New Zealand Law Society - Australian Bar Association adopts equitable briefing policy

Australian Bar Association adopts equitable briefing policy

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The Australian Bar Association says it has adopted the Law Council of Australia's Equitable Briefing Policy.

“The ABA has and always will promote the high quality and specialist skills of the Bar and by adopting the LCA’s equitable briefing policy we are working towards ensuring that applies to all of its members," ABA President Patrick O'Sullivan QC says.

“In some areas of the law and in certain sectors, we’re witnessing excellent progress. It appears that the common theme amongst those implementing equitable briefing policies successfully, is a genuine commitment to cultural change, to the policy and to its objectives starting from the top of an organisation.”

The Equitable Briefing Policy includes the objective of briefing women in at least 30% of all matters and paying 30% of the value of all brief fees by 2020.

The Law Council of Australia adopted the policy on 18 June 2016. It says the policy is intended to drive cultural change within the legal profession, support the progression and retention of women barristers, and address the significant pay gap and underrepresentation of women in the superior courts.

The New Zealand Law Society's Women's Advisory Panel says it plans to engage with ILANZ, the New Zealand Bar Association and other key stakeholders to explore how they can work together to promote equitable briefing.

The New Zealand Bar Association launched an Equitable Briefing Policy at its annual conference in September 2009. Earlier this year the NZBA said it was developing a new initiative to promote equitable briefing practices, and is currently establishing a new committee with a sole focus on looking at gender equity. It says the promotion of its Equitable Briefing Policy will be among the aims of the committee.

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