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The Bar: white, male, middle class

The Bar remains dominated by those from a certain socio-economic background, with the expense of training the greatest obstacle to entry, says James Robottom

28 October 2014

Along with the upper judiciary,
the Bar forms a key part of the British establishment. Its traditions, dress,
even its language – ‘chambers’ and ‘robing’, for example – are more redolent of a period drama than a modern, diverse society. The historic image of the Bar is clear: white, male, Oxbridge and privately educated.

However, it is making attempts to change. In 2007 came the landmark report of a working party chaired by Lord Neuberger. The report advocated a series of reforms, aimed at each of the different institutions that affect the demographic of the Bar.
It concluded with the stirring observation that ‘the Bar can only flourish and retain public confidence if it is a diverse and inclusive profession’.

Following the report, the Inns of Court and the Bar C...

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