Bar pulled up on delays to complaints procedure

Delays are tainting the bar’s record on complaints, according to the annual report of the independent complaints commissioner to the Bar Council. It states almost a quarter of complaints take five months or more to be concluded, which it describes as “unacceptable”. Overall, the bar’s record improved, with the number of complaints dropping from 743 in 2002 to 685 in 2003. Of 18 complaints concluded in 2003, 10 resulted in fines against barristers and eight were dismissed.