Vision, Purpose, and Values

Independence, excellence, leadership, growth

Our Vision

Independence, excellence, leadership, growth

Independence – VicBar is a strong and independent group of professionals who uphold the rule of law. Our work is built on the tradition of providing fearless legal representation and advice to all in the community. We provide impartial and objective representation and advocacy. The Bar Council will work to maintain and, where possible, enhance the independence of the Bar.

Excellence – VicBar supports its members to provide legal representation and advocacy of the highest quality. We will provide members with services to develop skills, foster talent and promote a collegiate culture. The Bar Council will build the conditions to sustain high-quality performance across the Bar.

Leadership – VicBar calls upon its unique blend of expertise and authority to lead and support efforts to advance the rule of law and improve access to, and the efficient administration of, justice. We will work collaboratively with other legal bodies to best support the justice system in Victoria. The Bar Council will agree areas of legal reform that are strategic priorities. It will ensure that the Bar speaks with a single, authoritative voice on these issues.

Growth – As the legal services market changes VicBar needs to adapt to embrace the opportunities this presents. VicBar will support its members to maintain and expand their practices by building awareness of barristers’ distinctive competencies, developing marketing initiatives and enabling members to implement strategies and contribute to the Bar’s marketing.

Our Purpose

To ensure the Bar and its members thrive and continue to do so.

‘To ensure the Bar and its members …’ – Our purpose is directed towards both the individual members that comprise VicBar and the Bar as an organisation. VicBar is a diverse community of independent individuals with different strategic and professional interests. The interests of members are nevertheless closely aligned and all members will benefit if VicBar functions effectively as a member organisation.

‘…thrive…’ – We aim to support VicBar and its members to develop over time and to flourish in a legal environment that is rapidly changing. The term ‘thrive’ captures the various ways that members can develop and prosper, personally, professionally, and financially.

‘…and continue to do so’ – Our purpose emphasises the Bar’s commitment to ongoing improvement. We recognise the value of building on the Bar’s long-standing traditions, through innovation, flexibility and embracing new ideas.

Our Values

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 Uniform Law Application Act 2014 (Vic) and the Legal Profession Uniform Law Conduct (Barristers) Rules 2015 (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 Legal Services Commissioner and Bar Council, as required.

Equal opportunity

The Bar is committed to promoting equality and diversity and has adopted the Law Council of Australia’s Equitable Briefing Policy 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.

The aims of the Policy are to achieve a nationally consistent approach towards bringing about cultural and attitudinal change within the legal profession with respect to gender briefing practices. We encourage you to adopt the Policy by completing the form at the LCA website. The Bar has also adopted the LCA’s Diversity and Equality Charter.

The Bar's Equitable Briefing Initiative is designed to achieve equitable representation of Victorian women barristers in commercial litigation. As part of the Bar’s commitment to promoting equality and diversity, the Bar affirms the goals set out in its Equality and diversity policy.

We also support Indigenous practice and study of the law through a paid Indigenous Law Students’ Clerkship Program. This program was initiated in 2007 and is the only program of its kind in Australia. More information about the 2020 Indigenous Law Students’ Clerkship is available here. The Victorian Bar now leads the nation in the number of Indigenous barristers on its Bar Roll.