In brief: Survey shows split decision on elections

Barristers are divided over whether the Bar Council should emulate the Law Society and open up the election of its office holders to all barristers, not just members of the Bar Council. A survey of 1,345 barristers conducted by the Bar Council as part of its investigation into the accountability of the Bar's ruling body, showed 47 per cent supporting the status quo and 50 per cent supporting an electoral free-for-all. But clear majorities did support an ending of the Bar Council's right to change its constitution and the code of conduct without consultation. Treasurer Michael Blair was due to report the findings of the survey at a Bar Council meeting on Saturday, after The Lawyer went to press. Elsewhere in the survey there was majority support for ballots of the profession to be made binding on the Bar Council. At the moment the Bar Council has no obligation to adopt the resolution of ballots, such as the one undertaken last year on the complaints system.