The amended rules clarify the standards of behaviour expected of lawyers when engaging with clients, colleagues and others, with an emphasis on tackling bullying and harassment. Consultation on the guidance document is open from 1 June until 16 July. The new rules come into force from 1 July.
“This guidance is intended to be a practical tool to help law practices understand their new obligations under the rules. Bullying, discrimination, racial or sexual harassment and other prohibited behaviour have no place in any profession,” says New Zealand Law Society | Te Kāhui Ture o Aotearoa President Tiana Epati.
“Everyone has an individual part to play in securing the well-being of our legal community. We also need to ensure the public can have trust and confidence in the legal profession.”
Read more about the Draft Guidance on Professional Standards and Reporting Obligations
The guidance is split into five sections and covers:
- reporting misconduct and unsatisfactory conduct
- the clear expectations on law practices to have policies and systems to prevent and protect employees and other people that it engages with from bullying, discrimination, harassment or violence, and a designated lawyer to report to the Law Society about this conduct
- support for people affected by bullying, discrimination, harassment or violence
- what to do if you are the subject of a report or complaint
- terminating instructions in the event of bullying, discrimination, harassment or violence by a client
This guidance is intended to help you understand your obligations under the rules, and the changes to the reporting obligations that have been introduced for prohibited behaviour, and to help protect and support those affected by this type of conduct. We would like your feedback on the draft guidance to understand if it is clear enough and if any further guidance may be required. Please email your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org
Consultation will close on 16 July.