Welcome to the GCN press office
We are here to offer busy journalists direct access to our barristers and to ensure that quotes, comments and interviews are easily and quickly available.
If you are a member of the media and need information about our Chambers or one of our barristers, please contact Helen Ray, Marketing Manager on 0161 233 2536.
In relation to media comment however, the Bar Council Code of Conduct provides specific guidelines for barristers on commenting to the media on cases. The purpose of these rules is to protect the independence of barristers. While barristers owe strong duties to their lay clients, they also owe an overriding duty to the court and should be careful not to bring their independence into question.
In order to assist the media in making relevant enquiries, we have produced a summary of this guidance below ( full details can also be found on the Bar Council website ).
Guidance on media comment
Paragraph 709 of the Code of Conduct prohibits barristers from expressing a personal opinion to the press or other media about the facts of or issues arising out of any anticipated or current proceedings in which they are briefed, expect to appear or have appeared.
"Current Proceedings" guidance: The Professional Conduct and Complaints Committee takes the view that proceedings remain current during the period allowed for an appeal. Obviously in certain circumstances (for example in a criminal trial where a client is acquitted) this will not be a relevant consideration, but barristers generally should not comment before the time limit for an appeal has expired.
Lay client's personal opinion: There is no longer anything to prevent barristers informing the press about their client's view of the proceedings or what their client is seeking to achieve. It is obviously essential that the client should agree to whatever is said on his or her behalf.
Factual points: Similarly, there is nothing to prevent barristers informing the press of the facts of a particular case or of the particular legal issues that will be discussed. They should be careful, however, not to add any personal views about the merits of the case or the appropriate outcome.
Confidentiality and consent: In all of these cases however barristers must bear in mind their duty of confidentiality and the law of privilege. It is prudent to obtain the lay client's consent to anything that is said.