Elections to go digital this year

Barristers to ditch paper ballots for Bar Council vote

Voting in this October’s Bar Council elections will, for the first time, be exclusively online rather than by post.

The move to electronic voting will make it easier for the 16,500 barristers of the Bar of England and Wales to vote.

The Bar Council meets eight times a year. Bar Council meetings provide a platform for debate at the Bar on issues affecting the profession, the rule of law and justice and are regularly attended by the Attorney General and Solicitor General. In 2016 the Bar Councilpassed a resolution urging the then Lord Chancellor, Liz Truss, to condemn the attacks on the judiciary in the media. The resolution caught widespread press attention and prompted the Lord Chancellor to back the judiciary.

The Bar Council’s move towards greater digital efficiency is also reflected by the representative body’s recent investment in developing an app for barristers to use as part of the court ID card scheme, and in its plans to make greater use of AI in various future projects.

Malcom Cree CBE, Chief Executive of the Bar Council, said: “Given the importance of the elected Bar Council, we are determined to make participation in elections and the work of the Bar Council as efficient as possible for those we represent.”

“The Bar Council’s elected body helps us shape our priorities and allows us to feed back to the Bar on the important work we are doing in the Bar’s interests and for the justice system.”

Under the move to digital voting, barristers will be able to log in to their MyBar account to vote. There will be no paper ballots.

Electronic voting will open on 4 October 2019 and close at 10.00 on 21 October 2019.

The Bar Council will be running an awareness campaign for barristers, #BarGoesDigital, in the run up to the election to highlight the move to electronic voting.

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