Professional conduct

The Bar Association's Professional Conduct Department facilitates the investigation and reporting to Bar Council of conduct complaints referred to the Bar Council by the Office of the Legal Services Commissioner.

Relevant legislation

The Legal Profession Uniform Conduct (Barristers) Rules 2015 came into force on 1 July, along with the rest of the Uniform Law Scheme. The new Uniform Conduct Rules were based on the Australian Bar Association’s ‘Model Rules’, which had been adopted in NSW, in the NSW Barristers Rules 2014. For more information about the Uniform Law Scheme, visit our Uniform Law page.  

Disclosing matters to the Bar Council

Barristers are required to apply to renew their practising certificates before 30 June in each year. The renewal form includes questions relating to disclosures barristers are required to make to the Bar Council. For the assistance of members, there is an outline of the disclosures which barristers are required to make.

Ethical guidance

Members requiring ethical guidance may contact the senior counsel on the association's Professional Conduct committees. The names and telephone numbers of senior counsel can be obtained by telephoning the association’s Professional Conduct Department: ph (02) 9232 4055.

Guidelines on Issues arising from the use of ChatGPT and other AI Language Models in Legal Practice

The Bar Association has developed Guidelines on Issues arising from the use of ChatGPT and other AI Language Models in Legal Practice which may be accessed here. The Guidelines acknowledge the unique ethical and practical challenges posed by the advent and rapid evolution of AI language models and assist NSW barristers to understand their duties under the Legal Profession Uniform Conduct (Barristers) Rules 2015 (NSW) and the importance of their role in the administration of justice in the context of the consideration of whether to use AI language models, such as ChatGPT, in their legal practice.

The document should not be read as encouraging or approving the use of such models. It is a guide in relation to professional obligations that must be considered before, and not breached in the event of, such use. It is important to note the date of currency of the Guidelines in this evolving area. The Association acknowledges the importance of keeping abreast of both legal and technological developments in this area, and will endeavour to regularly review and update the Guidelines.

Information for barristers responding to a complaint referred to the New South Wales Bar Association

What happens when the Bar Association receives a complaint about a barrister? What action should a barrister take in relation to a complaint? How long will it take for the complaint to be processed? Learn more here.

Latest disciplinary cases

The Bar Association's Professional Conduct Department publishes a list of the latest disciplinary decisions of courts and tribunals, regarding holders of NSW practising certificates. View the list here.

Suspensions / cancellations of practising certificates