Chambre de Discipline of the Guernsey Bar - Lay and senior lawyer Panel Members

FAQs

  1. What is the Chambre de Discipline?

    The Chambre is a body established under law to consider complaints of professional misconduct against members of the Guernsey Bar (advocates). The legislation is The Guernsey Bar (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2007, as amended; a copy is attached and may also be accessed via www.guernseylegalresources.gg.

     

    The Chambre consists of three panels:-

  • A lay panel;

  • An advocate panel;

  • A senior lawyer panel.

In summary, after initial investigation and evidence gathering by the Registrar (who is, or has recently been, a legal practitioner), a hearing may be arranged before the Chambre for a decision on the matter.

  1. How long are panel members appointed for?

    Members of each of the three panels are appointed for a maximum of five years, and cannot then be re-appointed for a further five years after their term ends.

  2. Are panel members paid?

    Panel members may claim remuneration at an hourly rate for time spent on Chambre matters (including preparation for a hearing). The rate is in accordance with the States' remuneration of members of the TRP and Income Tax tribunals.

  3. How often would I have to sit?

    Whilst the number of times a panel member will have to sit will depend on the number of hearings required, it is unlikely to exceed 2/3 times per year.

  4. How long does a hearing last?

    This will depend on a number of factors including the nature of the complaint, the volume of evidence to be considered and whether or not witnesses are called to give evidence in person. In some complex cases it is possible that a hearing might span several days.

  5. What types of complaint can be considered by the Chambre?

    Any complaint must be one alleging professional misconduct; this can take a number of forms, but will generally involve a breach of the Guernsey Bar Rules. One definition of “professional misconduct” is “behaviour outside the bounds of what is considered acceptable or worthy of its membership by the governing body of a profession”.

    Complaints regarding allegedly excessive fees are not usually covered, unless the complaint is, for example, that the advocate concerned did not clearly set out the likely fees at commencement of the relationship, or did not keep the client updated regularly as to costs.

  6. Who is eligible for appointment as a panel member?

    For the Lay Panel, potential members must:-

  • Be ordinarily resident in the Bailiwick;

  • Not be a jurat, a member of the Juvenile Panel or of any other tribunal in the Bailiwick, and;

  • Never have been a member of a legal profession in any jurisdiction.

For the senior lawyer Panel, potential members must:-

  • Not be an Advocate of the Guernsey bar;

  • Be a practitioner or member of the judiciary of at least 15 years’ standing in any jurisdiction in the British Islands

  1. How many members sit at each hearing?

    For each hearing, one member is selected from each of the three panels by the President of the Chambre (himself a lay person). The members choose a chairman from amongst themselves.

  2. Are the hearings in public?

    Hearings are in private unless the respondent (the advocate who is the subject of the complaint) requests that it be in public, and the Chambre agrees that this would be in the interests of justice.

  3. Who selects panel members?

    The five members of each panel are selected by an Appointments Committee established under the Law, consisting of the Bailiff, the Senior Jurat and the Batonnier of the Bar.

  4. Where can I get further information?

    Further information can be obtained from the Batonnier, Advocate Clare Tee tel: 01481 724124 /e-mail: [email protected] or from the President, Richard Green tel: 01481 248494/e-mail: [email protected].uk.

    A copy of the form to be used for making a complaint against an Advocate and associated guidance can be found here and here.

Latest News