Legal Tweaks 2012

Forward by The Hon. Nicola Roxon MP

The legal practitioners profiled in this booklet are not all members of the Labor Party, or of the NSW Society of Labor Lawyers. But they share the Society’s desire to see sound, progressive law reform. This publication is a way for us to share their insights on how the law can be changed – ‘tweaked’’ – simply and effectively, for the benefit of the wider community.

For our laws to be effective they must keep pace with our rapidly changing society. Keeping the law reform conversation alive between practitioners, academics, service providers and governments is integral to this process. I congratulate the New South Wales Society of Labor Lawyers on the publication of Legal Tweaks that would change NSW and the nation, for making an important contribution to this ongoing discussion.

This publication asks a simple but important question - If you could change one particular section or regulation, what would it be, and why? Looking at how the law is working,whom it is affecting and how it can be improved is an exercise that must be undertaken not just by Government but by legal practitioners that work in the field every day.

This publication is a practical demonstration of independent voices putting forward their views about what’s working, and what isn’t, in the NSW and national justice systems. Of course governments must also weigh up priorities and implications of proposed reforms – changes that may look attractive on paper may not work well in practice. So while I may not agree with every proposal in

Legal Tweaks , the fact that so many people are willing to put forward their ideas demonstrates the strength of the society in which we live. I commend the NSW Society of Labor Lawyers for getting the conversation started. May robust debate ensue.