said they will appeal against disciplinary decisions affected by the failure of the Council of the Inns of Court to administer the Bar’s tribunal system properly, with the Bar Standards Board not resisting two of them, it has emerged.
The Bar Standards Board has expressed regret and disappointment at the problems uncovered in the Inns of Court’s administration of disciplinary tribunals – and opened up a turf war over the role of the new tribunals service that is being set up as a result.
The first barrister to become a partner in a legal disciplinary practice has overturned a disciplinary tribunal ruling that she conducted litigation in breach of the Bar’s code of conduct, with both the tribunal and the Bar Standards Board coming in for criticism.
The Bar Standards Board is to accept that some barristers should have disciplinary findings against them overturned because of “anomalies” in the constitution of the tribunal panel which made the decision, it has emerged.
There have been “systemic failures” in the administration of the Bar’s disciplinary tribunals dating back several years, a damning report has found. A review group has issued 82 recommendations to establish a new tribunal service.
The Bar Standards Board has successfully defended a challenge to the validity of a disciplinary tribunal, in the first case to be argued over flaws in the system of reappointing tribunal members.
The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal has taken the highly unusual step of throwing out proceedings taken against a solicitor, finding that the actions of the Solicitors Regulation Authority constituted an abuse of process.
The controversy brewing over faulty appointments to Bar disciplinary panels – and the impact this could have on the decisions they took over recent years – has taken a new turn, Legal Futures can reveal.
The Bar Standards Board has identified around 85 disciplinary cases involving barristers that could be invalidated by the fact that tribunal members who sat in judgment over them were ineligible for the role.
Around 550 disciplinary cases involving barristers could be affected by the failure to validly appoint some of the tribunal members who sat in judgment on them, we can reveal. Specialist regulatory lawyers are watching closely to see if cases can be reopened.