The Bar Association supports a fair, equitable, dynamic, inclusive and diverse Bar which continues to attract and retain the best talent. One way it does this is by actively promoting the aims of the Equitable Briefing Policy (Policy), launched by the Law Council of Australia (LCA) in June 2016 and formally adopted by the Bar Association in September 2016. The Policy was updated in November 2022 following a Review of the Policy
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 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 on the LCA website.
The Bar Association is a briefing entity under the Policy. In that capacity, having adopted the Policy, it has demonstrated its commitment to, inter alia, making all reasonable endeavours to brief or select women barristers with relevant seniority and expertise, experience or interest in relevant practice areas, to collect data in respect of its briefs and to provide a report on the collected data to the LCA each year.
To assist Policy adoptees with reporting requirements, the LCA has developed a Reporting Template and Guidelines.
The Guidelines provide clarification around issues including:
- Who is a ‘senior barrister’;
- Which briefs are captured by the Policy reporting requirements;
- How the value of briefs is to be recorded;
- The reporting requirements for late adoptees of the Policy;
- How Policy adoptees should report when their status has changed during a reporting period; and
- How to report when a barrister was briefed as a mediator.
Briefing entities and barristers who have adopted the Policy commit to providing a confidential annual report on their briefing practices and measures taken to implement the Policy to the LCA by 30 September each year. The LCA will subsequently collate the data provided and produce a final report of figures for publication. Data will be aggregated and published information will not disclose identifying information.
The LCA has developed an online portal to assist organisations and counsel to provide their annual report following the end of each financial year. You can access the portal on the LCA’s website here.
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The Bar Association’s Find a Barrister advanced search function helps you to find a NSW barrister, including by gender.