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Submission to the ALP's 2020 National Platform Review

On 30 November 2020 the Society lodge a submission to the Australian Labor Party's review of the National Platform calling for, amongst other things, a national framework for discrimination laws, civil liberty protections for journalists and those accused of wrongdoing by national intelligence agencies, the harmonisation of child protection laws and further entrenchment of human rights protections. 


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Transcript of the Annual Frank Walker Lecture

The Annual Frank Walker Lecture was held on 28 October 2020 to celebrate the life and legacy of former NSW Attorney-General Hon Frank Walker QC. This year's guest was former High Court Justice Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG, who delivered a speech on prisoner law reform in Australia. 

A copy of the speech is available here.

A video of the lecture, which was conducted online due to current NSW Government COVID-19 guidelines, will be available shortly. 

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Frank Walker Lecture 2020

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.

For more information and to register, click here. 

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Vale Susan Ryan AO

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.

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Questions on Notice - Community Legal Sector Funding during COVID-19

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.

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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.

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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.

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Fundraiser for the Eden-Monaro By-Election

Join us for a fundraiser and update to the legal profession with Shadow Attorney-General the Hon Mark Dreyfus QC, MP. Tickets available online via the NSW Labor website: 
The Eden Monaro by-election will be a difficult election - and the country is watching. 

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. 

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Submission to the Senate Inquiry into the Australian Government's Response to COVID-19

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. 

View a copy of the submission here.

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Statement regarding Application to Vary the Legal Services Award

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.

You can view a copy of the Society's statement here.

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