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 and in all jurisdictions, as advocates, mediators and arbitrators;
  • recognises the diversity of the List, diversity in the context covering gender, gender identity, age, ethnicity, cultural background, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, debility, parental status or marital status;
  • embrace inclusion and diversity, inclusion meaning supporting all members of the List irrespective of their diverse background;
  • recognise the value and importance of an inclusive and diverse List;
  • has senior List Members who act as mentors informally and under the mentoring program 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 the elimination of practices and attitudes which discriminate against members of the List on the basis of their gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, parental status, marital status, religion, age;
  • 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 be a champion for change and to monitor the progress of inclusivity in our workplaces;
  • will periodically review the policy and practices of the List to ensure that members of the List enjoy equality of opportunity;
  • prohibits all forms of unlawful discrimination, harassment (including sexual harassment), vilification and victimisation.

PRACTICAL IMPLEMENTATION OF COMMITMENT

STATEMENT OF PRACTICE

      Foley's List does and will continue to:
      1. Composition and Operation of the List
        • encourage suitably qualified legal practitioners to join the List;
        • review all list applicants on the basis of their legal skills and experience without favour and assumption;
        • commit to ensuring that the diversity of the List is proportionate to that of the legal profession;
        • facilitate supportive interactions between Members who are new to the List and more senior members;
        • commit to a membership that is inclusive of all, supportive and collegiate.
      2. Briefing Practices
        • ensure that there is no discrimination against any Member by reason of their gender, gender identity, disability, race, ethnicity, parental status, marital status, sexual orientation, religion or age in the promotion of barristers;
        • ensure that the Clerks, when asked to provide a list of available counsel will recommendation all appropriately skilled barristers without favour, fear or discrimination;
        • the Clerks will 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.
      3. Parenting Responsibilities

        As they pursue a successful career at the Bar, many Foley’s List Members are balancing their responsibilities to their clients and the court with their responsibilities to their families and their community. The Clerking Team is cognizant of the many and varied demands made on List Members.

        To this end, the Clerks will:

        • ensure there is no discrimination in the allocation of briefs on the grounds of carer or parental status or responsibilities;
        • assume that barristers with carer or parenting responsibilities are available for work on a full-time basis unless a barrister specifically informs a member of the Clerking Team that they are not so available;
        • acknowledge the carer or 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 all Members of the List in speaking engagements and continuing legal education courses organised by the Law Institute of Victoria, Leo Cussen Institute and other public institutions and professional bodies;
        • encourage all Members of the List to stand for election to the List Committee so that the membership of the Committee is inclusive and diverse.
      5. Culture of the Bar
        • provide professional networking opportunities and social functions, including the List Dinner, in a manner and at a location appropriate and comfortable for all List Members and guests;
        • ensure that the social atmosphere in the Clerk's Office and at social functions is welcoming to all List Members and staff.

SPECIFIC PRACTICAL MEASURES

FOLEY'S LIST

Equitable Briefing

      • the List and Clerks have adopted the Law Council of Australia’s Equitable Briefing Policy

Mentoring and networking

Transition to the Bar can be challenging for Readers. At the same time, for experienced practitioners, life at the Bar can present challenges and opportunities at any stage in a career. The Clerks are committed to supporting and assisting List Members to establish and grow their practices.

      • managed by the Clerking Team, The List Mentoring Program assigns a junior mentor, practicing in a similar practice area, to all new Readers. The mentor provides guidance and support to the Readers during their first years at the Bar;
      • for more senior members of the List, the Clerking Team provides a range of opportunities for practice sets and like-minded Members to engage with other Members as mentors or as professional networking groups.

Clerk's office

      • the List will aim to achieve diversity amongst the employees in the Clerk’s office.

Policy since: 16 February 1999. Last updated: January 2020