Rt Hon Harriet Harman KC to lead bullying and harassment at the Bar review

Rt Hon Harriet Harman KC to lead bullying and harassment at the Bar review

The Bar Council has appointed the Rt Hon Harriet Harman KC to chair the independent review of bullying and harassment, including sexual harassment, at the Bar.

The independent review was commissioned by the Bar Council following its report into experiences of bullying and harassment which found that 44% of respondents had experienced or witnessed bullying, harassment or discrimination in the previous two years – an increase on the previous survey results.

These inappropriate behaviours were deemed a widespread problem, as a consequence of the culture at the Bar and the external pressure on the justice system. In response to the findings, the Bar Council has committed to addressing the problem through this independent review.

The review will seek to identify reasons for the level of bullying and harassment, including sexual harassment, at the Bar. It will consider the impact of these behaviours, the efficacy of current prevention measures, reporting mechanisms, support services and ultimately, it will attempt to identify solutions.

The review will take evidence from a wide range of sources and meet with members of the Bar across all circuits.

Ms Harma, a former long-serving Solicitor General and former Chair of the Joint Human Rights Committee, will chair the review with the support of a review team and reference group.

“I’m honoured to be leading this important review”, she said.

“It is to their credit that the Bar Council has acknowledged the problem of bullying, harassment and sexual harassment and has determined to take action to tackle it.”

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