The Bar Standards Board, which regulates barristers called to the Bar in England and Wales in the public interest, has recently introduced new rules and responsibilities into the Code of Conduct of the Bar. These relate to matters of equality and diversity, and operate in addition to Oriel Chambers’ own strong pre-existing commitment to such issues.
Accordingly, Oriel Chambers has appointed a Diversity Data Officer and carried out a voluntary and anonymous survey of all staff, members of chambers and pupils, in order to collect diversity data. Analysis and consideration of such information allows Chambers to promote its policies relating to equality and diversity issues.
It is a further requirement of the new rules that a summary of the survey data be published, save for under certain circumstances. These exceptions include where individuals responding to the survey do not consent to publication, where there are fewer than 10 individuals who fall into a particular category, where the data relates to characteristics of sexual orientation and religion/belief, and where the publication of the data may allow individuals to be identified.
For the foregoing reasons, Oriel Chambers is unable to publish data relating to QCs, pupils, clerks, fee clerks, administration and support staff, or in relation to sexual orientation, religion/belief, ethnicity and disability. This data, however, will nevertheless be used by Chambers to assist with the continued development of its policy to provide equal opportunities to all members, and to all candidates for pupillage, tenancy and employment. Chambers remains committed to the principle that such candidates be judged solely on merit.
Oriel Chambers currently comprises of 54 barristers ( including tenants and door tenants). The gender make up of such barristers is expressed in the following chart:
Having regard to the positive replies (27) with appropriate consents received from the aforementioned diversity data survey and which information can be published ,the following charts convey additional information.
The above information is accurate as of 1st February 2013 and will be updated in accordance with the requirements of the Code of Conduct published by the Bar Standards Board, and their guidance relating thereto.