Without Prejudice: Same Issue - New Cover 1896-2018 (Book)

Without Prejudice: Same Issue - New Cover 1896-2018 (Book)

Gill Gatfield


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Date: 01/04/2021

Code: 9781988553214

Thomson Reuters, NEW ZEALAND

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Without Prejudice is a comprehensive and key resource that will inform and advance the current debates and solutions relating to sexual harassment and discrimination of women in the law.

First published in 1996, the book documents over 40 years of substantive evidence of sexual harassment and discrimination in the legal profession and judiciary, and describes the law societies, law firms and government’s inaction in response to that evidence. Involving 4 years of comprehensive primary and secondary research, the author Gill Gatfield consulted widely with law societies, employers, judges, women lawyers’ groups, and leaders within the profession; including interviewing and surveying more than 1500 women and men lawyers.

In 2018 a revised edition was called for and the original research – still current, still relevant – is now supplemented by author Gill Gatfield’s reflections on the current revelations and debates in the legal profession, including analysis of the recent independent reports on the experiences of women in law.

Without Prejudice: Same Issue - New Cover 1896-2018 retains the original framework and content as it speaks directly to the issues the legal profession is facing. Each chapter in the book addresses aspects of direct contemporary relevance – collegiality, the old boy’s network, more time and more numbers, sexual harassment, discrimination, bias, the bench, obstacles to change and the need for action.

Gill Gatfield analyses the historical, cultural and structural frameworks that underpin the unequal and unlawful treatment of women and minorities within the legal profession and judiciary. She outlines how those frameworks can be changed to achieve just and equitable outcomes for women and minority groups within legal workplaces.

Without Prejudice will be of interest to the legal profession, judiciary, policy and lawmakers, academics, women lawyers groups, media and other commentators; and to those in business and other sectors who are also contending with the shifting ground of gender relations in the workplace

Dr Anna Hood, University of Auckland

All who have an interest in the treatment of women in the legal profession need to read Without Prejudice: Women in the Law, Gill Gatfield’s meticulously researched book on the experiences and position of women in the New Zealand legal profession from 1896-1996. While the book was written 22 years ago, it remains the most thorough, thought-provoking and valuable text on women in the law in this country and its pages contain information that is critical for us to understand if we are to have any hope of transforming the experiences of female lawyers in New Zealand.

Prof. Margaret Wilson, Waikato University

The book deserves a wider audience than legal academics, students, and the legal profession. It will be welcomed by anyone interested in understanding the legal system in New Zealand or seeking solutions to gender inequality in the workplace.

Table of Contents

The Research



Part One: The Past

Chapter 1 The Law Against Women Lawyers: 1840-1882

Chapter 2 The Law Allowing Women Lawyers: 1883-1896

Chapter 3 Training and Employment of Women in the Profession: 1896- 1977

Chapter 4 The Old Boys’ Network: 1896-1970s

Chapter 5 Proving Ability: Women Lawyers 1896-1970s

Chapter 6 Liberation and Discrimination 1970-1989