Policy Agenda

Time for Change: Addressing Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is unacceptable, in any context.

It can happen to anyone, but often reflects power imbalances and gender-based discrimination. Sexual harassment drives people away from participating in the workplace and society, and limits their opportunities in the process. Sexual harassment causes lasting harm to individuals and organisations, and it erodes the public’s trust in our profession when our members are the aggressors.

Eliminating sexual harassment in the legal profession has been part of a long-running commitment from the Law Council and its Constituent Bodies regarding inclusion and diversity in the legal profession. In 2020, it was clear we needed to re-think how to drive cultural change within the profession.

On 8 July 2020, the Law Council convened a National Roundtable experts to review and make recommendations about the legal profession’s policy responses to sexual harassment. Following the National Roundtable Addressing Sexual Harassment, the Law Council consulted with its Constituent Bodies, external experts and worked with its Equal Opportunity Committee to develop the Law Council’s National Action Plan to Reduce Sexual Harassment in the Legal Profession (NAP).

The NAP brings together the determination of the Law Council’s state and territory Constituent Bodies to address sexual harassment, and maps a path forward that addresses the regulatory and cultural change factors necessary to facilitate better experiences for legal professionals. One of the measures recommended in the NAP is this Time for Change: Addressing Sexual Harassment portal, as a centralised information suite for people seeking information and resources about sexual harassment. The Time for Change: Addressing Sexual Harassment portal will continue to be updated as the Law Council and its Constituent Bodies develop resources and measures to address sexual harassment within the profession, including those outlined in the NAP.

 

Resources


Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

The following resources are available on the AHRC website, including but not limited to:

Commonwealth of Australia
 


Australian Capital Territory Bar Association

The ACT Bar Association has the following resources:

Last updated: 25 February 2021
 

Australian Capital Territory Law Society

The ACT Law Society has the following resources:


New South Wales Bar Association

The New South Wales Bar Association has the following resources:

Last updated: 25 February 2021
 

New South Wales Law Society

Visit the New South Wales Law Society website here.
 


Law Society Northern Territory

Visit the Law Society of Northern Territory website here.
 

Northern Territory Bar Association

Visit the Northern Territory Bar Association website here.
 


Law Society of South Australia

The Law Society of South Australia has the following resources:

Last updated: 25 February 2021
 

South Australian Bar Association 

Visit the South Australian Bar Association website here.
 


Law Society of Tasmania

Visit the Law Society of Tasmania website here.
 

Tasmanian Bar Association

Visit the Tasmanian Bar Association website here.
 


Victorian Bar

The Victorian Bar has the following resources:

Last updated: 10 March 2021
 

Law Institute Victoria

The Law Institute of Victoria has the following resources:

  • The Law Institute of Victoria's Addressing Sexual Harassment Portal, including guides, information and resources, complaint forms, position statements and policies.
  • The Law Institute of Victoria's website also contains information on how to stop sexual harassment happening in your office.

Last updated: 25 February 2021
 

Victorian Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commission

The Victoria Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commission has the following resources:


Law Society of Western Australia

The Law Society of Western Australia has the following resources:

The Law Society of Western Australia have recommended the following resources:

Last updated: 25 February 2021
 

Western Australian Bar Association

Visit the Western Australian Bar Association website here.
 

 

I Need To Talk With Someone

You can contact your local law society or professional association for more information. See previous links in the drop-down menu above.
 

The Australian Human Rights Commission website has information on support services and can assist those who have experienced sexual assault or sexual harasssment and would like to seek support. 
 

The Australian Government has a list of support services, which you can contact.
 

 

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