Proposed new Barristers' Rules acknowledge mediation
The work of mediators will be defined as "barristers' work" if proposed changes to the Queensland Barristers’ Conduct Rules get the green light.
The Queensland Bar Association has put forward a proposal to make changes to the Barristers’ Conduct Rules, including that "barristers' work" should include being a mediator.
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An additional point could be added to Rule 15 of the document so that a barrister’s work would include "acting as a mediator or arbitrator or expert in any dispute resolution".
Another proposed change was to Rule 75, surrounding barristers’ involvement in publication of material around proceedings. The rule originally stated "a barrister must not publish or take any step towards the publication of any material concerning any proceeding", but, if the changes are approved, it seems the rule would be slightly more relaxed.
The proposal suggests that: "A barrister must not publish or take any step towards the publication of any material concerning any current proceeding in which the barrister is appearing, has appeared, or any potential proceeding in which the barrister is likely to appear."
A sub-point to the rule would also allow barristers to disclose confidential information "with the permission of those persons to whom the relevant duty of confidence is owed."