The Court Appearance Survey has kicked off this week, in a bid to gauge the representation levels of female barristers and advocates in courts across the country.
The survey, a project between Australian Women Lawyers (AWL) and the Law Council, aims to produce raw data on concerns of inequitable briefing practices in courts, and establish some hard facts about gender briefing patters in the legal profession.
President of the Law Council John Corcoran said the survey should aid in supporting existing anecdotal evidence regarding possible inequitable briefing practices. "Data suggests there is a difference in the number and complexity of cases in which women lawyers appear, compared to their male counterparts," said Corcoran.
The national study will collect data on the rate at which women advocates appear in court, as well as the type of matters they are dealing with, and the amount of time they are spending in court. In each state and territory, the High Court, Federal Court, Family Court, Supreme Courts and court of Appeal will take part in the study.