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:
exploring the role of individuals in driving positive change
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.