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WHERE TO LOOK FOR SUPPORT
If you are asked for assistance by someone who has been subjected to inappropriate behaviour, there are a number of avenues available for complaints and concerns to be reported and documented (including anonymously).
Talk to Spot
The Bar Council offers an online tool for barristers to confidentially and anonymously report inappropriate behaviours. The ‘Talk to Spot’ app allows barristers to record and, if they wish, report incidents of bullying, harassment and discrimination.
Bar Council Helpline
The Bar Council also offers a confidential ‘helpline’ (by telephone: 0207 611 1321; or by email: [email protected]). The helpline is operated by Sam Mercer, the Bar Council’s Head of Equality and Diversity (or by a member of her team). Those contacting the helpline for advice and support will not be asked to provide their name or the name of their chambers or employer.
Wellbeing at the Bar
A detailed information pack on bullying and harassment is available on the Wellbeing at the Bar website. It contains a step-by-step guide to ‘self-help’ in dealing with an incident of bullying or harassment, a list of resources and options for those affected by inappropriate behaviour and additional reading on the subject.
Barristers can contact their Circuit leaders (or other Circuit Officers) to discuss and report instances of inappropriate behaviours on circuit.
Judicial Conduct Investigations Office
Complaints about the personal conduct of judicial office holders can be made to the JCIO (within three months of the matter complained of).
Inns of Court
The Inns of Court have produced a joint Anti-Harassment Policy which establishes a confidential reporting mechanism at each Inn for the reporting of inappropriate behaviour in connection with the Inns’ activities (though not confined to incidents that occur on Inn premises). Each Inn has specially trained employees designated to deal with complaints and concerns (usually the Under Treasurer or Sub-Treasurer of the Inn) whose details are listed on their websites. A report of inappropriate behaviour can be made confidentially in the first instance.
The Inner Temple website also offers a confidential electronic reporting form: Report an Incidence of Harassment | Inner Temple