New Zealand Law Society - Court appearance gender ratio research funding approved

Court appearance gender ratio research funding approved

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The New Zealand Bar Association says it has received a grant from the Law Foundation to fund research into the gender ratio of lawyers appearing in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.  

The research will establish the gender ratios of both senior and junior lawyers appearing in both appellate Courts between 1 January 2012 and 1 January 2018. This data will provide useful insight into the extent to which male lawyers appear in these courts more frequently than female lawyers, and whether there is a different gender ratio for those appearing as senior counsel as opposed to junior counsel.

“There is much anecdotal evidence about these issues but little data exists” says Jenny Cooper QC from the NZBA’s Gender Equity Committee, who will lead the research.  

“By giving us a better understanding of the current position and how it has changed over the last six years the research will enable us to better target and measure the success of strategies to increase the role of women as courtroom advocates.”   

The approval of the funding coincides with the launch of the Bar Association and New Zealand Law Society joint Gender Equitable Engagement and Instruction Policy at events in Auckland and Wellington on 5 December 2017.