The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has today launched a consultation to seek views as to whether their proposed new rules for the training and qualification of barristers provide the right framework to give effect to the new policies announced recently by the regulator as part of its Future Bar Training (FBT) programme.
The rules themselves set a high level framework and much of the policy implementation will be achieved by additional supporting documents, the overall effect of which will be:
- the authorisation of a limited number of future training routes for students to qualify as barristers in England and Wales. This policy was first announced in the BSB’s Statement in March 2017 and will be facilitated by the new rules. A separate Authorisation Framework outlines in more detail the basis by which the BSB will authorise training courses within any of the new training routes;
- confirmation of the role of the Inns of Court in the training and qualification of barristers, as announced in the BSB’s Policy Statement in March 2018; and
- provision for the future of pupillage and other forms of work-based learning including the policy changes announced in the BSB’s Policy Statement in May 2018.
Today’s consultation presents a new, simplified set of qualification rules that will replace Part 4 (also known as the Bar Training Rules) of the current BSB Handbook. The consultation paper provides more detail about the specific rules that it is proposed will be introduced.
BSB Director of Strategy and Policy, Ewen MacLeod said:
“We have consulted extensively throughout every stage of the Future Bar Training programme. Our regulatory policy about the way in which barristers train and qualify is now settled. Therefore the purpose of this consultation is to make sure that the way we have drafted the new rules effectively implements those policies. We would very much like to hear from anyone who has a view on this.”
The new rules will be finalised in the autumn and, subject to approval by the Legal Services Board, are expected to take effect in early 2019.
The closing date for this consultation is 17 September 2018.