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BSB proposes amendments to widen its powers to protect the public

Breaking NewsBSB proposes amendments to widen its powers to protect the public

In June 2023, the BSB issued a consultation document seeking views on proposed changes which would widen the powers of the BSB and of Disciplinary Tribunals to protect the public by restricting or suspending a barrister’s ability to practise on an interim basis.

Today, the BSB has published a summary of responses to the consultation, and the BSB’s response. The four respondents agreed with the BSB’s rationale for the changes and the proposed rules changes, and their suggested amendments have been adopted in the new rules.

Following approval from the BSB Board, we have therefore decided to proceed with the following rule changes, subject to approval by the Legal Services Board:

  1. Giving the Disciplinary Tribunal the power to impose interim restrictions on a barrister’s practising certificate, or the withdrawal of practising rights on an interim basis, where a finding of misconduct has been made but the decision on sanction has been deferred to a later date in order to protect the public and the public interest; and
  2. Extending the powers of the BSB to refer a person to an interim suspension panel, by adding a new ground for referral, where it is “necessary to protect the public or is otherwise in the public interest”.

Subject to approval by the Legal Services Board, we expect that the rule changes will come into force in the New Year. Further updates will be published in due course.

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