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Fitness to Practice

Purpose: For supplementary information on wellbeing guidance and good management practice, visit
Scope of application: All barristers
Status and effect: Please see the notice at end of this page. This is not “guidance” for the purposes of the BSB Handbook I6.4.

The BSB use the term fitness to practice to refer to the procedure followed when there are health concerns about a barrister.

It only applies to barristers with a current practising certificate. If a barrister revokes their certificate then the process stops.

The health condition also has to have an impact on the barrister’s practice, rather than being a concern generally.

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Important Notice

This document has been prepared by the Bar Council to assist barristers on matters of professional conduct and ethics. It is not “guidance” for the purposes of the BSB Handbook I6.4, and neither the BSB nor a disciplinary tribunal nor the Legal Ombudsman is bound by any views or advice expressed in it. It does not comprise – and cannot be relied on as giving – legal advice. It has been prepared in good faith, but neither the Bar Council nor any of the individuals responsible for or involved in its preparation accept any responsibility or liability for anything done in reliance on it. For fuller information as to the status and effect of this document, please see here.

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