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  1. In Topic: Harassment Law And Acc

    17 December 2018 - 12:53 PM


    The New Zealand Law Society also need to ensure that the much needed work to be done is done in respect of the manner in which women are treated in general terms within the wider Legal Systems when it comes to Harassment in the community outside of the home and workplaces which is included under The Harassment Act and grant them Restraining Orders, especially where the harassers have known histories of pyschological and other violence and have Protection Orders against them as has been in the case involving XYZ where an offender undertook an insidious trail of destruction, knew how to beat the legal systems and took his rot to his grave without been held to account.

    Google and Legal databases are our friends to help us in situations like this.

    Shall we name names of those who should know and act better who have endorsed Sexual and other Harassment of women, women who have taken courage to report unsolicited behaviors that are unacceptable to those who are normal law abidding citizens in society?

    We understand that the Police know who they are and have evidence that should be used to prosecute the said members of the Legal Fraternity for there abhorrent behaviours of causing further distress to the said complainaints - note plural not singular.


    Grace Millane and The Harassment Act 1997

    As an aside,
    It would be very fitting if we all ensured that there is a greater awareness to all that The Harassment Act 1997, which will have been enacted for 22 years next year, is placed in the limelight to prevent another case like that of Grace Millane ocurring, who was 22 years young, if indeed it is true she meet the alleged offender who we understand she knew only a very short time online so may not have been protected as per the Provisions of The Domestic Violence Act but may well have been afforded protection of her lawful right to her Personal Safety to be free from harm as per the provisions of The Harassment Act.


    The Harassment Act legislation was created for a purpose and that inlcudes protecting ALL victims of Harassment not provided for under the provisions of The Domestic Violence Act legislation


    http://www.legislati.../DLM417078.html


    http://www.lawsociet...riate-behaviour

    Law Society plans changes to regulatory process for lawyers accused of inappropriate behaviour

    17 December 2018

    The New Zealand Law Society is planning a number of changes to the processes for reporting and taking action on sexual harassment and bullying in the legal profession.

    These include:

    New rules for lawyers which specifically require high personal and professional standards with specific reference to sexual harassment, bullying, discrimination and other unacceptable behaviour.
    A specific prohibition on victimisation of people who report unacceptable behaviour in good faith.
    The imposition of minimum obligations on legal workplaces or lawyers who are responsible for workplaces. This will include auditing and monitoring of compliance and a prevention on the use of non-disclosure agreements to contract out or conceal unacceptable behaviour.
    A more flexible two-stage approach to confidentiality for complaints about sexual violence, bullying, sexual harassment, discrimination and related conduct.
    Creation of a specialised process for dealing with complaints of unacceptable behaviour.
    Changes to the procedures of the New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal.
    Investigation of mandatory training and education of lawyers to address culture problems in the legal profession.

    The Law Society’s Board has accepted the recommendations made in a report on the regulatory processes for lawyers where unacceptable workplace behaviour occurs. The report has been prepared by a five-person independent working group established by the law Society in March and chaired by Dame Silvia Cartwright.

    Presented to the New Zealand Law Society Board on 7 December, it identifies a range of problems with the current reporting regime and concludes that the regulatory mechanisms and processes are not effectively designed for dealing with complaints about sexual violence, harassment, discrimination and bullying.

    New Zealand Law Society President, Kathryn Beck says the working group has prepared a comprehensive and well-researched report which fully meets its terms of reference.

    “Dame Silvia and the other four members have provided valuable information and insights into the issues involved. They have consulted widely and they have developed several recommendations. We thank them for their careful and thoughtful report.

    “We wanted to know what was wrong with the current system and have received compelling independent answers including that conduct and reporting standards are unclear and must be addressed so to remove any confusion over what is expected of all lawyers,” she says.

    Ms Beck says some of the recommendations are complex and far-reaching, but they will assist in making the legal community a safe place for all.

    “The Law Society will now develop a programme to determine how they can be put into effect. Some of the recommendations are currently outside the mandate of the Law Society and require legislative change. The Law Society will work in consultation with the government, the profession and other organisations to achieve the appropriate outcome.

    “We have already advised the Minister, Andrew Little, of the report’s recommendations and will seek a meeting in the New Year to hear his views and to discuss how we can implement the required rules changes,” Ms Beck says.

    “As indicated in the working group’s report, and as with all legislative change, it will be important to take care to ensure there are no unintended consequences. A consultative and collaborative approach is needed, and this is essential to ensure we achieve our objective of healthy, safe, respectful and inclusive legal workplaces.”

    The full regulatory working group report is available here
    https://www.lawsocie...cember-2018.pdf

    A copy of the Terms of Reference of the Group can be found here.
    https://www.lawsocie...f-Reference.pdf
  2. In Topic: Harassment Law And Acc

    17 December 2018 - 12:39 PM

    Law Society working group releases report into harassment, inappropriate behaviour

    17 Dec, 2018 11:00am

    https://www.nzherald...jectid=12178150


    Michael Neilson
    By: Michael Neilson
    General/Māori Affairs reporter, NZ Herald
    [email protected]

    Female lawyers have been subjected to "sexual objectification" for decades and new rules are needed to address unacceptable behaviour, a review has concluded.

    The New Zealand Law Society is planning changes to reporting and is taking action on sexual harassment and bullying in the legal profession following the comprehensive report.

    A working group, chaired by Dame Silvia Cartwright, was set up to look at the processes for reporting and taking action on harassment and inappropriate behaviour in legal workplaces.

    It considered if improvements could be made to enable better reporting to the Law Society of harassment in the legal profession.
    Recommendations included new rules for lawyers which specifically require high personal and professional standards with specific reference to sexual harassment, bullying, discrimination and other unacceptable behaviour.

    The report also called for specific prohibition on victimisation of people who report unacceptable behaviour in good faith, and a specialised process for dealing with complaints of unacceptable behaviour.

    The working group was established in mid-April following widespread allegations of sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination within the legal profession, combined with a culture of silence and under-reporting of such misconduct.

    Former staff members of top law firm Russell McVeagh had spoken out about sexually inappropriate behaviour by lawyers towards summer law clerks, and controversy also arose around the Otago University law camp following a series of allegations of nudity and jelly wrestling.

    The working group found sex discrimination and sexual objectification of women lawyers was not new, and had taken place in the New Zealand legal profession since at least the 1950s. In a national survey in 1992, 38 per cent of women lawyers reported sexual harassment.

    The Law Society's board has accepted the recommendations made in the report on the regulatory processes for lawyers where unacceptable workplace behaviour occurs.
    "We wanted to know what was wrong with the current system and have received compelling independent answers including that conduct and reporting standards are unclear and must be addressed so to remove any confusion over what is expected of all lawyers," president Kathryn Beck said.

    "The Law Society will now develop a programme to determine how they can be put into effect.

    "Some of the recommendations are currently outside the mandate of the Law Society and require legislative change.

    "The Law Society will work in consultation with the Government, the profession and other organisations to achieve the appropriate outcome."

    Justice Minister Andrew Little
    had been advised of the report's recommendations and the Law Society would be seeking a meeting in the New Year, Beck said.

    The four other members of the working group included Jane Drumm, Philip Hamlin, Joy Liddicoat and Elisabeth McDonald.


    Planned New Zealand Law Society changes:

    • New rules for lawyers which specifically require high personal and professional standards with specific reference to sexual harassment, bullying, discrimination and other unacceptable behaviour.

    • A specific prohibition on victimisation of people who report unacceptable behaviour in good faith.

    • The imposition of minimum obligations on legal workplaces or lawyers who are responsible for workplaces. This will include auditing and monitoring of compliance and a prevention on the use of non-disclosure agreements to contract out or conceal unacceptable behaviour.

    • A more flexible two-stage approach to confidentiality for complaints about sexual violence, bullying, sexual harassment, discrimination and related conduct.

    • Creation of a specialised process for dealing with complaints of unacceptable behaviour.

    • Changes to the procedures of the New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal.

    • Investigation of mandatory training and education of lawyers to address culture problems in the legal profession.
  3. In Topic: Harassment Law And Acc

    07 December 2018 - 02:30 PM



    It would be interesting to do a follow up on this survey/ report and establish if education and good manners are maybe contributing factors why these men perceptions are what they are.

    Perhaps they were raised in environments, work and circulate in places where sexual harassment of anyone is frowned upon and honestly doesn't happen as they have been brought up to treat people with respect.

    Not all men treat women and vice versa with disrespect thank gooodness for that.

    Please click on the link for the full article and links


    Sexual harassment

    Men underestimate level of sexual harassment against women – survey

    Campaigners shocked that public awareness is low despite #MeToo movement


    https://www.theguard...st-women-survey



    Pamela Duncan and Alexandra Topping

    Thu 6 Dec 2018 07.00 GMT

    Men greatly underestimate the level of sexual harassment experienced by women, according to a new survey.
    #MeToo founder Tarana Burke: ‘You have to use your privilege to serve other people’
    Read more

    When asked what proportion of women had experienced any form of sexual harassment, both male and female respondents across the US and 12 European countries, including Great Britain, underestimated the levels experienced by women.

    The biggest misconceptions were held by Danish, Dutch and French respondents, who underestimated the actual level of sexual harassment in their countries by 49, 35 and 34 percentage points respectively.

    The question was part of the pollster Ipsos Mori’s Perils of Perception survey, which measures the gap between the public’s understanding of issues and reality.
  4. In Topic: Harassment Law And Acc

    07 December 2018 - 02:20 PM

    Those associated with the wider Legal community need to bring themselves up to speed and familiarise themselves on the word's complex Harassment Law Acts/ Legislation and help those in need.

    Please start using it in the manner it was created especially when it comes to group harassment where complainants may not be able to apply for Restraining Orders by themselves.

    We have laws created for a reason and fear of reporting Sexual and other Harassment on one's own without proper support systems in place places complainants who are already vulnerable in very vulnerable risky situations that should not be arising or happening in the first place.




    Sexual harassment
    Fear stops reporting of sexual harassment at the bar, says top QC

    Young lawyers do not complain in case it damages their careers, says Jo Delahunty


    https://www.theguard...-says-barrister



    Owen Bowcott Legal affairs correspondent
    @owenbowcott

    Sun 2 Dec 2018 13.44 GMT
    Last modified on Sun 2 Dec 2018 19.10 GMT

    Sexual harassment at the bar is not being reported because pupils and young lawyers fear their careers will be damaged if they complain, according to a senior barrister.

    Delivering a public lecture at Gresham College in central London, Prof Jo Delahunty QC suggested there was widespread complacency about the prevalence of inappropriate behaviour in chambers and even by judges in courts.

    Delahunty, who specialises in family cases and appeared at the second Hillsborough inquest, said she had suffered when she arrived in 1986 as a “blue-eyed, blond-haired” pupil. There were wolf-whistles and name-calling.

    On one occasion she went away on a case with a lawyer 30 years older than her. When they checked in at a nearby hotel, she discovered he had reserved a double room.

    She had to calculate immediately, Delahunty recalled, whether her professional prospects would be damaged if she objected. She told the receptionist there had been a mistake and insisted on separate rooms.
    Why can't we stop sexual harassment in the workplace? – Witch Hunt podcast

    Nonetheless the senior lawyer barged into her room early every morning while she was still in nightwear. “I was a young pupil in the presence of men who thought they might ‘have a try’,” she said.

    As she progressed through the ranks of the bar, Delahunty, who is now professor of law at Gresham College, thought it was a problem of the past. “I was wrong,” she said. “It still goes on, much in the same way as I experienced it, and it is now – as it was then – dealt with alone or with the support of friends and family.”

    A freedom of information request to the Bar Standards Board – which regulates the profession – from Behind the Gown, a group of barristers fighting harassment, found that the BSB had only received two complaints of sexual harassment or inappropriate behaviour towards female barristers by male barristers over the past five years.

    Sexual harassment, Delahunty said, was not being reported. “If we don’t speak out about [the perpetrators], they will continue to blight the healthy development of our profession and the young who aspire to join it.”

    I reported harassment and was silenced – and I’m a senior academic
    Athene Donald
    Read more

    She said the problem was acute at the bar because of the proximity of older men with great professional self-confidence, working in sets of rooms with younger, “star-struck” lawyers. Being a barrister was a “deeply seductive” profession, she added, involving persuasion and delivering huge surges of adrenaline.

    Another barrister, Brie Stevens-Hoare QC, Delahunty said, endured similar harassment at the start of her career from a senior barrister who started off with “naughty jokes” but progressed to “will you sleep with me?” and then “when will you sleep with me?” comments. “She said ‘no’ unequivocally,” Delahunty said.

    A female barrister told Delahunty about a prosecutor at Woolwich crown court at the beginning of her career referring to her as the “bird at the back” after the trial.

    In one case another female barrister gave an account of prosecuting a sex offender who did not return to the courtroom after lunch. The judge on his high bench observed: “If he had the same view I had, I can see why it would have been a slightly distracting exercise.” Everyone in court ignored the remark.

    Bullying was also a problem at the bar, Delahunty said. The Bar Council has set up a confidential helpline to support those suffering harassment.

    In an interview with Counsel magazine, another barrister, Elizabeth Prochaska, who helped found the Behind the Gown movement, said: “It is very difficult for individuals to raise their concerns at the bar due to a culture of patronage. Of course, it’s almost impossible to call out individuals who you rely on for work when they behave inappropriately or bully you.”
  5. In Topic: Harassment Law And Acc

    07 December 2018 - 02:08 PM

    A very well worded article on harassment from Malaysia, couldn't agree more re the "believing it has happened" comments.
    Victimising and retruamatising complainants of Sexual Harassment, regardless of where it has taaken place, by those who should know a lot better has unfortunately been a longstanding issue that must be addressed in the world wider arena for the betterment of future generations.


    Culture of silence allows sexual harassment to thrive

    December 7, 2018 Family, Living, People

    By S. INDRAMALAR
    https://www.star2.co...sment-malaysia/

    On his first day of work as an intern at a media organisation, James* was told by his supervisor that he could gain a lot of experience during his five-month stint if he was willing to put in the hours.

    He was also told that the company “wasn’t the perfect workplace” – among the things the supervisor informed him about was that there had been several cases of sexual harassment in the past, which he may hear about during his tenure.

    He was told “not to worry about it”.

    “I was taken aback. It certainly wasn’t what I expected to hear on my first day and certainly wasn’t what I expected from such a respected company. Over time, I realised that the harrasment was an open secret in the organisation – everyone knew about it but no one actually spoke of it,” shares James.

    A work environment that turns a blind eye to harassment allows predatory behaviour to thrive.

    For too long, sexual harassment has been a topic that has been swept under the carpet. But in the past week, since fresh allegations of abuse and sexual assault at popular radio station BFM surfaced, the subject has been discussed openly, with more people sharing their experiences or knowledge of harassment in their workplaces.

    The truth is that sexual harassment happens all too often and it isn’t confined to a single company or industry – it’s endemic and it calls for immediate action.

    A law on sexual harassment has to be passed to make workplaces safe for women, women’s rights activists say.
    Few women speak up about sexual harassment as they risk being blamed and shamed. Photo: 123rf.com

    Few women speak up about sexual harassment as they risk being blamed and shamed. Photo: 123rf.com

    Sexual harassment isn’t limited to women, of course, but a large percentage of victims are women. Police statistics show that in 2017, out of the 267 cases reported, 226 (85%) of the victims were women.

    A sexual harassment law would provide a clear definition of prohibitive conduct and outline the seriousness of the violation. A law could also mandate that all companies have in place proper mechanisms to protect employees and deal with harassment.

    The Human Resource Ministry has a Code of Practice on the Prevention and Eradication of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace but it is not binding.

    “The ministry has proposed amending the Employment Act 1955 to mandate every employer to have a sexual harassment code displayed in a conspicuous area. This is a positive move but we further suggest that the ministry strengthen regulation and oversight over employers. There must be a stronger appeals process for survivors whose employers are not sensitive to harassment,” says Women’s Aid Organisation’s (WAO) advocacy manager, Yu Ren Chung.

    Yu: The Human Resources Ministry must strengthen regulation and oversight over employers.

    Victims stay silent because they fear consequences at work or feel that nothing will happen as a result of speaking up.

    For many, these fears have proven true.

    When public relations executive Melissa* complained to her manager that her superior was constantly inviting her to have work-related discussions after office hours, often over dinner or at his home, her concerns were dismissed.

    “She (the manager) told me that wasn’t harassment and that I shouldn’t be paranoid. His behaviour made me very uncomfortable but that, apparently, was my problem,” shares Melissa.

    After refusing the offers over a few months, Melissa felt the backlash at work. She was sidelined – she wasn’t included in meetings and discussions and was often derided for her work in front of her peers.

    After six months, Melissa left the company.

    Women also keep silent because in many instances, they are questioned and doubted, and often even re-victimised.

    “Questions like why women remain silent or why they want to remain anonymous … that are being asked on social media and the media just deflect from the real issue at hand – the sexual harassment.

    “Such questions shift the blame to the victim and this is one reason women don’t speak out. Instead, they avoid their harasser, they try and forget the incident happened or they ignore it,” says WAO vice president Meera Samanther.

    An article published in July in the Harvard Business Review titled “How co-workers and HR pressure women to stay silent about harassment” reported that all 31 women victims of harassment who were interviewed had shared their experiences of sexual harassment with either a line manager, human resource personnel or colleagues.

    They were all told to “move on” or to “stop raising the issue”. Victims are often told that their experiences don’t amount to harassment. Sexual harassment isn’t confined to a single person – often the workplace culture and policies are complicit in silencing and not supporting victims.

    Victims stay silent also because of a real fear of retaliation, says Meera.

    “The harraser is often a person in power. So women fear for their jobs, they fear they won’t get a promotion, they won’t get a job elsewhere, they will be labelled as troublemakers or that they are seeking attention. All this victim-blaming is tiresome and takes a toll on victims,” she says.

    Meera also points out that often mechanisms to handle these cases protect the company and not the victim.

    “You have to understand that in such cases, the burden of proof is always on the victim. These cases can become very adversarial – the defence will try to portray the victim as being somehow culpable … that she flirted or that she encouraged it.

    “And if women don’t have the support or the strength to go through all this, they often give up,” says Meera.

    Even when they do have the stamina to fight their case, things don’t always end up well for them.

    Take American professor of psychology Christine Blasey Ford, for example, who publicly accused Brett Kavanaugh (now Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States) of attempting to rape her when the pair were teenagers, and whose powerful testimony to the Senate put Kavanaugh’s nomination for the Supreme Court at risk.

    In a report last month, The Guardian when referencing Blasey Ford who has remained out of the public eye since the case for her own “safety, security and future”, quoted social psychologist Marianne LaFrance saying: “People who challenge the status quo, and certainly those who challenge the gender status quo, will face an aggressive response and, often, ridicule.”

    Strength in numbers

    The first rule in cases of sexual harassment, say experts, is to believe the victim. And support her.

    But this often isn’t the experience of those who find the courage to report.

    When Khatijah* reported that she’d been groped by her co-worker to her Human Resources department, she was asked during her interview, if she was “having problems with her husband” which could have caused her to seek comfort in her colleague.

    “The (male) manager asked me if I’d told my husband of the incident. I said I hadn’t yet. I told him that I was still trying to make sense of what happened and that it was difficult to talk about, and he asked if I was having problems with my husband. And then he said that maybe I encouraged my co-worker in some way.

    “It was sickening. It took me a month to find the courage to even talk to my superior about it and bring the case to HR, only to feel victimised again,” relates Khatijah, who works in a media organisation.

    Workers protest against Google’s handling of sexual misconduct allegations at the company’s Mountain View, California, headquarters. Photo: AP

    “We need to come together against harassment. If we don’t say anything when we see or know that our co-workers have been or are being harassed, that means that we are saying that type of behaviour is OK. We need to stand with our colleagues and together, demand that this behaviour is not tolerated. And that companies must do something about harassment,” says Marcela Suazo, United Nations Population Fund country head for Malaysia and Thailand.

    Last month, thousands of Google employees, both men and women, in cities around the world – from New York and Singapore to Hyderabad, Berlin, Zurich, London, Chicago and Seattle – staged walkouts to protest the company’s handling of sexual harassment following a New York Times report that the tech giant paid millions of dollars in exit packages to male executives who were accused of harassment. After the expose, the company revealed that it had fired 48 people for sexual harassment over the past two years. Employees collectively demanded that the company change the way it handled harassment cases: that it, among other things, was transparent on instances of harassment.

    As a result, the company agreed to be more transparent in the handling of cases. They also agreed to end the policy of forcing workers to sign away their right to take a sexual harassment case to court and instead promised to provide live support for victims and a dedicated site for reporting.

    However, their new policies don’t cover third-party workers which make up about 50% of Google’s workforce, which means that the new and improved policies need to be further reviewed and more inclusive.

    * Names have been changed

    Tags
    sexual harassment
    Women
    workplace harassment

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