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Bar Council issues Protocol proposing regular court sitting hours

Date:6 JUN 2017
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Senior Editor

The Bar Council has issued a new Protocol proposing regular court sitting hours, save in exceptional circumstances.

There is a growing tendency for courts to list cases early or late in the court day without reference to the majority of court users. This is particularly common in the criminal and family courts.

This has widespread implications for the professional practices of barristers, as well as their ability to manage appropriately their professional duties, own wellbeing, and any caring and personal commitments that they may have.

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Research from the Bar Council and Bar Standards Board has identified that variable sitting times contribute to pressures upon barristers with caring responsibilities, particularly women, and are therefore a significant barrier to retention after childbirth.

The Bar Council invites the adoption of a new Court Sitting Hours’ Protocol for all hearings in the High Court, County Courts, Crown Courts, Magistrates’ Courts and Tribunals.

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