Australian Bar Association welcomes report of national Inquiry into sexual harassment

Australian Bar Association

The Australian Bar Association (ABA) welcomes the publication of the Australian Human Rights Commission report of the National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces.

President of the Australian Bar Association, Matthew Howard SC, noted, “The report begins with a sobering conclusion that must be confronted by all employers. It states: ‘Workplace sexual harassment is prevalent and pervasive: it occurs in every industry, in every location and at every level, in Australian workplaces. Australians, across the country, are suffering the financial, social, emotional, physical and psychological harm associated with sexual harassment. This is particularly so for women'”.

Mr Howard SC said, “The Inquiry is the result of exhaustive research and analysis by the Commission and the Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins. It makes important legal and regulatory recommendations that must be carefully considered by the legal profession”.

“The Commissioner has called on all employers to join in ‘creating safe, gender-equal and inclusive workplaces, no matter their industry or size’. As the national representative body for the Bar the ABA has asked its Diversity and Inclusion Committee and its Ethics Committee to review the report and make recommendations to the ABA”, Mr Howard said.

“Every Barrister has an obligation to contribute to ensuring the Bar is a safe workplace for everyone” Mr Howard said.

/Public Release.