Middle Temple Young Barristers’ Association (MTYBA)
Sexuality at the Bar
A Note prepared for Middle Temple’s Equality, Diversity and Social Mobility (EDSM) Sub-Committee
MTYBA has read the report ‘Sexuality at the Bar: Experiences of LGBT+ Barristers in England and Wales’ and consulted with Members to inform its position.
On 3 April 2018, MTYBA sought the views of its Members via email, directing respondents to a submission form via the website.
MTYBA received an anonymous response, where the respondent highlighted that they were expelled from chambers after revealing to colleagues that they were in a same-sex relationship.
In 2018, it is wholly unacceptable that any groups or individuals experience discrimination or prejudice in the workplace due to their sexuality, or for any reason concerning their identity. MTYBA calls for a thriving culture of acceptance to exist throughout the legal professions, where people are free to disclose and express their sexuality and identity, without it affecting their professional life or limiting their career choices. An open culture of acceptance must also address both the reality and perception that an expression of sexuality and identity will be career-limiting. People should not feel that they will be held back from pursuing professional goals because of their sexuality or identity.
MTYBA accepts LGBT+ Members and will not tolerate any form of discrimination, prejudice or bigotry. The legal professions benefit greatly from being diverse and inclusive. MTYBA will continue to encourage and work with Members of all persuasions to represent the diverse opinions of junior barristers of Middle Temple, anonymously or otherwise, without judgment or impediment, and be a pillar of support for any Members experiencing such challenges.
MTYBA is open to work with the Inns, BLAGG, the report authors, and others, to celebrate and encourage diversity, and to normalise the existence and acceptance of LGBT+ practitioners at the Bar. This could include, but is not limited to:
- hosting an event exploring recommendations to improve the experiences of LGBT+ barristers;
- using authentic LGBT+ characters in future advocacy competitions and mock trials;
- organising combined social and networking events with BLAGG and other stakeholder groups;
- establishing an anonymous contact service through the website to assist any Members facing difficulty by putting them in touch with a senior LGBT+ practitioner and other support services;
- supporting the Inn by hosting and/or lobbying for equality and diversity training for Chambers.
Hayyan Bhabha On behalf of MTYBA
29 June 2018