Bar Council asks for IT ideas

The chairman of the Bar Council's practice management and development committee, Stephen Hockman QC, has called on barristers to contribute to the debate on the role of information technology in civil justice reforms.

Addressing a seminar called "Tomorrow's Barrister: Developments Today" at the Bar conference on 3 October, Hockman predicted IT would transform the entire legal system over the next few years. Barristers could no longer ignore the issue, he said.

"We are talking about the possibility that the majority of legal services will cease to be delivered face-to-face and will be delivered electronically.

"We may or may not like what's happening, but it is happening all the same, and we would be very unwise not to at least spend some time thinking about what's going to happen and what the Bar can do to consolidate its role," he said.

He asked barristers to write to him at the Bar Council with ideas on what distinctive role barristers could play in the changing legal landscape, and how they saw IT fitting into their practices in the future.

A government consultation paper on the role of IT in civil justice reform was published last month. The deadline for submitting responses to the paper is 18 December this year.