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Policy Agenda

Equitable Briefing Policy

The Law Council’s Equitable Briefing Policy is intended to drive cultural change within the legal profession, support the progression and retention of women barristers, and address the significant pay gap and underrepresentation of women in the superior courts.

The Policy is available for adoption by Barristers and any briefing entity, including organisations and counsel in addition to clients of briefing entities operating in Australia. The selection of counsel is ultimately the decision of the client, and in-house counsel are encouraged to adopt and apply the Policy when instructing briefing entities and making their selections of barristers.

Sign up to the Equitable Briefing Policy

Barristers and Briefing Entities can adopt the Equitable Briefing Policy by completing the following form.

Please note the form requires confirmation on agreeing to the terms and conditions and supplying a company logo (if signing up on behalf of an organisation).

Annual Reporting

In adopting the policy, barristers and briefing entities commit to providing a confidential annual report on their briefing practices and measures taken to implement the Policy to the Law Council by 30 September each year.

The Law Council will subsequently collate the data provided and produce a final report of figures for publication. Data will be aggregated and published information will not disclose identifying information.

The Law Council has developed an online portal to assist Policy adoptees in providing their annual reports following the end of each financial year. The Law Council has also developed the Guidelines to assist to Policy adoptees in reporting requirements.

Reporting 2020-2021

The reporting portal for 2020-2021 is now closed.

A copy of the reporting questions can be accessible below, however adoptees of the policy will need to submit their report via the online portal.

The last reporting period presented some novel challenges for the profession in the form of COVID-19. The Law Council is interested in the extent to which, if at all, the proliferation of remote-access working arrangements and court attendances have impacted briefing practices. In particular, the Law Council is interested in whether such arrangements have facilitated the implementation of the Policy.

Accordingly, as COVID-19 continues, the Policy 2020-2021 reporting portal will include some additional questions addressing how COVID-19 has impacted briefing practices. It is important to note that these will not impact how Policy adoptees have collected and recorded data during the 2010-2021 period.

Review of the Equitable Briefing Policy

The Law Council is presently conducting a review of the Policy, in light of the data collected over the last four years. This review is considering matters including the reporting obligations and whether the Policy should address additional areas of diversity.

While the Law Council finalises this review, Policy adoptees are to continue collecting and reporting data in the same way as they have been to date. The Law Council will report on the outcomes of this review in due course.

Previous Annual Reports

Organisations that have endorsed the Policy: 

Counsel who have adopted the Policy:



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