The Ministry of Justice and the Bar Council are together issuing a Consultation Paper in respect of a draft Legal Services Bill.

This draft Bill is intended to provide a framework which substantially overhauls of the regulation of legal services in Gibraltar so as to ensure that the sector is regulated in a modern, transparent and effective manner which best reflects the fused nature of legal practice in Gibraltar.

This includes proposals for a more inclusive register of legal practitioners who would be subject to regulation, the updating of standards, codes of professional conduct, disciplinary rules and the governance of legal services in line with the development of the profession, the establishment of an independent Legal Services Regulatory Authority and the placing of the Law Council (currently the Bar Council) on a statutory footing. The background to the draft Bill is dealt with in more detail in the Consultation Paper.

At this stage the Ministry of Justice and the Bar Council invite stakeholders and the general public to make comments and submissions on the draft Bill and Consultation Paper.

Such comments and submissions should be made by 21st September 2016 to the following addresses by post or by email:

Kevin Warwick
Senior Crown Counsel
Ministry of Justice
Suite 771 Europort
Europort Road
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Secretary
Bar Council
2/7 Casemates Square
PO Box 919
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The Minister for Justice, the Hon Gilbert H Licudi QC MP, said- “The Government is committed to reviewing the current system of regulation of Legal Services in Gibraltar. To that end we are pleased to, together with the Bar Council who have been a driving force behind the preparation of this draft Bill, publish this consultation paper in order to consider the views of the general public and stakeholders. I am looking forward to considering the views of the public in respect of this proposal.

The Chairman of the Bar Keith Azopardi QC said: “We have been working very hard over the last few months on the draft that is going to consultation today. The Council is committed to updating the current regulatory system for lawyers and achieving a modernised and comprehensive system of regulation for the provision of legal services in Gibraltar. The launch of this consultation exercise is a significant step forward in that process and was one of the key objectives we mapped out at the last Opening of the Legal Year.