Controlling bad behaviour

New rules to counter unacceptable behaviour by lawyers welcomed

The New Zealand Bar Association has welcomed the release of a report from a regulatory working group on better reporting, prevention and detection of unacceptable workplace behaviour in the legal profession.

Bar Association President, Kate Davenport QC says a strengthened framework to deal with bad behaviour by lawyers shows a commitment to eliminate what is unacceptable.

Ms Davenport says alongside these processes there is also a need for a cultural change to ensure that legal workplace environments are based on civility, kindness and respect.

“As I have said before there needs to be an end to aggressive behaviour by both men and women in the legal profession as part of this cultural change.”

"A more robust reporting framework, along with cultural change, is critical for a profession in which people place so much trust," says Ms Davenport.

“We need to remind ourselves that this trust is based on the reputation that we create. Unless we individually and collectively, through organisations such as the Law Society and the Bar Association, act to counter all forms of violence, harassment, discrimination and bullying, the damage to the reputation of the profession will be long-lasting.”

The Bar Association will be studying the recommendations in detail and will work with the Law Society to bring about cultural change in the profession.


Kate Davenport QC
Phone: +64 9 307 8787

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