Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Creating a fairer, more equitable environment for all members of the independent referral bar is a key priority of the Council. It aims to ensure that the Bar is a friendly, collegial and respectful working environment for all of our members and is working hard to ensure that a member’s ability to achieve his or her potential is not limited by prejudice or discrimination.

With an increasing emphasis on equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) across all sectors, The Bar of Ireland is playing its part in helping to deliver the transformative power of EDI to the business of law.

A more diverse profession brings a greater variety of experience, enhanced insights, skill sets, tactics and decision-making, it reflects community expectations of fairness in all aspects of the administration of the law, and ensures a profession that is more representative of the composition of the community it serves.

Member Supports Include

· A dedicated online Personal Support Hub – access to a range of personal and professional supports and resources

· Consult a Colleague – a confidential helpline for members

· The Dignity at Work Protocol – raising awareness of the value of a positive working environment and supporting members in identifying and responding to inappropriate behaviour such as bullying and harassment.

· A CPD Wellness Series – promoting discussion of mental health and encouraging members to seek help where necessary.

· The Law & Women Mentoring Programme – promoting equality and improving diversity in the legal profession by providing support to female counsel.

· Parental supports and resources including reduced subscription rates for members taking maternity leave

· The Denham Fellowship – supporting aspiring barristers who come from a socio-economically disadvantaged background to access the profession and develop a career at the Bar.

Initiatives in development

· Equitable Briefing Policy – raising awareness of unconscious bias in briefing decisions and supporting the equitable distribution of briefs to both female and male counsel in all areas of practice.

· Equality Action Plan –addressing the challenges faced by underrepresented, disadvantaged and minority groups in pursuing a career at the Bar. Areas of focus include gender, socio-economic disadvantage, ethnic minorities, and disability.