EQUAL OPPORTUNITY

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY POLICY

Preamble

Foley's List

  • has a higher percentage of women amongst its active practising members than has the Victorian Bar overall;
  • has women at all levels of seniority including Queen's Counsel;
  • has persistently striven for an equal number of female to male readers joining the List;
  • has women practising in all areas of law from commercial law to personal injury, from criminal law to industrial law;
  • has a number of senior women who act as mentors informally and under the mentoring scheme operated within the List.

Statement of Commitment

Foley's List

  • is committed to ensuring that there is equality of opportunity at the Victorian Bar for all members of the List;
  • is committed to making all reasonable efforts to overcome any barriers which exist to equality of opportunity at the Victorian Bar for members of the List;
  • is committed to the elimination of practices and attitudes which discriminate against women members of the List;
  • recognises that there is a continuing need for cooperation with the Bar Council, other Lists of the Victorian Bar, the Law Institute, private firms of solicitors and solicitors in government agencies to develop strategies to overcome discriminatory practices, to assist in their implementation, and to monitor whether the implementation has been successful;
  • recognises that there is a continuing need to audit intermittently the policy and practices of the List to ensure that members of the List enjoy equality of opportunity.

Practical Implementation of Commitment

  1. Statement of Practice
    Foley's List does and will continue to:
    1. Composition and Operation of the List
      • encourage suitably qualified women to join the List;
      • adopt equal opportunity policies for applicants;
      • ensure, as far as practicable, that the representation of women on the List is proportionate to women at the various levels of the Bar;
      • facilitate supportive interactions between women who are new to the List and more senior members;
    2. Briefing Practices
      • ensure that there is no discrimination against women in the promotion of barristers for floating work;
      • ensure that the Clerks, when asked to recommend barristers for a brief, will include women within their recommendations, as far as practicable, in all areas of the law, especially in trial work (particularly jury work);
      • encourage the Clerks:
        1. to be well-informed about the areas of law in which members of the List do practise and those areas in which members would like to practise; and
        2. not to rely on assumptions based on gender about the areas of law in which a barrister practises or intends to practise;
    3. Parenting Responsibilities
      • ensure there is no discrimination in the allocation of briefs on the ground of parenting responsibilities;
      • assume that barristers with parenting responsibilities intend to be available for work on a full-time basis unless a barrister specifically informs one of the clerks that he or she is not so available;
      • acknowledge the parenting responsibilities of its members and provide assistance to barristers who may wish to be contacted outside of chambers;
    4. Public Participation
      • encourage participation by women barristers in speaking engagements and continuing legal education courses organised by the Law Institute of Victoria, Leo Cussen Institute and other public institutions;
      • encourage women to stand for election to the List Committee;
    5. Culture of the Bar
      • hold social functions, including the List Dinner, in a manner and at a location appropriate and comfortable for all its members;
      • ensure, as far as practicable, that the social atmosphere in the Clerk's Office and at social functions is welcoming to women.
  2. Specific Practical Measures
    Foley's List
    • will assist the Bar Council in its preparation of a Directory of Women Barristers;
    • will assist any consultant appointed by the Bar Council to advise on the implementation of recommendations arising from the report, Equal Opportunity for Women at the Victorian Bar;
    • will assist in the implementation of recommendations endorsed by the Bar Council arising from the report, Equal Opportunity for Women at the Victorian Bar;
    • will facilitate women on the List meeting with other women on the List, and in particular will assist junior women to meet senior women;
    • will aim to achieve an appropriate gender balance amongst the employees in the Clerks' office.

Policy since: 16 February 1999