Inappropriate personal conduct includes sexual harassment, discrimination and workplace bullying. It is well documented that the legal profession has a problem with inappropriate personal conduct and, in particular, sexual harassment.
Anyone who has been subjected to, has witnessed, or has knowledge of, inappropriate personal conduct by a member of the legal profession can make a report to the Commissioner.
The Commissioner has, for some time now, provided for confidential or anonymous reporting of inappropriate personal conduct by telephone or email with a dedicated staff member with specialised experience in this area. That will continue.
The Commissioner is launching an online tool to provide an additional avenue for the reporting by the targets or witnesses of inappropriate personal conduct. The new online tool, Speak safely, will enable users to identify themselves or to remain anonymous throughout the process and to have control over how their report progresses including, if they want, to make a formal complaint at some future time.
The Commissioner encourages anyone who has been subjected to, has witnessed, or has knowledge of inappropriate personal conduct by someone in the legal profession to notify us.
Anyone can make a complaint about inappropriate personal conduct. Not only a person who has been the target of inappropriate personal conduct, but also a person who has witnessed such conduct, and/or has knowledge of it.
You can make a formal complaint, which is managed via our regular complaints process, or you can provide a confidential or anonymous report. Confidential and anonymous contacts will be treated with the utmost respect, sensitivity, and confidentiality.
If you provide information anonymously, the Act does not permit the Commissioner to commence and conduct an investigation of it. Nevertheless, your report will be taken seriously and an anonymous report may assist the Commissioner in monitoring and gathering data regarding inappropriate personal conduct by lawyers.
Make a Complaint here >
A formal complaint must be in writing, must identify the person making the complaint and must identify the legal practitioner the subject of the complaint. You can make a formal complaint by clicking on the 'Make a Complaint here' button above.
If you make a formal complaint we assess the complaint to determine whether it will be investigated. If the Commissioner decides to investigate we:
More detail can be found at the Complaint process for misconduct Lawyer or Client pages.
If you wish to make a confidential or anonymous report by telephone or email to a staff member with specialised experience you can do so by contacting Ms Nadine Lambert, one of the Commissioner’s investigating solicitors, directly on 08 8456 8870, or by email at email@example.com.
If you make a confidential or anonymous report:
Speak Safely here >
If you do not feel comfortable emailing or calling us, you can log a report using our online reporting tool, Speak safely, by clicking on the button above. Your report will go directly to the inappropriate personal conduct team. The tool is designed to make reporting incidents easier for you. Some key benefits are:
If you are in danger or want to report a crime, you should contact SAPOL on 000.
If you require urgent medical or psychological assistance, you should contact your local doctor or the emergency department of your local hospital.
The following support services are also available to you:
Assistance in the legal profession
Sexual assault crisis services
General help lines