Female barrister slams ‘sexist’ male lawyers’ bad behaviour

Female barrister slams ‘sexist’ male lawyers’ bad behaviour

A fed-up female barrister has told her male colleagues to stop “behaving like they’re on a stag do” and making jokes “about breasts and skirts” in court.

Joanna Hardy, a leading criminal barrister, took to Twitter to offer tips on how to retain women in the legal profession.

She said male lawyers can stop saying things like “you’re worse than my wife” and telling female colleagues to “make the case dinner”.

The London-based barrister took the men to task for making sexist jokes in court and forgetting women’s names.

“Don’t behave like you’re on a stag-do,” she wrote.

“If you’re a male in a male-heavy case, don’t ask the female counsel to fetch the coffee/pour your water. Try to remember their names. Don’t make repetitive jokes about breasts or skirts. Don’t communicate solely in innuendo.”

She added, “Be kind to each other. Female advocates can have a rough time of it. Not all the time. And they aren’t the only ones. But just don’t do it. And if you see it, don’t tolerate it.”

Since she posted her advice on how to better treat women in the legal sector, the barrister — who has featured in the top Legal 500 — has been inundated with positive responses.

“I assume that you are saying this because these things still happen on a regular basis?” Martin Benthan wrote. “Deeply regrettable if so and reflects very poorly on those responsible who surely should be intelligent enough to know better.”

Another posted, “If your fellow lawyers have no awareness of equality issues (presumably but not entirely to their privileged upbringings) then they should on 1st warning teach at a disadvantage woman’s school, 2nd warning help serve tea & meals at a women’s refuge & 3rd be permanently debarred!”

But not everyone was in agreement with her, with Joanna Misty tweeting, “This is such childish sexist twaddle. Men & women are not different, they all have issues, families, relatives, stress etc. This sexism is atrocious.”

Ms Hardy was chosen to speak at a hearing of the Commons Justice Select Committee hearing last year, and is a rising star of the legal profession.

She works for Red Lion Chambers in London, which used to be run by Max Hill QC, before he became Director of Public Prosecutions.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission.

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