IBA and The College of Law Australia launch online anti-harassment training for the legal profession

Thursday 8 April 2021

Following the publication of the 2019 landmark report Us Too? Bullying and Sexual Harassment in the Legal Profession, the International Bar Association (IBA) Legal Policy & Research Unit (LPRU), in collaboration with The College of Law Australia, have launched a set of e-learning modules designed to guide individuals and workplaces towards making positive cultural changes. With the aim of reducing the prevalence of inappropriate behaviour within the legal profession, the training modules are available for free to anyone within the legal profession (IBA membership is not a prerequisite) and can be accessed on the IBA website here.

The modules involve a combination of information, data and accounts included in the Us Too? report, quizzes, videos and animations. In addition to introductory and concluding modules, the training is comprised of four further modules that focus on:

  • bullying;
  • sexual harassment;
  • exploring the role of individuals in driving positive change; and
  • considering the importance of workplace action.

IBA Immediate Past President Horacio Bernardes Neto, who championed the Us Too? campaign throughout his two-year (2019–2020) presidency, commented: ‘The IBA is committed to ensuring that the legal profession is a safe, supportive and respectful environment for every member of it. The development of this training is another demonstration of that commitment. We must maintain momentum, and we hope legal workplaces across the globe deploy the training for their staff and that they find it practical and edifying.’

Kieran Pender, the former Senior Legal Advisor at the IBA who led the Us Too? campaign and co-developed the training, said: ‘Effectively addressing the prevalence and impact of inappropriate behaviour in law requires a multifaceted strategy akin to a many-piece puzzle. Training is one really important piece of that puzzle. The Us Too? report emphasised that “the profession should make a concerted effort to improve the frequency and quality of training to address bullying and sexual harassment”. Our intent in developing this training was to contribute to that collective effort.’

To develop the training, the IBA partnered with The College of Law, the largest provider of practice-focused legal education in Australia and New Zealand. The IBA provided subject matter expertise and The College of Law applied its technical and pedagogical expertise to create innovative training modules.

‘We believe this training will make a difference,’ said Niru Palanivel, a content designer at the College of Law who led the collaboration. ‘Inappropriate behaviour has no place in any profession, let alone a profession predicated on the highest ethical standards. We hope this training, by providing a range of data-backed insight, personal accounts and practical actions, can empower members of the legal profession to play their part in driving positive change.’

The training modules contain more than a dozen videos, many recorded as part of the Us Too? global engagement campaign, which saw report launches take place in 30 cities across six continents with  hundreds of stakeholders. This anti-harassment e-learning training series builds on the insight gathered during the campaign. Among those to feature in the training are (in order of appearance):

  • Julia Gillard AC, former Prime Minister of Australia
  • Kate Jenkins, Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner
  • Dame Laura Cox QC DBE, Retired Justice of the High Court of England and Wales
  • Justin D’Agostino, Herbert Smith Freehills, Hong Kong
  • Laura King, Clifford Chance, London
  • Deborah Enix-Ross, Chair, IBA Bar Issues Commission Policy Committee and of Debevoise & Plimpton, New York City
  • Claudia Benavides Galvis, Baker McKenzie, Bogota
  • Yosbel A Ibarra, Member, IBA Law Firm Management Committee Advisory Board and of Greenberg Traurig, Miami
  • Rachel Eng, Eng & Co, Singapore
  • Fiona McLeod SC, Co-Chair, IBA Diversity & Inclusion Council and of the Victorian Bar, Melbourne
  • Hanim Hamzah, Co-Chair, IBA Law Firm Management Committee and of ZICO Law Network, Kuala Lumpur
  • Iain Miller, Membership Officer, IBA Professional Ethics Committee and of Kingsley Napley, London
  • Sharon P Masling, Morgan Lewis, Washington DC

The training is one of a number of ongoing projects led by the IBA as part of the Us Too? campaign, including a recently published discussion paper on the use of ‘Trust Tech’ to encourage reporting of incidents.


Notes to the Editor

  1. For information on the Us Too? Bullying and Sexual Harassment in the Legal Profession campaign, visit the IBA website at www.ibanet.org/bullying-and-sexual-harassment
  2. The International Bar Association (IBA), the global voice of the legal profession, is the foremost organisation for international legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies. Established in 1947, shortly after the creation of the United Nations, it was born out of the conviction that an organisation made up of the world's bar associations could contribute to global stability and peace through the administration of justice.
  3. The IBA Legal Policy & Research Unit (LPRU) undertakes research and develops initiatives that are relevant to the rule of law, the legal profession and the broader global community.
  4. The College of Law is the school of professional practice for lawyers in Australia and New Zealand. It is also the largest provider of practice-focused legal education in Australasia. The College of Law’s mission is to deliver innovative, practice-focused and flexible education and training to enhance the careers of professionals in the legal services industry. The College of Law has been at the forefront of practical legal education since 1974.

For further information, please contact:

Romana St. Matthew-Daniel
Press Office
International Bar Association
5 Chancery Lane
London WC2A 1LG
United Kingdom

Mobile: +44 (0)7940 731 915
Direct Line: +44 (0)20 7842 0094
Main Office: +44 (0)20 7842 0090
Fax: +44 (0)20 7842 0091

Email: romana.daniel@int-bar.org

Website: www.ibanet.org

IBA website page link for this news release:
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