ICLR 2019: Review of the BSB Handbook (Code of Conduct) – Show us how to do it!

The following content has been provided by the panel presenting on this topic during the afternoon on Day 2 of ICLR 2019.


Of interest to everyone who has recently, or who is thinking of, reviewing their code of conduct.  Recent experience: The UK Solicitors Regulation Authority has recently reviewed their rules, as has the Californian Bar.  This is interesting because of the potential tension between the opinions of the profession and the wider public interest including variation of approaches to ‘best regulatory practice’.


Dr Vanessa Davies (DG, Bar Standards Board), Ewen MacLeod (Director of Strategy and Policy Bar Standards Board), Dr Michael Jampel (Head of Policy and Research Bar Standards Board), Iain Miller (Kinglsey Napley; Chair of ARDL)

What particularly do you hope to explore in this session? 

What is regulatory best practice with respect to:

1) process of reviewing codes of conduct/introducing change: bringing the profession with you while not allowing their voice to dominate; obtaining the views of the public (workshops, surveys, consultation documents?); hence the legitimacy of the outcome

2) substance: what is the code actually for/who is the audience?  Should it be principles-based/outcome-focused/ detailed rules covering every/all main possibility(ies)

3) accessibility: digital first? What else can we do to make it more accessible?

What do you hope to achieve with this session?

Gain insight; what traps to avoid/ “I wish we had known this when we started”

Useful documents/background reading for context

Our (very high level) Call for Evidence

Our current code of conduct (“Handbook”) (but it’s 250 pages, so we don’t expect you to read it!):

Anything you would like to ask the regulator community in advance of the session to inform the content/preparation?

Have you recently/are you planning to review your code of conduct?

Which of the above questions would be of most interest to you to discuss in the session (process, substance, accessibility)


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