The Frank Walker Memorial Lecture 2017: The Separation of Church and State — The Liberal Argument for Equal Rights for Gay and Lesbian Australians

In February last year, The Monthly published my essay It’s Time. The title was not simply channelling Labor’s 1972 campaign slogan.

It was rather a recognition of the fact that the time has come for marriage equality in Australia, and a reminder to those who deny marriage rights to gay and lesbian Australians that what we have in common matters more than the division and difference some wish to cultivate.

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Legal Tweaks 2015

Legal Tweaks 2015 was launched Monday 2 November by Edward Santow, CEO of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre.

This year's edition contains a foreword by Federal Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus QC MP and NSW Shadow Attorney-General Paul Lynch.

To access the online edition click here.


Edward Santow & Sophie Farthing, Edwina Lloyd, Kirk McKenzie, Professor Nicholas Cowdery AM QC, Noni Nelson, Sandra Kaltoum,  Chris Frommer, Adam Zwi, Kunal Sharma, Senthorun Raj, Stephen Blanks, Sarah Schwartz, Stephen Lawrence, Tanya Mitchell, Professor Joellen Riley, Peter McNamara, Ali Mojtahedi, Kelly Xiao, Michael Finnane QC, Hannah Ryan, Henry Cornwell, Mikah Pajaczkowska-Russell, Professor Ben Saul, Hannah Quadrio, Harry Edwards, Lewis Hamilton, Professor George Williams AO 

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2014 President's Report

In 2014, the NSW Society of Labor Lawyers has grown stronger in terms of numbers, profile and impact.

Our number of financial members grew by almost 25 per cent in 2014 (taking us to 237). I attribute this to a terrific program of events that enabled us to connect with a broad range of people from the profession. There is wide diversity of experience within our membership, though more work needs to be done to ensure that this experience is properly utilised. If an issue arises that you have a particular interest in, please let us know so we can get your input and involve you in our advocacy work. 

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Frank Walker Lecture 2014

"A Golden Era of Law Reform"

The Inaugural Frank Walker Lecture was held at Parliament House on 11 November 2014. His Honour Judge Greg Woods delivered the lecture titled "A Golden Era of Law Reform"

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Justice Sheahan's tribute to Whitlam


A tribute by Justice Terry Sheahan AO delivered at the NSW Society of Labor Lawyers AGM Monday 27 October 2014

 Rodney Cavalier is concerned about the Society’s proposal that I move a motion tonight that it grant Gough posthumous life membership, but it would be consistent with much of Whitlam’s self-deprecatory humour, for us to recall the famous anecdote about his booking the crypt of St Mary’s Cathedral for 3 days after he died.

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Legal Tweaks 2014

Legal Tweaks 2014 was launched Monday 27 October by Nicholas Cowdery AM QC - read his launch speech here

The forwards in the 2014 edition are by the Hon Paul Lynch MP and Mark Dreyfus QC MP.

Tweaks by:

Tony Bowen, Lewis Hamilton, Senthorun Raj, Ben Saul, Philip Boncardo, Nicholas Cowdery AM QC, Greg Jones, Miiko Kumar, Stephen Odgers SC, Hannah Quadrio, Joellen Riley, Ingmar Taylor SC, Joe Effrem, Daryl Melham, Patrick Garcia, Peter Pereira, Stephen Blanks, Thomas Liu, Kunal Sharma, Katie Wrigley, Darren Jenkins, Sen. Joseph Ludwig, Hannah Ryan, Cameron Murphy, James Mack, Tim Quadrio, Eliot Olivier, John Wheelan, George Williams AO, Elisabeth Peden, Kim Richardson, Jane Needham SC.

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Tribute to Gough

It is now trite to say that Gough Whitlam was a great leader. A foundation of his greatness was his ability as a (Labor) lawyer.

When Whitlam was sworn in as Prime Minister on 5 December 1972 he was also sworn in, for a period of fourteen days only, as Attorney General.


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Elections Funding

Dear Members of Parliament,

Re: Elections Funding, Expenditure and Disclosures Amendment Bill 2014 I write on behalf of the Executive of the NSW Society of Labor Lawyers (Labor Lawyers) to express our concerns about the Elections Funding, Expenditure and Disclosures Amendment Bill 2014 (the Bill), introduced this week.

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Foreign Fighters

The NSW Society of Labor Lawyers (NSW Labor Lawyers) is making this submission to the PJCIS to raise concerns about a number of aspects of the Counter-Terrorism (Foreign Fighters) Bill 2014.

The NSW Society of Labor Lawyers is a voluntary organisation of progressive lawyers in NSW. We have over 200 financial members and a network of approximately 600 people. NSW Labor Lawyers aims, through scholarship and advocacy, to effect positive, just and equitable changes to Commonwealth and NSW legislation.

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The NSW Society of Labor Lawyers has provided a submission to Commonwealth Government's Exposure Draft of of the Freedom of speech (Repeal of S. 18C) Bill 2014

In summary, the submission argues: 

  1. There is no compelling case for any change to section 18 of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) (the Act), particularly in the form of the Government’s proposals. 
  2. The changes proposed by the Government would result in bad law, effectively denuding the Act of most of its weaponry to combat racial hate speech. 
  3. There is no evidence to suggest that public discourse is adversely affected by the current section 18C, and the accompanying exemption in section 18D that allows for (otherwise racially vilifying) comments that are made reasonably and in good faith. 
  4. The ‘Bolt case’ provides no rationale for a change to the legislation, given the Court found Mr Bolt’s articles were not written and published reasonably and in good faith

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