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Plans laid out for legal sector regulatory shake-up

The Ministry of Justice and the Bar Council have unveiled draft plans for an overhaul of the regulation of legal services in Gibraltar.

They will today jointly issue a consultation paper setting out a framework that seeks to ensure a “modern, transparent and effective” regulation of the local legal sector, which fuses the professions of barrister and solicitor.

It includes proposals for a more inclusive register of legal practitioners who would be subject to regulation; the updating of standards; codes of professional conduct; disciplinary rules and the governance of legal services in line with the development of the profession; the establishment of an independent Legal Services Regulatory Authority; and the placing of the Law Council - currently the Bar Council - on a statutory footing.

“The Government is committed to reviewing the current system of regulation of Legal Services in Gibraltar,” said Justice Minister Gilbert Licudi, QC.

“To that end we are pleased to, together with the Bar Council who have been a driving force behind the preparation of this draft Bill, publish this consultation paper in order to consider the views of the general public and stakeholders.”

“I am looking forward to considering the views of the public in respect of this proposal.”

Keith Azopardi, QC, the chairman of the Bar Council, said a lot of hard work had been done on the draft ahead of publication of the consultation paper.

“The Council is committed to updating the current regulatory system for lawyers and achieving a modernised and comprehensive system of regulation for the provision of legal services in Gibraltar,” he said.

“The launch of this consultation exercise is a significant step forward in that process and was one of the key objectives we mapped out at the last Opening of the Legal Year.”

The Ministry of Justice and the Bar Council have invited stakeholders and the general public to make comments and submissions on the draft Bill and Consultation Paper, which can be downloaded from the Gibraltar Government website https://www.gibraltar.gov.gi/.