Around 400 submissions have been made to the New Zealand Law Society | Te Kāhui Ture o Aotearoa as part of the consultation into proposed lawyer’s conduct Rules changes around bullying and sexual harassment.
The proposed changes to the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2008 (RCCC) and the (Lawyer: Ongoing Legal Education Continuing Professional Development) Rules 2013 (CPD) would clearly define discrimination, bullying, harassment, sexual harassment and other unacceptable conduct. They also make the threshold for reporting unacceptable conduct to the Law Society clearer and make it clear no one who makes a report or complaint should be victimised.
Additionally, the proposed changes will require those responsible for managing law practices to provide a report each year, declaring that these issues are being managed appropriately.
“We’re really pleased with the response,” says Chief Executive Helen Morgan-Banda.
“We’ve seen submissions from a wide range of people, and through different mechanisms including the online survey as well as digital meetings.
“We’ve got a significant job now to go through that feedback and understand what it means for the proposals and what needs to change in response to the consultation findings.”
Early indications show overwhelming support for the proposal to include specific definitions for harassment, bullying and discrimination and violence.
The consultation closed on Friday 3 July. We expect to let people know the final proposals around the end of August.