Cab rank rule for barristers ‘should be scrapped’ according to report written by Westminster Law Professor
4 February 2013
Professor John Flood of the Law School, with Professor Morten Hviid of the University of East Anglia, has published a report on the Cab Rank Rule for the Legal Services Board on 22 January, 2013.
They argue the rule, intended to ensure all clients get representation, is no longer effective and should either be abolished or amended. The authors propose that if the rule is changed it should apply to all providers of legal services, including those working in alternative business structures. It could adopt general principles such as the one espoused by the New York State Bar, which says, “You may not be refused representation on the basis of race, creed, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin or disability.”
The rule which ensures that barristers do not pick and choose their cases, avoiding unpopular causes, is “redundant,” the Legal Services Board says.
In a consultation paper the board, which is the regulator of the legal services market, notes that the rule has been a “defining feature” of the bar for several hundred years.
The Legal Services Board is inviting the views of stakeholders, professional and consumer, on the analysis and the way forward.
About the University of Westminster:
The University of Westminster boasts a vibrant learning environment attracting more than 20,000 students from over 150 nations and we continue to invest in our future with new developments, research projects and new ideas.
We offer highly attractive practice-based courses that are independently rated as excellent, many with international recognition. Our distinguished 175-year history has meant we lead the way in many areas of research, particularly politics, media, art and design, architecture and biomedical sciences, and our position in the city of London allows us to continue to build on our close connections with leading figures and organisations in these areas as well as in the worlds of business, information technology, politics and law.
Our commitment to educating graduates for the needs of professional life attracts high quality students from within the UK and around the globe.
Internationalisation, employability and sustainability are key elements in the University of Westminster’s vision for the future and we strive to ensure the very highest standards are met and maintained.