Legal profession must stop sexual harassment and bullying in its ranks

The results of the Law Society’s survey of bullying and harassment in the legal industry are bleak, and it’s time for things to change, says Jan Logie, Under-Secretary to the Minister of Justice on Domestic and Sexual Violence Issues.

The survey reported that nearly a third of women lawyers have been sexually harassed in their careers, and over half of all lawyers have been bullied.

“It is sadly unsurprising that there is commonplace bullying and harassment occurring in the law,” says Jan Logie.

“No part of our society is free from abusive, controlling behaviour. But it’s especially concerning here because the integrity of the legal profession is critical to give victims of sexual violence confidence in the justice system.

“Victims cannot be confident when the exact same exploitation and coercion is happening in the very institutions which are meant to help them.

“I echo Law Society President Kathryn Beck in thanking the women who came forward to bring sexual abuse in the legal profession into the open, sometimes at serious personal and professional cost. This took immense courage. Let’s make it worth their while.

“The Law Society has to provide clear leadership and play an active role in challenging and changing the culture of the law. I support their public commitment to build a culture which is inclusive, safe and just.”