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Law Society opposes any gender discrimination

MEDIA RELEASE – For immediate use, 5 December 2012

Law Society opposes any gender discrimination

The New Zealand Law Society says it opposes discrimination based on gender or anything relating to a person’s physical or mental qualities or beliefs.

Law Society spokesperson Donna Buckingham has commented on a report that a female lawyer had withdrawn from a Law Society Hawke’s Bay branch Christmas function because it was being held at the premises of a club which only allowed men to be members.

“The Christmas function is open to all lawyers. The club in question apparently has a male-only bar, but all people are totally free to attend the function at their premises.”

“The Law Society would not organise a function where lawyers’ ability to attend was determined by whether they were female or male,” she said.

Ms Buckingham said the members of the Hawke’s Bay Club had decided that membership was restricted to men and that was permissible under the Human Rights Act 1993.

“That does not mean that we can’t hope that the club might be persuaded to change its policy and allow anyone who wants to become a member,” she said.

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