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Victorian Courts Review

More than one in three legal professionals have experienced sexual harassment while working in Victoria’s legal sector. The Review into Sexual Harassment in Victorian Courts, led by Dr Helen Szoke AO, will identify ways to build a culture that prevents sexual harassment, calls it out if it occurs, and gives people confidence to speak up without fear of reprisal. The Commission will be supporting the Review as a research partner by conducting interviews and receiving submissions about individuals’ experiences of sexual harassment in the court system.

Important dates

Friday 23 October – last day to register for a confidential telephone interview

Friday 30 October – last day to make a submission

Contact us to take part in the Review

About the Victorian Courts Review

We want to hear from you

While the Review will not address or investigate individual complaints, it is actively seeking to be informed by people who have experienced or witnessed sexual harassment within Victoria’s court system or VCAT.

This includes interactions with the judiciary and VCAT members, Court Services staff and other people working or attending courts or the Tribunal, such as witnesses, police prosecutors, volunteers, lawyers or mediators.

It includes sexual harassment experienced in courts and VCAT as a workplace, as well as at related events (such as social events) that occur outside of court and VCAT buildings. It also includes conduct by judges, magistrates and other court staff regardless of when or where it occurred.

We are interested in hearing about your experience with all forms of sexual harassment regardless of how serious or minor the conduct may seem.

Individuals may share their experience by:

  • making an individual submission (in writing or over the telephone)
  • taking part in a confidential telephone interview.

This information will then help the Review team understand and identify systemic issues within the court system with a view to making recommendations for improvement.

If you would like to share your experience with us, please consider the options and choose the one that best suits you.

You can call our Courts Review Hotline on 1300 395 726 to find out more information about these options.

We are unable to receive submissions in relation to sexual harassment that is not connected to Victoria’s courts or VCAT. We are also unable to receive submissions concerning the public sector or judicial corruption, judicial decision-making or general mistreatment occurring in connection with Victoria’s courts or VCAT.

Make a submission

By providing a submission to the Review, you can tell us about your experience in your own words.

If you have previously provided a written statement or complaint to another government agency or complaints body, or to the police, you may like to provide us with a copy.

All submissions must be received by close of business on Friday 30 October 2020.

Take part in a confidential telephone interview

By taking part in an interview, you will have an opportunity to share your experience confidentially with a supportive Commission team member.

You may request to have a support person during the interview, and you can choose to speak with a male or female interviewer.

We would like to interview anyone who has experienced or witnessed sexual harassment while working within Courts Services Victoria or the court system, as well as other relevant people (such as family members).

Please register your interest to participate in an interview by close of business Friday 23 October 2020.

Your privacy

Your privacy is one of our key concerns. The Commission has strong experience in the sensitive, careful management of issues around sexual harassment.

We have established processes in place to ensure only a small group of authorised Commission staff have access to names and contact details. No identifying details will be passed on to the Review team or published.

We will collect, store and destroy all personal information in accordance with the information privacy principles contained in the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic).

We will seek your consent before using any de-identified quotes or case studies with the Review team. De-identified information will be published in the Review report and may also be referred to in Commission publications.

Your personal information will only be used for research purposes in connection with the Courts Review and to allow us to contact you in relation to your participation.

Read the Commission’s privacy policy

Support services

We know that sharing experiences of sexual harassment can be distressing. All individuals who contact us to share information about their experiences will be offered information and referrals to counselling and support services. Our support service directory is available to download at the bottom of this page.

To find out more about what support services are available and to receive assistance in accessing those services, please call our Hotline on 1300 395 726 open 10am-4pm, Mon-Fri.

FAQs

Contact us about the Courts Review

Please contact us if you want more information about our role in the Victorian Courts Review or have any questions about your participation:

Downloads

Related resources

Guideline: Preventing and responding to workplace sexual harassment – Complying with the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 – Aug 2020

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Address
Level 3, 204 Lygon Street Carlton Victoria 3053

General enquiries
enquiries@veohrc.vic.gov.au

Reception
1300 891 848

Enquiry line
1300 292 153 or (03) 9032 3583

Interpreters
1300 152 494

NRS Voice Relay
1300 555 727 then use 1300 292 153

Media enquiries
0447 526 642

The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as First Australians and recognises their culture, history, diversity and deep connection to the land.

We acknowledge that the Commission is on the land of the Kulin Nation and pay our respects to Elders past and present.