Bar Council prompts war of words over training plans

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has lashed out at the Bar Council’s proposals to limit BVC places in submissions made to the Entry to the Bar working party.

The BSB said that it does not share the Bar Council working group’s view that the over-supply of students on the BVC is of itself a cause for concern.

The BSB does not see how limiting numbers on the BVC would bring any quality or diversity benefits.

Concerns were also raised into a proposal by the working party, which is chaired by Lord Neuberger, to increase the standard of entry to the BVC to a 2:1 degree, “in the absence of firm evidence as to the likely benefits”.

Director of the BSB Mark Stobbs said that the board’s newly established Education & Training Committee was keen to consider the working group’s proposals on quality and access to the profession.

Stobbs added: “We will do so through careful examination of the evidence base for the proposals. We will then use this information to establish the potential nature and case for change.”

A Bar Council spokesman said that limiting BVC places is one of the issues which is being addressed. He added: “The interim report by the working party, however, is not the final outcome and we need to wait for the final report and a definitive answer which we shouldn’t pre-empt.”