Women's Legal Status Act (NSW) 1918 This Enabling Act was one of the most significant pieces of legislation affecting the NSW legal profession in the Twentieth Century. Finally, after decades of lobbying, women had the legal right to become lawyers and be elected to the NSW Legislative Assembly. Enabling Act 1918 - Historian Tony Cuneen Tony Cuneen describes the difficulties of getting this legislation passed and its significance: "Apart from issues of prejudice, women were excluded from legal practice at the time for the bizarre reason that the denotation 'person' was interpreted as being male unless specifically stated otherwise. since only a suitable 'person' could practise as a lawyer, women were ruled out." Legislation which specifically stated the right of women to practise as lawyers was needed to remedy the situation.
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