Serving Two Masters


in English Lawyers between Market and State

Published in print May 2004 | ISBN: 9780198260349
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682094 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Socio-Legal Studies

Serving Two Masters

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In exchange for regulating themselves, professions claimed immunity from external control, advancing the same justification they offered for controlling entry: the division of labour endowed them with the unique expertise to judge both probity and competence. The nineteenth-century Bar's intimacy and homogeneity gave those institutions considerable informal influence. When the Senate incorporated the Bar Council in 1974, it established the Professional Conduct Committee (PCC), which could impose minor sanctions or refer more serious matters to the Disciplinary Tribunal, from which appeal lied to the judicial Visitors of the barrister's Inn. The PCC declined to review incompetence, despite the Royal Commission's recommendation. The Court of Appeal affirmed, in 1969, that barristers were not liable for malpractice as advocates but suggested in dictum that they might be in other activities. The Senate required barristers to purchase indemnity insurance only in 1983.

Keywords: Bar Council; Professional Conduct Committee; Disciplinary Tribunal; barrister's Inn; Court of Appeal

Chapter.  25173 words. 

Subjects: Legal System and Practice

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