The Women Barristers’ Association was formed in 1993 and its inaugural convenor was Judge Rachelle Lewitan.
The Women Barristers’ Association’s aims are to provide a professional and social network for women barristers. It promotes awareness, discussion and resolution of issues which particularly affect women. The work it does identifies, highlights and eradicates discrimination against women in Law and in the legal system while advancing equality for women across the legal profession.
The Appearances by Female Counsel in Courts in Victoria project is funded by the Fay Marles Equal Opportunity Sub Fund. This fund was established in 2013 to honour the leadership and legacy of Victoria’s first Equal Opportunity Commissioner, Fay Marles AM.
The Victorian Equal Opportunity Act was passed in 1977 and Fay was appointed that same year. For the next decade she led the way in implementing anti-discrimination reform, enabling women to take their place more equally in our workplaces and our community.
The Sub Fund supports projects that provide:
This research project aims to determine the number and percentage of women barristers appearing in the State and Federal Courts of Victoria.
It will build on the Women Barristers Association’s previous research showing that women appear at rates well below the 29% of barristers in Victoria who are women.
This research will extend to the Supreme Court (trial division) and potentially the Federal and Federal Circuit Courts.
The Women Barristers’ Association is partnering with Women’s Legal Service for this project.