find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Legal Counsel
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: North Sydney NSW 2060
· 18 month fixed term contract · 3-5 years PQE with TMT exposure
View details
SA addresses bar gender imbalance

SA addresses bar gender imbalance

Kourakis

The South Australian courts have gained approval for a program aimed at boosting the number of female barristers.

Last week the state's Equal Opportunity Tribunal ruled that the Step Up to the Bar program could proceed.The new program is an annual full-time opportunity open to experienced female lawyers to work closely with the Supreme Court judiciary on complex cases.

Under the Equal Opportunity Act 1984, organisations must seek an exemption before advertising a position exclusively to women.

The hope is the program will raise the proportion of female barristers in South Australia. More than half South Australia's lawyers are women, but women represent only 24 per cent of barristers and 20.5 of silks.

“For several decades an equal number of women and men have graduated from our law schools,” said the Chief Justice of South Australia, Chris Kourakis (pictured).

“We can no longer assume proportionate representation will balance out over time. We need to take a focused approach to boosting the number of women candidates for appointment to higher positions.”

SA Bar Association president Andrew Harris QC said the program will provide another pathway for women who are interested in a career at the bar to gain experience. 

“The SA Bar Association is conscious of the fact that women at the bar face difficulties in maintaining continuity of professional relationships (with solicitors and silks) if they interrupt their careers to raise a family.

“This is an important initiative, because it is a recognition that something needs to be done to address the structural imbalance created for women by discontinuity of careers.”

While most SA silks are committed to including females as juniors in litigation to address structural disadvantages, it is often difficult for women at the junior bar to secure briefs in complex commercial litigation, Mr Harris said.

Gaining exposure to complex cases through the Step Up to the Bar program will build this experience, he said.

“Although the [women in this program] would not be involved in a complex matter for one of the parties, they will have the exposure to such cases by being in court with the judge who is hearing them. 

“This builds experience by observation and will, I imagine, be supplemented by the special mentoring.”

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

SA addresses bar gender imbalance
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
LCA president Fiona McLeod SC
Aug 17 2017
Where social fault lines meet the justice gap in Aus
After just returning from a tour of the Northern Territory, LCA president Fiona McLeod SC speaks wit...
Marriage equality flag
Aug 17 2017
ALHR backs High Court challenge to marriage equality postal vote
Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has voiced its support for a constitutional challenge to ...
Give advice
Aug 17 2017
A-G issues advice on judiciary’s public presence
Commonwealth Attorney-General George Brandis QC has offered his advice on the public presence of jud...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...