Bar pressed to take action against age discrimination

Barristers are pushing for a clause in the Bar's code of conduct outlawing age discrimination.

The move comes after statistics compiled by students at Middle and Inner Temple showed that applications from candidates over 30 were nearly twice as likely to fail compared to ones made by those under 30.

The Bar's recently established equal opportunities committee was last weekend due to consider the demand from the special committee on ageism. It will be the second successive year the committee has pressed for the change.

Martin Bowley QC, chairman of the working committee on age discrimination, said he did not know why the suggestion was not followed up last year.

Another proposal for a candidate's date of birth to be listed at the end rather than the beginning of PACH application forms was rejected by the Pupillage board earlier this year.

Bowley said he was seeking a review of the decision: “It would mean people would have to read the form first rather than just binning it because of the age.”

The sex discrimination committee has also voiced alarm about continued sexism in pupillage applications.