A leading barrister has called on the Bar Standards Board to allow the publication of data relating to sexual orientation by Chambers, in order to promote diversity in the profession.
S Chelvan, an immigration and public law specialist, told The Times Brief that many barristers' sets "would like to promote how diverse they are in these areas... yet are prohibited from doing so." For its part, the regulator has claimed that sexual orientation data is only withheld at the request of lawyers and staff at the chambers.
Regulators are dragging their feet over a review of the rules that prohibit chambers from releasing data on the sexual orientation of their lawyers, a prominent gay barrister has charged. The Bar Standards Board (BSB) currently obliges sets to collect a range of anonymous diversity data covering gender, race, age, disability and sexual orientation. However, while there is no prohibition on chambers publishing their data concerning gender, race, age and disability, the regulator insists that information on sexual orientation – as well as religion and beliefs – is withheld if objections to publication are raised by barristers or staff at the chambers. The board has argued that the prohibition on releasing data regarding those categories is necessary to protect sensitive matters of privacy. However, the watchdog has said it is reviewing its position.