Australia: Victorian Bar launches equality and diversity policy

The Australia Lawyers Weekly reports on this development in the state of Victoria….

The member association for Victoria’s barristers has unveiled new initiatives and programs it says will build a “fairer, more equitable, inclusive and diverse membership”.

The Bar Council of the Victorian Bar has passed the bar’s new Equality & Diversity Policy 2020, which intends to “more closely align the bar’s original policy with the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic) and relevant policies of other bar associations, and to recognise people expressing diverse gender identities, pregnant women and carers as additional protected categories”.

In its statement, Victorian Bar said it will look to foster inclusion and diversity within its membership, and across the wider community, through the extension in delivery of its education programs and initiatives aimed at fostering gender equality, cultural and racial diversity, LGBTIQ+ inclusion, support for barristers with a disability and the assistance to those with family responsibilities.

The new policy will reinforce, Jenny Firkin QC said, the bar’s commitment to “building a fair, equitable, dynamic, inclusive and diverse collective of barristers at the Victorian Bar”.