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.
On 19 August 2021, the Bar Council approved the revised policies introducing Peer Support Barristers. Peer Support Barristers are barristers who have volunteered to be contacted by, and provide support to, those who have experiences, or observe, workplace bullying, discrimination and/or sexual harrassment. Your Peer Support Barrister will not take any action or disclose any information about you or the conduct without your consent. They will not undertake any investigation.
The Bar Council and the Ethics Committee have developed a Grievance Protocol to deal with grievances arising between barristers.
This protocol provides an informal mechanism to resolve grievances about the conduct of barristers in connection with their practice. The protocol allows the Ethics Committee to investigate grievances, make recommendations and encourage resolution of grievances by agreement. The Ethics Committee does not have power to impose disciplinary sanctions or make findings of unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct, however, the Ethics Committee may ask the President of he Bar to write to the barrister requesting that the barrister implement the Ethics Committee's recommendation.
The Ethics Committee is assisted by the In-house Legal Team of the Victorian Bar Office. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.