Bullying is defined under section 789FD of the Fair Work Amendment Act 2013 (Cth) as when an individual or group of individuals repeatedly behave unreasonably towards a worker and that behaviour creates a risk to health and safety.

Bullying includes a range of behaviours such as:

  • yelling, screaming or offensive language;
  • excluding or isolating employees;
  • psychological harassment;
  • intimidation;
  • assigning meaningless tasks unrelated to the job;
  • giving employees impossible jobs;
  • deliberately changing work rosters to inconvenience particular employees;
  • undermining work performance by deliberately withholding information vital for effective work performance;
  • constant unconstructive criticism and/or nitpicking;
  • suppression of ideas; and
  • overloading a person with work or allowing insufficient time for completion and criticising the employees work in relation to this.

Source: Law Council of Australia.

Rule 42. Anti-discrimination and harassment

42.1 A solicitor must not in the course of practice, engage in conduct which constitutes:

42.1.1 discrimination;

42.1.2 sexual harassment; or

42.1.3 workplace bullying

workplace bullying” means bullying that is unlawful under the applicable state or territory anti discrimination or human rights legislation. If no such legislative definition exists, it is conduct within the definition relied upon by the Australian Human Rights Commission to mean workplace bullying. In general terms it includes the repeated less favourable treatment of a person by another or others in the workplace, which may be considered unreasonable and inappropriate workplace practice. It includes behaviour that could be expected to intimidate, offend, degrade or humiliate.

The Bar Association of Queensland Barristers' Conduct Rules.


4. The object of these Rules is to ensure that all barristers:

(a) act in accordance with the general principles of professional conduct;


5. These Rules are made in the belief that:

(b) barristers must maintain high standards of professional conduct;



12. A barrister must not engage in conduct which is:

(a) dishonest or otherwise discreditable to a barrister;
(b) prejudicial to the administration of justice; or
(c) likely to diminish public confidence in the legal profession or the administration of justice or otherwise bring the legal profession into disrepute.

Bullying, sexual harassment, discrimination, criminal, or other potential conduct issues by legal professionals or law practice employees, should be referred to the Legal Services Commission for consideration so that any serious conduct matters may be dealt with pursuant to the Legal Profession Act 2007.

It is only through awareness and, where necessary, an appropriate disciplinary response, that professional standards can be upheld, and public confidence in the legal profession and the administration of justice can be maintained.

Bullying, sexual harassment, discrimination, criminal, or other potential misconduct should also be reported to the relevant authority.