On the 8th July 2020 the Law Council of Australia held a national roundtable to discuss sexual harassment in the legal profession and what strategies could be put in place to address the issue. The event was aimed at providing a forum for experts to develop, discusses and refine policy positions for legislative reforms, and new approaches to combat the issue.
Attendees included inclusion and diversity representatives from the Law Council’s Constituent Bodies, the Australian Bar Association, regulators of the legal profession, women lawyers’ associations, law student and university representatives and the Sex Discrimination Commissioner.
Participants agreed on several proposals for further consideration and advancement by the Law Council including:
- Specific amendments to the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth), including the extension of the prohibition of sexual harassment to all areas of life, and not just in respect of certain relationships and situations.
- Measures to facilitate cultural change in the legal profession, including the facilitation of uniform policies and approaches to sexual harassment, training, as well as further consideration of the relevant professional conduct rules.