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The Bar Council has staunchly defended the ‘values’ of the bar, hitting out regulatory proposals to re-evaluate the role of the Inns of Court and require barristers to publish prices.

The council said the role of the Inns of Court should remain mandatory because they ‘play a fundamental role in nurturing and developing the shared culture of the bar’ and also warned against diminishing barristers’ ‘skill and judgment’ by moving towards standardised rates.

The council’s views appear in strongly-worded responses to proposals from the Bar Standards Board on Future Bar Training (FTB) and its plans for implementing the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) recommendations for transparency standards.

In its FTB consultation, the BSB asked whether the roles of the Inns of Court, which include calling new barristers to the bar and supervising students’ conduct, ‘remain appropriate’. Under one option, the BSB suggested non-members could be made eligible for call. 

But the Bar Council’s response insists membership should be mandatory for all. ‘We believe that most barristers share a culture of adherence to high standards of behaviour and professional ethics, not because they are...

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