Response to the Bar Council and Bar Standards Board Responses to the Flood-Hviid Report on the Cab Rank Rule for the Legal Services Board
11 Pages Posted: 2 May 2013
Date Written: April 30, 2013
The Bar Council and the Bar Standards Board entered lengthy critiques of my, and Morten Hviid's, report on the Cab Rank Rule undertaken for the Legal Services Board. The original report is 40 pages. The Bar Council response runs to 30 pages but the BSB response runs to nearly 90 pages! Both responses say that we essentially miss the point of the cab rank rule (that barristers must be like taxis and take any client that comes along) and that without it the rule of law would collapse. The responses rely on judicial pronouncements mostly.
However, it is clear that neither group understands the nature of social science research and the role of empirical evidence. Time and time again the responses reject our use of empirical evidence by the simple assertion that it's wrong. Our response attempts to put straight the misconceptions of the Bar over the cab rank rule. We say the rule is now used to bargain with government and solicitors over the levels of remuneration; it is no longer about representing the odious client. For indeed, the more odious the client, the more likely the client will be represented for their attendant publicity value.
Keywords: cab rank rule, Bar, barristers, barristers clerks, legal profession, lawyers
JEL Classification: J44
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation