The Black Inclusion Group
In June 2020, the Equality and Diversity Sub-Committees of COMBAR, ChBA and TECBAR (the “SBAs”) commissioned a report on black inclusion at the Bar.
The remit of the Black Inclusion Group set up by the SBAs was to explore the representation and experience of “Black” (i.e. of African, Caribbean or mixed African/Caribbean heritage) barristers in the specialist commercial bar. The Black Inclusion Group is comprised of five practising barristers (“the BIG Committee”).
The BIG Committee gathered extensive evidence: data from the Bar Council and Government; a bespoke questionnaire; and round-table discussions with Black barristers at or aspiring to the Specialist Commercial Bar, at all levels of practice from prospective pupils to senior silks.
Following receipt of the above data and the consultation, the Black Inclusion Group has recently issued its first report “The Specialist Commercial Bar &Black Inclusion – First Steps” for consideration by members and member sets. The Report can be accessed here.
The work of the BIG Committee follows, and adds to, the important work of the Bar Council’s Race Working Group in its report dated November 2021. We encourage all our member sets of chambers to consider carefully what is set out in this Report alongside your existing programmes. We will ourselves continue to develop and put in effect practical initiatives which fall within the remit of the work of the SBAs and which we believe will be of material benefit. This is work that is already ongoing. We will ourselves keep this under review and we encourage you to do the same and attend the formal launch of the Report which the authors are organising.
Once more we thank the BIG Committee and everyone who contributed to this Report. We look forward together with each of our member sets to making real progress in this area.
Further updates will be provided in due course on future initiatives of the Black Inclusion Group and any further materials produced.