NZBA to study gender ratio of lawyers appearing in top courts

While there’s much anecdotal evidence about the gender gap in top courts, the study is going after hard data

NZBA to study gender ratio of lawyers appearing in top courts
The New Zealand Bar Association will be studying the gender ratio of lawyers appearing in the nation’s top courts after receiving funding from the New Zealand Law Foundation.

The grant enables the association to study the gender ratios of both senior and junior lawyers appearing in both the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court between 1 January 2012 and 1 January 2018.

“There is much anecdotal evidence about these issues but little data exists,” said Jenny Cooper QC. “By giving us a better understanding of the current position and how it has changed over the last six years, the research will enable us to better target and measure the success of strategies to increase the role of women as courtroom advocates.”

The silk, who is a member of the NZBA’s gender equity committee, will lead the study. 

The study will look into the extent to which male lawyers appear in both appellate courts more frequently than female lawyers. It will also study whether there is a different gender ratio for those appearing as senior counsel and as junior counsel.

The grant coincides with the launch of the joint “Gender Equitable Engagement and Instruction Policy” by the NZBA and the New Zealand Law Society.


Related stories:
Supreme Court reaches milestone with majority of women on full bench
Women lawyers set to outnumber men in NZ

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