Victorian Bar Policies


NATIONAL MODEL GENDER EQUITABLE BRIEFING POLICY

The Victorian Bar Council supports a fair, equitable, dynamic, inclusive and diverse Bar which continues to attract and retain the best talent, male and female. One way it does this is by actively promoting the aims of the  National Model Gender Equitable Briefing Policy (Policy), launched by the Law Council of Australia (LCA) in June 2016 and formally endorsed by the Victorian Bar. The aims of the Policy are to achieve a nationally consistent approach towards bringing about cultural and attitudinal change within the legal profession with respect to gender briefing practices, so as to maximise choices for legal practitioners and their clients, promote the full use of the independent Bar and optimise opportunities for practice development of all barristers. The Victorian Bar has also adopted the LCA’s Diversity and Equality Charter

Adopt the Policy

You can be involved in these endeavours. The Policy is available for adoption by all barristers. By adopting the Policy, you can demonstrate to your colleagues at the Bar and across the wider profession your support for the aims of the Policy and, through those aims, the continued excellence of the Bar. We encourage you to adopt the Policy by completing the form at the LCA website. 

CONDUCT POLICIES AND INTERNAL COMPLAINTS PROCEDURES

The Victorian Bar is committed to providing a working environment where barristers and those engaging with barristers can conduct themselves free from bullying, discrimination and sexual harassment. The principles on which the Bar is founded demand respectful behaviour by members of the Bar.

Below are links to the Bar’s policies against  Sexual Harassment, Bullying and Discrimination. They deal with the Bar’s stance in relation to this conduct, and the Bar’s processes for reporting or making a complaint regarding instances of sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination.

These policies will commence operation on 1 July 2018.
 

Judicial Conduct Policy

The Victorian Bar is committed to ensuring that members are treated appropriately at all times in their engagements with judicial officers. It engages openly and constructively with courts and tribunals to encourage maintenance of the highest standards of conduct by judicial officers.

Leasing and Sub-Leasing Chambers

BCL Chambers Allocation 

The BCL Chambers Allocation Policy can be viewed here.

Subleasing Chambers

If you are contemplating sharing or subleasing chambers while you are on parental leave you may place your details on the noticeboard by clicking here. You should not rely solely on the noticeboard for this purpose.

Once you have found a person who wants sub-lease or share your chambers, contact your Chambers Management for details about making application to share or sub-lease. For those in BCL Chambers approval needs to be sought in the following ways:

Sub-lease – Send your request in writing, including the name of the proposed sub-lease tenant, the proposed timeframe and the reason for the sub-lease request, to
Geoff Bartlett
E gbartlett@vicbar.com.au.
The request will then go before the Committee for approval.

Sharing – Send your request in writing, including the name of the proposed co-tenant and details of billing arrangements, to
Sharon Speckmayer
accommodation@vicbar.com.au

Subsidised Chambers for Indigenous barristers

The Victorian Bar Council has a Subsidised chambers for Indigenous barristers policy to assist Indigenous barristers financially in the setting up phase of their professional careers.

Leave Policies

Defence Leave 

The Victorian Bar Council has a Defence Leave Policy intended to assist Reservists deployed to the Australian Defence Force for extended periods.

Eligible counsel may receive:

  • underwriting of 75% of the member's chambers rental (capped at $1,300 per month) for a period up to six months
  • a rebate/discount off their Bar Subscription.

For information and assistance, please contact the Bar Office on 9225 7111.

Parental Leave 

The Victorian Bar Council has a Parental Leave Policy intended to assist those taking leave to care for children by reason of pregnancy or a child coming into their care and custody.

Eligible counsel may receive:

  • underwriting of 75% of the member's chambers rental (capped at $1,300 per month) for a period up to six months
  • a rebate/discount off their Bar Subscription.

For information and assistance, please contact Rachel Chrapot, General Manager, Member Services at the Bar Office on 9225 7111.

Administrative Policies

Travel and Reimbursement 

The Victorian Bar Travel and Reimbursement Policy was introduced to benefit those undertaking representational activities for the benefit of the Victorian Bar.

Media and Public Statement Policies

Media Protocols

The purpose of The Victorian Bar Media Protocols is to coordinate media activity and to ensure that messages coming from any organisation or body are logical and for the most part consistent.

Public Statements 

The making of public statements can be a valuable means of promoting the interests of the Bar and its members, and of furthering respect for the rule of law and the administration of justice. Making public statements, however, also carries risks, including risks to the reputation and standing of the Bar, and to the cohesion of its members. The Public Statements Policy addresses public statements made on behalf of the Bar. The purpose of this policy is to:

  • identify who is authorised to speak publicly on behalf of the Bar;
  • identify appropriate forms of public engagement; and
  • set out guiding principles for ascertaining when it will be appropriate for the Bar to make public statements.

Practice Policies

Reserved Judgment Protocols

If a party or practitioner wishes to enquire about a delay in a Court or Tribunal delivering a reserved judgment in a case in which he or she is a party or acting, as the case may be, they can raise the matter with the President of the Victorian Bar Council. Please read the Reserved Judgement Protocol for details.