- Examining the standard of proof in disciplinary tribunals for lawyers
- Original news
- The consultation paper suggests barristers and solicitors are out of step and questions why they are being given what appears to be preferential treatment. Are they out of step?
- What is the current regulatory position?
- How is this different to the position relating to solicitors?
- What is the relevant case law in this area?
- The BSB convened a working party in 2011 to consider the issue but it was divided as to what to recommend. While the board took the view that the civil standard appeared more appropriate, it didn't want to make the change unilaterally. So why is it revisiting the issue?
- What are your concerns if the bar is lowered to the civil standard?
- The BSB consultation paper suggests the civil standard of proof is 'probably more appropriate in the public interest' but says no decision can be made without seeking the views of the public. Is that the right approach?
- If the BSB does decide to go ahead, should it do so unilaterally or only if the SDT does likewise?
- The consultation runs until 21 July 2017 and the BSB is expected to make a decision either later this year or early 2018. Is it the 'beginning of the end' of the criminal standard in lawyers' disciplinary proceedings? If it is, should it be done by consultation or case law?
Practice Management analysis: The Bar Standards Board (BSB) is consulting on whether it should lower the current criminal standard of proof in disciplinary tribunals to the civil standard in line with most other regulated professions. Barrister Charles Banner, a public and regulatory specialist at Landmark Chambers, says the courts have been signalling for some time that this is an area ‘ripe for re-consideration’.
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