The Commissioner for Equal Opportunity was tasked by the Attorney-General on behalf of the Parliament to conduct an independent review into harassment in the legal profession, following a motion which passed the Legislative Council in October 2020.
The review report was provided to the Attorney-General on Friday 9 April 2021.
The report makes 16 recommendations aimed at supporting the development of safe and inclusive workplaces in the legal profession.
The review considered the existing regulatory framework, policies and procedures that apply to members of the legal profession and staff who work in a legal workplace, as well as best practice in responding to and preventing workplace harassment.
The review also considered whether an independent complaints body was required to allow a person to make an anonymous complaint about a legal practitioner.
The experiences and views of those who work or who have previously worked in a workplace that provides legal services were vital to this review.
This included those who practise the law as well as those who provide legal administrative services such as:
- law clerks
- office administration staff
- students undertaking a clerkship or legal placement.
People were invited to contribute by:
- participating in an anonymous survey (PDF 632KB)
- making written submissions
- speaking with the Acting Commissioner.
If you took part in the review and are experiencing distress or work in the legal profession and the review has triggered difficult memories for you, we encourage you to seek support.
Counsellors are available through the following services:
- Lifeline - 131 114 (24 hours, personal crisis service)
- 1800Respect - 1800 737 732 (sexual violence service)
- Yarrow Place - 1800 817 421 (rape and sexual assault service)
- MensLine Australia - 1300 789 978 (men's service)
- QLife - 1800 184 527 (LGBTQI service)
- BeyondBlue - 1300 224 636 (depression, anxiety and suicide prevention service)
- your Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
- Tackling inappropriate behaviour in the legal profession - 20 April 2021
- Review of harassment in legal profession underway - 10 March 2021