Equality and Diversity

The Bar Council aims to promote equality and diversity across the Bar.

Our overarching vision (or aspiration) is: 'A profession representative of all and for all' and we work to 'identify and seek to address barriers and assumptions that (i) inhibit the progression of those with a protected characteristic into and within the profession; and (ii) individual access to justice'

Our objectives are:

  • To promote access to all practice areas of the bar, irrespective of background 
  • To work with chambers and practitioners to embed good practices which facilitate remaining in the profession and increase retention 
  • To encourage all barristers (with protected characteristics) in career development, including towards the Judiciary and Silk 
  • To encourage efforts that seek to ensure the profile of the Bar is reflected at all stages of seniority and amongst the judiciary 
  • To better communicate the profession's commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion to all stakeholders 
  • To help create an inclusive working environment where all Bar Council staff and committee members are able to flourish 
  • To keep under review law reform and wider developments that might disadvantage those with protected characteristics 

Barristers and chambers can also access the latest Equality & Diversity Guidance 

Our priorities are:

Access to the profession                    

 (particularly for those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds)


(particularly for women/those with caring responsibilities and for others as a result of current funding cuts across the profession)

Progression to Silk and into the Judiciary

 (particularly for women and ethnic minorities - based on available data)

Our work is:

  • Evidence-Based (everything we do is underpinned by an empirical case for intervention) 
  • With the Profession (we aim to increase the numbers of barristers who are committed to E&D and who support our work) 
  • Across the jurisdiction of England and Wales (we do not confine activity to London and the SE). 
  • In Partnership (we work with colleagues across Bar Council and continue to develop partnerships externally with organisations whose interests align with our own in order to maximise our impact). 
  • Robustly Evaluated

For more information about Equality & Diversity at the Bar, contact Sam Mercer.