(asked on 27th January 2021) - View Source

Question to the Ministry of Justice:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the ability of (1) civil servants, (2) legal regulators, including the Solicitors Regulation Authority, and (3) legal trade bodies, including the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, (a) to investigate, and (b) to adjudicate, complaints about antisemitism fairly; and of the effectiveness of those groups' (i) antisemitism procedures, and (ii) handling of accusations of antisemitism.

This question was answered on 10th February 2021

The Government regularly engages with legal regulators and representative bodies to understand the effectiveness of the regulatory system. No specific assessment has been made of the ability of legal regulators or legal trade bodies to investigate or adjudicate complaints about antisemitism fairly, or of the effectiveness of these groups’ procedures or handling of accusations of antisemitism.

The legal profession in England and Wales is independent of government and lawyers are regulated by approved regulators. There is an independent oversight regulator, the Legal Services Board, which has a statutory duty to approve the regulatory arrangements of the regulatory bodies covered by the Legal Services Act 2007. This includes conduct rules which set out the conduct and behaviour expected of licensed legal practitioners, which include matters of discrimination relating to the protected characteristics in the Equality Act 2010. The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators is a professional organisation representing the interests of alternative dispute resolution practitioners. As a UK registered charity, it is regulated by the Charity Commission.

The Government is clear that all forms of discrimination are unacceptable. The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants. All civil servants are expected to adhere to the core values of integrity, honesty, objectivity and impartiality as set out in legislation. Each Department or Agency has its own complaints procedure.

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