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Our response to the ICCR report

At the beginning of June, we published our response to Professor Gus John's Independent Comparative Case Review (ICCR) report, which was published in March this year, and which is available at www.sra.org.uk/iccr.

The ICCR report presented the results of case reviews and of a statistical analysis of SRA data.

Our response identifies the key findings of the report for the SRA as being:

  • that BME solicitors continue to be disproportionately over-represented at key stages of the regulatory process
  • that there was no evidence of direct discrimination, including in the individual cases reviewed, in the way the SRA applied its regulatory policies and processes.

We drew up our response following engagement with BME solicitors and organisations representing them, the Law Society's Equality and Inclusion Committee, the Lawyers with Disability Group, sole practitioners and the Law Society, as well as SRA employees.

The SRA has already embarked upon a programme of regulatory reform (see earlier item, Our reform agenda). This is aimed at reducing the burden and cost on firms of all sizes. The regulation of small and BME firms will be a particular focus of the SRA's work. Other actions intended to address the issue of disproportionality include:

  • improved internal quality assurance processes to provide greater assurance that discretionary decisions are fair, consistent and free from bias
  • an enhanced programme of engagement to ensure the SRA understands the issues experienced by its stakeholders
  • improved data analysis to inform the SRA's approach to issues of disproportionality
  • continued efforts to recruit staff, Board and Committee members from more diverse background

See our response at www.sra.org.uk/iccr.

 
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