BSB appoints new Chair and Vice-Chair of Independent Decision-making Body

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has today announced the appointment of Iain Christie as the new Chair of the Independent Decision-making Body (IDB), and Cindy Butts as the Vice-Chair.

The Independent Decision-making Body was established in October 2019, replacing the Professional Conduct Committee (PCC). If it is thought that a barrister may have breached the BSB Handbook, the IDB is responsible for deciding whether to refer the case on to a Disciplinary Tribunal, to deal with the case themselves under the Determination by Consent rules, or, if the IDB believes that there is not enough evidence that the Handbook has been breached, to dismiss the allegations. The IDB is made up of a pool of barristers and lay members. Its panels always have a lay majority.

Iain Christie, who previously served as the IDB’s Vice-Chair, will succeed Aidan Christie QC, who served as the Chair of the IDB since its creation and of its forerunner, the Professional Conduct Committee. The two men are not related.

Commenting on the appointment, Mark Neale, BSB Director General, said: “I welcome Iain Christie as the IDB’s new Chair and Cindy Butts as its Vice-Chair. Under their leadership, I am confident that the IDB will continue to take independent decisions on regulatory issues efficiently and effectively. I would like to thank Aidan Christie QC for his years of distinguished service as the Chair of the IDB and its predecessor, the Professional Conduct Committee.”

 About Iain Christie

Iain was called to the Bar by Inner Temple in 1989.  Between 1992 and 2000 he was a legal adviser at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office where he acted for the Government in proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights and represented the United Kingdom in international treaty negotiations at the United Nations and Council of Europe.  He was a member of the Bill team that drafted the Human Rights Act 1998.

Between 2000 and 2017 he was a tenant at 5RB, the media and information law chambers, specialising in privacy, defamation, data protection and human rights.  He was on the Attorney General’s panel of Crown Counsel from 2004 to 2014.  He is co-founding editor of Tugendhat and Christie: The Law of Privacy and the Media (OUP) and a Bencher of the Inner Temple.

Iain is a CEDR accredited mediator in civil and commercial mediation and also accredited in family and workplace mediation.  In addition he is a qualified coach, facilitator and professional actor.  He now practises as a mediator at 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square and combines his practice with training, facilitation and coaching on subjects ranging from organisational development and personal communication skills to diversity and inclusion.  He is a Leadership Fellow of St George’s House, Windsor Castle and a Policy Fellow to the Lord Chancellor.

Prior to his appointment as Chair of the Independent Decision-Making Body Iain was its Vice-Chair from the inception of the IDB in September 2019.  Prior to this he was Vice-Chair of the Bar Council ADR Panel. His other regulatory and governance positions are as a former Director of IMPRESS, the Independent Monitor for the Press, Secretary of the Civil Mediation Council and Chair of its Complaints and Disciplinary Committee.

About Cindy Butts

 Cindy has over 20 years of experience of improving access to justice, tackling inequality and complaints handling. She currently has a portfolio career which includes being a Commissioner at the Criminal Cases Review Commission, a Lay Member of the House of Commons Speaker’s Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, a Lay Member of the House of Lords Conduct Committee and she is also involved in the  appointment of  judges on behalf of the Judicial Appointments Commission.

Cindy previously served as a Commissioner at the Independent Police Complaints Commission. Prior to this she was the Deputy Chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority where she had responsibility for setting the strategic direction of the Metropolitan Police Service.

About the Bar Standards Board

Our mission is to regulate barristers and specialised legal services businesses in England and Wales in the public interest. For more information about what we do visit:

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