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What is the Bar?

A unique legal profession of specialist advocates

What is the Bar?

The Bar is a unique legal profession of specialist advocates and advisers called barristers. Barristers are highly trained with specialist knowledge and experience in and out of court. The Bar is committed to excellence in advocacy, advisory services and promotes the unique position of barristers as independent and objective legal specialists.

The barrister profession in Australia is represented in each of the States and territories.  Barristers are regulated by the Bar for the jurisdiction where they practice. All state and territory Bar Associations are members of the Australian Bar Association.

As Australian lawyers and Australian legal practitioners, all barristers in Australia are now entitled to appear before the courts in any jurisdiction in Australia.

The States and Territories

While the role of a barrister is common across all jurisdictions, the administration of the profession is slightly different.

In New South Wales and Queensland, there is a split profession, meaning that the roles of barrister and solicitor are separated. In South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory, the professions of barrister and solicitor are fused, but an independent bar is maintained for those wishing to practice solely as barristers, regulated by the Legal Practice Board of the jurisdiction.  In Tasmania and the Northern Territory, the profession is fused, although a very small number of practitioners operate as an independent bar.

Further slight differences exist in the administration of Barristers’ Chambers and in the clerking system.

Australian Bar Association networks

Through the relationships forged through the ABA, the state and territory Bars share resources and knowledge and most state Bar Associations welcome members from other states to their events and education programs.