The governance and business of the Society is overseen by regular meetings of the elected Governing Benchers of the Inn (“the Bench”) in accordance with the rules of governance (“Bench Table Orders”). The majority of the Governing Benchers of the Inn are practising barristers.
The Bench meet as a “Parliament” primarily for the purposes of electing the Treasurer and/or Reader, and to approve calls to the Bar. The Bench meet as a “Bench Table” for the purpose of transacting any other business not conducted at a Parliament as above (Bench Table Order 16: Parliaments and Bench Table Order 17: Bench Tables).
The Bench Table approve each year the appointment of Governing Benchers to sit on all Committees and as Masters of the Society (Bench Table Order 18: Committees, Officers and Representatives of the Society).
Subject to the directions of the Bench Table, the Executive Committee is responsible for determining the financial and other policies of the Society. The Executive Committee shall consult the Bench on all substantial questions of financial or other policy.
The Executive Committee shall have as its Chair the Treasurer of the Society and as its Vice-Chair, the Reader of the Society. Its membership shall comprise:
- the Reader-Elect;
- the Chairmen of the Estates, Library, Education & Training and Scholarships Committees;
- the Master of the House;
- the Master of the Staff;
- the Bench and Bar Auditors;
- seven other Governing Benchers elected by the Bench;
- one Honorary Bencher elected by the Bench (if so advised);
- three other members of Hall nominated by and from the Bar Liaison Committee;
- one of the Society's Trustees elected by the Bench;
- a representative of the Society on the Bar Council;
- the COIC Trustee.
(Bench Table Order 19: Executive Committee)
Committees of the Society
Subject to any general direction of the Bench or of the Executive Committee, the Society’s committees have overall responsibility for developing the policies and co-ordinating the activities of the Society within their individual remits, and reporting to the Executive Committee. The main committees (Estates, Library, Education & Training and Scholarships Committees) have sub-committees where required for specific areas of activities, such as advocacy training. There are also committees appointed for purposes of co-ordinating the Society’s finances, investments, archives, Church and Choir and international activities (Bench Table Order 20-29: Other Committees).
A list of the Committees of the Society and their members can be found here.
Masters of the Society
Subject to any general direction of the Bench or of the Executive Committee, the Masters of the Society shall be responsible for the management of the relevant part of the Society's affairs. They include the Master of the House, the Master of the Garden, representative Masters of each of the Circuits, the Master of the Staff and the Master of Diversity & Inclusivity. Each shall be answerable to the Executive Committee (Bench Table Order 30: Masters of the Society).
A list of the Masters of the Society can be found here.
Bar Liaison Committee
The Bar Liaison Committee shall consist of members of the Society who are members of Hall, and be responsible for representing the views of the members of Hall to the Society, its Committees and its Masters. The Bar Liaison Committee shall, by reference to its Constitution, nominate members of Hall to be members of each of the committees of the Society and to assist each Master of the Society in their activities (Bench Table Order 31: Bar Liaison Committee).