Thursday, February 9, 2012

Bringing the profession into disrepute

I've been reading various articles recently which have got me thinking about what it really means when a barrister is accused of "bringing the profession into disrepute". The major problem with it its scope and lack of definition.  Many people might reply that it doesn't need defining since like an elephant you simple know it when you see it. In many cases that may well be the case. But the problem is when the sanctions can be so very serious there is a real possibility of leaving areas completely grey and uncertain until tested. Again, people might say this is necessary to give flexibility in an ever-changing world. But even despite this, surely it would be better to have details provisions as to what to do and what not to do that could be updated as time goes on. Otherwise, there seems to be a serious risk of retrospective law-making. In other words, turning on something in particular because with the benefit of hindsight it fails the test. I guess it really just sticks in the throat that the body which regulates the profession which might be seen as defending the right to a fair trial and all that should at the same time have something so arbitrary as a means of discipline.

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