The values underpinning our operations, activities and programs are:
- Independence of government, client, solicitor, colleague and self-interest
- A strong enduring community of barristers who maintain the highest professional and ethical standards
- Excellence and innovation borne of a deep understanding of the law
- Supporting the right of all members of society to access quality legal representation
- Vigorous and fearless representation of our clients’ rights and interests
- A system of law that secures justice in a free and democratic society
Code of Conduct
The conduct of members of the Victorian Bar is regulated by the Legal Profession Act 2004 and our Rules of Conduct (Practice Rules). These documents set out the high standards of behaviour expected of barristers in carrying out their professional duties, including their duty to the Court and to the client.
Compliance with these standards is overseen by the Bar’s Ethics Committee on a day-to-day basis, and by the Legal Services Commissioner, as required.
In addition to this commitment to professional standards, the Bar is committed to promoting equality and diversity and has adopted an Equality and Diversity Policy.
The Bar adopted the Equal Opportunity Briefing Policy in 2004. This policy was formulated for voluntary adoption by both clients and legal practitioners (including in-house counsel) throughout Australia. The Victorian Government has adopted this policy as a core part of Government Legal Service arrangements.
Whilst acknowledging that the selection of counsel or solicitor advocates is ultimately the decision of the client, referring legal practitioners exercise significant influence in making that selection.
We also support Indigenous practice and study of the law through a paid Indigenous Clerkship Program. This program was initiated in 2007 and is the only program of its kind in Australia. The Victorian Bar now leads the nation in the number of Indigenous barristers on its Bar Roll.