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Equality and diversity

Founded upon a commitment to social justice, Garden Court Chambers has always prided itself on our commitment to diversity. This applies equally to our barristers, pupils, and staff. The outcome is that we are one of the most diverse organisations and workplaces in the country.

Statement of commitment to equal opportunities

  1. Garden Court is committed to equal opportunities and tackling discrimination.
  2. We recognise that in society groups of individuals are oppressed and/or disadvantaged on grounds of their race, ethnic or national origin, social class, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability and age. We further recognise that there is acute discrimination both in the criminal justice system and the legal establishment.
  3. We are committed to ensuring that our policies and practices relating to all aspects of the running of chambers and of the legal services that we offer, are accessible to and reflect the needs of those who face such discrimination.
  4. We recognise that to achieve equality of access and service delivery, positive steps will be required to eliminate discrimination.
  5. It is the policy of Garden Court Chambers (Limited) to deal with its tenants, employees, pupils, lay and professional clients, and applicants for pupillage or tenancy or any other position (and all others who have dealings with chambers) without distinction by reference to race, ethnic origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital status or social class. Age and disability are also to be disregarded save in those limited circumstances in which they are genuinely material to the relevant position.
  6. In particular, chambers are committed to ensuring that pupils, tenants and employees are selected without discrimination, that discriminatory considerations play no part in the allocation of work within chambers, and that no instructions are accepted from solicitors who seek to select Counsel on a discriminatory basis. Further, chambers does not permit or condone harassment on the grounds of any of the factors set out at paragraph 5 above.
  7. To that end chambers takes into account the BSB’s Equality and Diversity Code, and will continue to do so as the Code is amended or revised from time to time.
  8. Chambers will maintain separate written policy statements dealing with selection of pupils and tenants, instructions to clerks concerning the refusal of instructions offered on a discriminatory basis, parent leave, and the operation of a grievance procedure for pupils and employees. (the preparation and maintenance of such policy statements to be the responsibility of the relevant committees).
  9. Any decision or action found to have been taken on discriminatory grounds will, if possible, be reconsidered. Steps will be taken to ensure that any harassment of any person or persons is brought to an end. Any tenant, employee or pupil of chambers who is found to have committed any act of prohibited discrimination will be dealt with as seems most appropriate by the chair and deputy chair of the Management Committee/Board of Directors.

Diversity data

Tenants, pupils, squatters and staff are invited to participate in an anonymous annual survey: Diversity Data Survey 2012.

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