On 5 April 2004, the Bar Council of the ACT Bar Association endorsed a model equal opportunity briefing policy for female barristers and advocates.
The briefing policy was originally an initiative of the Law Council of Australia following a request from the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General, and was first released in March 2004. The ACT Bar Association endorsed it in the following month. The policy was designed to create a national approach to the issue of under-representation of women at the Bar and to provide a suitable policy document for use by the private legal profession.
Equitable briefing practices maximise choices for legal practitioners and their clients, promote the full use of the Bar, and optimise opportunities for practice development of all counsel and solicitor advocates.
Currently, the following organisations have adopted either the Model Policy or similar:
- ACT Bar Association
- NSW Bar Association and Law Society
- Queensland Bar Association and Law Society
- SA Bar Association and Law Society
- Victoria Bar Association and Law Institute
- WA Bar Association
- New Zealand Bar Association
The Commonwealth Government, along with some State and Territory governments, have also adopted some form of equal opportunity briefing policy.
A copy of the Association’s briefing policy can be accessed here.
More information regarding the Law Council’s equitable briefing policy can be found on the Law Council’s website.
Unconscious Bias Fundamentals for Legal Practitioners
Legal pracitioners make a multitude of decisions daily, affecting themselves and others, and where unconscious biases are in play, the outcomes may be less than optimum and often contrary to your intentions.
Unconscious Bias Training is an interactive course for practitioners. It is a one hour CPD Module and can be claimed as any compulsory CPD Unit. For more information click here.