The Victorian Bar is committed to promoting equality and diversity in the legal profession. This approach is consistent with the principles of justice, integrity, equity and the pursuit of excellence upon which the Bar is founded.
The Bar strives to maintain a fair, equitable, dynamic, inclusive and diverse membership. The Victorian Bar’s Equality and Diversity Policy can be found here. Our commitment to inclusion and diversity is demonstrated by the delivery of programs and activities which foster:
The Bar recognises that its strength and vibrancy come from having a diverse and egalitarian membership, where a variety of views are encouraged, accommodated and respected. At an individual level, members are encouraged to use their abilities in the best way possible and make a real contribution to the legal profession, as well as broader society.
There are several ways the Bar fosters inclusion and diversity within its membership and wider community:
Information about how we deliver on our commitment to diversity and inclusion is summarised in the Bar’s Diversity and Inclusion brochure available here.
A number of resources are available to members of the Bar who believe they have been affected by sexual harassment, discrimination and bullying.
The Victorian Bar is committed to reducing instances of sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination by barristers. The Victorian Bar has policies against sexual harassment, discrimination and bullying. This commitment is outlined in the following policies:
The Bar's Grievance Protocol gives the Ethics committee guidance on dealing with these grievances.
Under the Legal Profession Uniform Conduct (Barrister) Rules 2015, sexual harassment, discrimination and bullying by barristers is prohibited in the course of practice. Formal complaints are made to the Victorian Legal Services Board + Commissioner.
The Judicial Commission of Victoria is an independent body established to investigate complaints about Victorian judicial offices and VCAT members.
The Bar’s Health & Wellbeing Committee’s primary goal is to promote the good health and wellbeing of barristers. The Bar funds five three sessions with two independent counselling services for members and their families. Help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Lifeline is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention services. Call 13 11 14.
Beyond Blue is a national charity that provides help and support for those affected by anxiety and depression. Call 1300 22 4636.
The National Sexual Assault and Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service provides confidential information, counselling and support services. Call 1800RESPECT (1800 73 77 328)