- This policy is prepared in accordance with the new Equality and Diversity Rules of the Code of Conduct and the Guidance thereto which came into force in September 2012. This policy shall be made available to all members of chambers and staff and any other person upon request.
- St Ives Chambers is committed to the implementation and promotion of equality and diversity principles and equal opportunities. It recognises the importance of the Bar being seen to be fair and non-discriminatory and to be open to all, regardless of social, economic or educational background or circumstances.
- Underlying this policy is our intention that every individual should be accorded equal and fair opportunity and respect and be judged on merit and ability alone, free from judgments or treatment based on prejudice or assumptions of collective characteristics.
- St Ives Chambers is committed to ensuring an absence of direct or indirect discrimination, discrimination arising from disability, harassment and victimisation. In particular, St Ives Chambers is committed to ensuring the absence of any discrimination on the grounds of race, sex, disability, pregnancy and maternity, sexual orientation, marital or civil partnership, gender re-assignment, religion or belief, or age. This commitment applies in all aspects of chambers’ work, including the recruitment of pupils, tenants and staff and the treatment of lay and professional clients.
- All members of chambers shall comply the Code of Conduct, which provides as follows: ‘305.1 A barrister must not, in his professional practice, discriminate unlawfully against, victimise or harass any other person on the grounds of race, colour, ethnic or national origin, nationality, citizenship, sex, gender re-assignment, sexual orientation, marital or civil partnership status, disability, age, religion or belief about pregnancy and maternity.’
- For the avoidance of doubt, any member of Chambers who has incorporated as a limited company or other separate entity shall adhere to this policy.
- St Ives Chambers is committed to ensuring that there is an Equality and Diversity Officer and a Deputy Equality and Diversity Officer appointed within chambers. The Equality and Diversity Officer will be responsible for all matters relating to equality and diversity, including compliance with chambers’ policies, updating policies to meet changes in any legislation and guidance, and promotion of the policies within chambers and externally where appropriate.
- St Ives Chambers is committed to fair recruitment and selection processes for the recruitment of pupils, tenants, mini-pupils and staff, including clerks (practice managers and assistant practice managers) using objective and fair criteria.
- St Ives Chambers will carry out equality monitoring and regularly review the percentages of staff, barristers and pupils within chambers and those applying to join chambers by reference to gender, race, disability and other characteristics. St Ives Chambers is committed to investigating the reasons for any disparities in that data and taking appropriate remedial action where necessary.
- St Ives Chambers is committed to ensuring that there is a Diversity Data Officer appointed within chambers who shall comply with the requirements in relation to the collection, processing and publication of Diversity Data set out in paragraphs 408.2(o) to (t) of the Code of Conduct.
- St Ives Chambers is committed to the fair distribution, without discrimination, of work amongst pupils and members of chambers and fair career development. The allocation of unassigned work, including work allocated to pupils, barristers of fewer than four years’ standing and barristers returning from parental leave, will be regularly reviewed and any disparity in the data will be investigated and appropriate remedial action taken where necessary.
- St Ives Chambers is committed to a written anti-harassment policy and will not tolerate or condone harassment. Full details are set out in the ‘Anti-Harassment Policy’.
- St Ives Chambers is committed to allowing members of chambers to take parental and adoption leave without prejudice to their career development. Full details are set out in the ‘Parental and Adoption Leave Policy’.
- St Ives Chambers is committed to allowing members of chambers to take a career break, to work part time, to work flexible hours or to work from home to enable them to manage their family responsibilities or disability and remain in practice. Full details are set out in the ‘Flexible Working Policy’.
- St Ives Chambers is committed to supporting disabled clients, barristers and visitors to chambers. Full details are set out in the ‘Reasonable Adjustments Policy.’
Anyone has a right to complain or raise a grievance against this policy.
- Full details are set out in chambers’ policy on complaints and grievances. Any concerns or complaints can also be raised with chambers’ Equality and Diversity Officer or Deputy Equality and Diversity Officer.
Reviewed by: Mark Cooper
Date reviewed: 4th September 2017
Next review date: August 2018