The Society is pleased to announce that the Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG will deliver the Annual Frank Walker Lecture this year on the topic "Redressing Miscarriages of Justice: Safety Nets, Second Appeals and an Unsafe Convictions Commission". Join the NSW Society of Labor Lawyers as we celebrate the life and times of the late Attorney-General the Hon Frank Walker QC, MP.Read more
Most would be aware of the recent passing of Hon Susan Ryan AO, Minister in the Australia Government '83-88, architect of the nation’s sex discrimination laws, and later Age Discrimination Commissioner. A trailblazer and inspiration to many that came after her, it is difficult to put into words the significant contribution she made to Australian life. The Society is thankful for her contribution to law reform in the country, and for over a number of years giving her time to our members, including in 2017 as the speaker at the Society’s annual Women’s Dinner. Our condolences to her family and friends at this difficult time.Read more
Following the Society's recent submission to the Australian Government's inquiry into the response to COVID-19, Shadow Attorney-General Paul Lynch MP put questions on notice to the NSW Attorney-General requesting further clarification about the timing of the distribution of legal centre funding after the Federal Government's announcement on 6 May 2020. Members and supporters in the sector who assisted with the Society's submissions may be particularly interested in reading the NSW Government's response - read it by clicking here.Read more
Submission to the Joint Select Committee on the Anti-Discrimination Amendment (Religious Freedoms and Equality) Bill 2020
On 21 August 2020 the NSW Society of Labor Lawyers lodged a submission with the Joint Select Committee on the Anti-Discrimination Amendment (Religious Freedoms and Equality) Bill 2020. The submission provided in principle support for the expansion of religious anti-discrimination protections through amendments to the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW). However, the Society argued that expansion of religious discrimination laws is a complex area, fraught with difficulty due to the risk that any expansion of such laws infringes on other attributes protected by already existing discrimination laws in Australia, and argued that numerous provisions in the draft Bill should be rejected. To read the submission, click here.Read more
Submission to the Select Committee on the impact of technological and other change on the future of work and workers in New South Wales
On 7 September 2020 the NSW Society of Labor Lawyers lodged a submission with the Select Committee on the impact of technological and other change on the future of work and workers in New South Wales. The submission argued that the Workplace Surveillance Act 2005 (NSW) should be amended to reflect changes to workplace technology and the way we work after the COVID-19 pandemic. To view a copy of the submission, click here.Read more
To help support the campaign, the NSW Society of Labor Lawyers will be hosting a fundraiser for Kristy McBain, a former lawyer, Mayor of Bega Valley Shire Council, and Labor’s candidate for the seat, to help her retain this seat for Labor.
The Society has lodged a submission with the Select Committee on COVID-19's inquiry into the Australian Government’s response to the pandemic. The Society's submission addresses the Australian Government's response in respect to the community legal sector, announced on 6 May 2020. The submission follows consultation with our members and supporters in the sector.
Ultimately, the Society submits that the timing of the Australian Government’s additional funding to the community legal sector, announced almost two months after significant socio-economic reform that would, on the face of it, cause substantial economic disruption and a cascade of legal problems, was too late in the pandemic cycle to allow for the speedy allocation of funds to the sector.
The NSW Society of Labor Lawyers has issued a statement regarding the recent application by a number of law firms to vary the Legal Services Award 2020 in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Society is calling upon its members and supporters in the legal profession to join their relevant trade union so that during this pandemic the lowest paid workers in our practices are properly represented, and after the pandemic is over, we build a better, more compassionate legal profession.Read more
“The Things That Must Be Done...” **
Some Genuine Decision-Making Power: Dealing with the over-representation of Aboriginal people in the prison system
Bob Debus - 16 February 2016 - Download a PDF of the speech here.
Last year Judge Greg Woods presented the inaugural Frank Walker Memorial Lecture. He gave an account of the exceptional range and lasting significance of the reform of the justice system and the expansion of civil liberty achieved during Frank’s term as Attorney General and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs.
Greg was head of the Criminal Law Review Division of the Attorney General’s Department during a good deal of that time. I observe that the abolition of the Division last year took place within the new Justice Superministry in which the Minister for Police is senior to the Attorney General. That is a constraint on the role of the Attorney General for which I can find no precedent in the history of New South Wales.