Professional standards

Practising barristers in Ireland must follow the Bar Council's strict Code of Conduct. This ensures that barristers uphold the highest professional and ethical standards when working with clients, the court and the public.

Complaints of misconduct by a barrister against another barrister are considered by the Bar Council's Professional Practices committee.

Complaints of misconduct from the public, solicitors and other clients are considered by the Barristers' Professional Conduct Tribunal.

The Tribunal can impose penalties if it finds that a barrister has been guilty of breaching the Code of Conduct or of breaching proper professional standards.

It should be noted that the Tribunal does not deal with professional negligence claims. Such claims are a matter for the courts.

Expanded role of non-lawyers in the complaints procedure of the Bar of Ireland
The role of non-lawyers in the Bar’s complaints procedure was greatly expanded after changes to the Disciplinary Code of the Bar of Ireland were approved at a General Meeting of the Bar on 13 March 2006.

The Tribunal is now composed of nine members, five of whom are not lawyers and four are barristers. Of the five non-lawyer members, one is nominated by the Irish Business and Employers Confederation (IBEC); another by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions; and the three remaining members are nominated by the Bar Council.

At least three members of the Tribunal must be at each meeting. The Tribunal sits with a majority of non-lawyers and at least one member who is a barrister.

The members of the Tribunal are:

Patrick McCann SC
Denis McCullough SC
Alan Dodd BL
Anne-Marie Lawlor BL

Dr Aine Hyland (former Professor of Education at UCC)
Mr Maurice O’Connell (former Governor of the Central Bank)
Dr Pat O’Neill (Consultant in Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine)
Ms Noirin Greene (Irish Congress of Trade Unions)
Ms Maire Sweeney (IBEC – Human Resources)

Contact Secretary:  Donal O'Kelly, tel: (01) 8175011

For more information on How to make a complaint about a barrister.