Sexual harassment has no place in our society, or in the legal profession. Along with other forms of harassment, discrimination and bullying, these behaviours are unlawful and prohibited by the ethical and professional conduct rules all legal practitioners are bound by.
Following the recent statement from the High Court of Australia, the Heads of each Court and Tribunal in Western Australia have also reinforced that sexual harassment in any workplace is unlawful and unacceptable. All are reviewing their policies and procedures to ensure that they have a safe working environment for all staff.
As the regulator of the legal profession in Western Australia we also want to ensure that the profession has in place policies and procedures to enable not only a safe working environment, but one that promotes public trust in the legal profession in Western Australia. We know that bad behaviour does not just go on in an employment context, and we cannot deal with it by just doing what has always been done.
What we do know is that we need to help change the culture that allows this to go on, and to support people who have experienced sexual harassment to come forward. We are working locally and with our partners around the country to do what we can to promote cultural change and best practice within the legal profession, and to assist in driving a change in attitudes towards otherwise unacceptable behaviour. We will have more to say about this as we go on.
If you would like to contact us to discuss a particular concern you have, whether that be to make a complaint or otherwise, we have set up a dedicated and discrete contact point for you to use. We understand that many people have not felt that they can raise these issues before, for powerful reasons, and will be working to do what we can to help overcome these. We will be monitoring our progress in doing so.
If you would like to confidentially talk to us, or send us a message, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be in touch.
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