7 Int'l J. Discrimination & L. 1 (2005)

handle is hein.journals/ijdisclw7 and id is 1 raw text is: 




International Journal of Discrimination and the Law, 2005, Vol. 7. pp. 1 3
1358-2291/2005 $10
  2005 A B Academic Publishers. Printed in Great Britain

EDITORIAL


This issue of the International Journal of Discrimination and the Law is
devoted to articles on sexual harassment written with the support of
the International Bar Association (IBA). Awareness of sexual
harassment as a significant issue for lawyers arose slowly. An example
of this is the International Bar Association itself, which for half a
century has run conferences on issues of concern to the legal profes-
sion. Even after the introduction of sexual harassment laws in
many jurisdictions two decades ago, the issue remained at the periph-
ery of lawyers' consciousness until the profession was jolted out of its
complacency by the US case of Weeks v. Baker & McKenziel where a
legal secretary sued her employer, the world's largest law firm, for
sexual harassment and was awarded $50,000 in compensatory
damages and $6.9 million in punitive damages (10 percent of the
firm's net worth). Until this time, the IBA had never run a session
on sexual harassment at any of its conferences. The year that this
case came to court (1994) the IBA ran three sessions on sexual
harassment at its annual conference. Whether this indicated a
reaction of the legal profession generated by hysteria, self-interest
or good intentions (or - most probably - a combination of all
three), sexual harassment as an issue for the legal profession assumed
a prominence which it has maintained in the succeeding decade.
    The articles in this issue consider sexual harassment laws in
many countries. While one issue of a journal cannot hope to repre-
sent the totality of such laws, the articles here represent the laws in
the developed and the developing world, in both civil law and
common law systems, and are written from different professional
perspectives by lawyers in practice, academics and layers working
for institutions. These differences are also reflected in the styles:
some articles are longer and heavily footnoted; others shorter with
less reliance on case analysis.
    The articles analyse the laws dealing with sexual harassment in
each author's jurisdiction. Professor Jenny Morgan has contributed
an article which analyses the notion and phenomenon of sexual
harassment itself, and Dr Phillip Tahmindjis has written a compara-
tive overview of the articles, drawing together the issues of conver-
gence and divergence with the relative successes and shortcomings.
It is hoped that this issue of the Journal will enable readers to
become more constructively critical of the approach in their own
legal systems to this significant issue and promote law reform.

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