AGS has recently adopted the Law Council of Australia's National Model Gender Equitable Briefing Policy.
This policy aims to assist cultural change in the legal profession's gender briefing practices and encourages the engagement of women barristers with relevant seniority and expertise, experience or interest in the relevant area.
The policy includes a target that by 1 July 2018:
- All briefs to senior female barristers account for at least 20% of all briefs and/or 20% of the value of all brief fees paid to senior barristers.
- All briefs to junior female barristers account for at least 30% of all briefs and/or 30% of the value of all brief fees paid to junior counsel.
AGS is aiming to reach these targets, both for the number of briefs and the value of brief fees to female barristers.
A senior barrister is defined in the policy to be a barrister of 10 or more years at the independent bar or who is a Queen's Counsel or Senior Counsel.
In 2016–17, AGS met 3 of the 4 targets, but our adoption of this policy is intended to help combat unconscious bias and remind us to consider all options when engaging counsel.