When Pride in Law committee president Michael Bidwell reflects on what the committee has achieved in Queensland over the past two years, a change to more supportive language stands out.
Last year, Pride in Law collaborated with College of Law to release an inclusive language guide for the legal profession.
“We wanted courts to be more inclusive and changing words was a good place to start,” Michael said.
“The guide reflects the diversity of our rainbow community as does our committee. The guide can be used by all legal professionals with practical tips to use more inclusive language.
“Pride in Law was part of a QLS working group that resulted in the recent change to court appearance slips as well.”
The court appearance slips are accompanied by a practice direction that encourages everyone to be respectful of their colleagues.
Last week, the Queensland Government passed new laws to modernise birth certificates to better recognise diversity.
A person’s legal identity will be able to match their lived identity under new laws. The laws also provide better recognition of same-sex and gender diverse parents. Both parents will be able to be registered as either ‘mother’ or ‘father’ on a child’s birth certificate.
Pride in Law was consulted and made submissions on the Bill.
Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath said the bill belonged to those in the LGBTIQA+ community who despite facing the brunt of vitriol, discrimination and hate have chosen to stand up and fight for legal recognition.
Since establishing in Queensland in 2017, Pride in Law has focused on legislation and policy advocacy with members taking part in working groups.
Pride in Law submissions include review of the Criminal Procedure in the Magistrates Court; review of the Australian Solicitor Conduct Rules; review of anti-discrimination and vilification legislation; and submissions against the formerly proposed Religious Discrimination Bill.
Looking back below are some of the collaborations and milestone events:
September 2021: Pride in Law collaborated with Asian Australian Lawyers Association, Women Lawyers Association of Queensland, Pasifika Lawyers Association of Queensland, Indigenous Lawyers Association of Queensland, QLS Diverse Abilities Network and the African Lawyers Network to host an event at Banco Court titled “Why Diversity?”
October 2021: Pride in Law held an event at Ashurst titled “Trans Rights are Human Rights: Where to from here”.
November 2021: Pride in Law held its annual address in the Banco Court with a keynote speech by the Honourable Justice Thomas Bradley.
May 2022: Pride in Law collaborated with Indigenous Lawyers Association of Queensland and McCullough Robertson to host an event at Birrunga Cafe titled “Journeys to Reconciliation”.
May 2022: Pride in Law collaborated with Asian Australia Lawyers Association and Corrs Chambers Westgarth for an event to honour the International Day Against LGBTIQA+ Discrimination.
June 2022: Pride in Law travelled to Gladstone to participate in the Pride on the Reef festival. They held a stall and shared domestic and family violence resources.
September 2022: Pride in Law collaborated with QLS Diverse Abilities Network to host an event at Ashurst titled “Pride Made Accessible”.
November 2022: Pride in Law held its annual address in the Banco Court with a keynote speech by the Honourable Justice Susan Brown.
April 2023: Pride in Law held an event at Corrs Chambers Westgarth titled “Drag Queen Herstory Time”.
“Pride in Law is very grateful for support from QLS in being a sponsor, facilitating a stall for us at the Brisbane and Gold Coast expos,” Michael said.
“Also for facilitating the Pride in Law Award each year that recognises an outstanding member of the profession who has contributed to the LGBTIQA+ community.”
To view the inclusive language guide, go to: https://www.prideinlaw.org/_files/ugd/ba44d2_e064a07221ff4f68afc2fe92c32f5d6c.pdf