A joint review will consider measures to prevent sexual harassment, and improve accountability across the state’s courts and VCAT.

A Victorian Government review, jointly initiated with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria, will consider measures to prevent sexual harassment, improve reporting and support for those who experience sexual harassment, raise awareness, and ensure accountability across the state’s courts and VCAT.

Former Commissioner of the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, Dr Helen Szoke AO, will lead the review.

Chief Justice Anne Ferguson said that “Victoria’s courts and tribunal are united in our commitment to building a culture of respect across our workplaces – improper and unethical conduct will not be tolerated under any circumstances and we look forward to working with Dr Szoke’s review”.

The review will be undertaken in close consultation with the Judicial Commission of Victoria to ensure the state’s judiciary maintains the highest standards of integrity.

Separately, the Victorian Government will also conduct a review of the policies and practices of law firms that provide services to government – including working with partners to review training on sexual harassment for all barristers and solicitors, and seek internal audits and assurance on their processes around sexual harassment.

Attorney-General Jill Hennessy said that “a workplace that is not free from sexual harassment is an unsafe workplace – these reviews will identify the changes the justice and legal sectors need to make to improve workplace culture and enforce compliance”.

Read the media release

Published on 14 July 2020