Law Reform and Social Justice

Law Reform and Social Justice
 

Through its teaching curriculum, academic research and social justice initiatives, Law Reform and Social Justice at the ANU College of Law provides opportunities for students to explore and interrogate the complex role of law in society, and the part that lawyers play in promoting both change and stability.

Law Reform and Social Justice supports the integration of law reform and the principles of social justice into teaching, research and study across the College. It also facilitates a broad range of student projects, hosts a regular series of events, and produces a PDF icon guide (448.93 KB) and regular newsletter.

To find out about opportunites to get involved, see our Facebook page for LRSJ

Last updated date

10.57pm Sunday 7 August 2016

Recently

11
Aug
2016
Welcome Professor Alex Sharpe

On Thursday 11 August we welcome Professor Alex Sharpe to the Centre for a series of events co-sponsored by the ANU Gender institute.

Alex is based at Keele University UK.  She is an international scholar of issues in transgender, sexualities, and the law, as well as broader interests in contemporary critical theory.  She will be fronting a Q & A session on ‘gender fraud’ at 12pm, Friday 12 August, in the Moot Court.  Then at 4pm, she will be presenting a public lecture entitled Scary monsters: the hopeful undecidability of David Bowie (1947-2016), which promises to be a load of fun.  

The ANU College of law has an explicit commitment to the themes of law reform and social justice as core components for understanding the law.

College academics teach, research and engage across a broad spectrum of social justice topics including: access to justice, due process, civil society, human rights, legal ethics, health justice, transitional justice, Indigenous and refugee justice and youth justice.

The idea of law reform is integral to the study of law at the College with students encouraged in their studies to ask: where does a law come from, what is its purpose, is it working as it should, and how could it be different? Staff at the College integrate the study of law reform into their teaching, conduct research into the need for law reform in particular areas, and contribute their expertise to formal law reform processes.

Student-run projects are a key feature of the work supported by Law Reform and Social Justice. These projects provide a practical outlet for students to use their research skills, and assist students to understand the operation of law in society through community engagement. Students also have the opportunity to interact with academic staff outside of the classroom and work with students in other year cohorts. The projects aim to foster a commitment to social justice and law reform through volunteer activities. All students of the ANU College of Law – undergraduate, JD, and graduate – are welcome to be involved in current projects, and to suggest new activities.

Law Reform and Social Justice holds events with prominent speakers, film screenings, and panels discussing important contemporary issues. These events foster further engagement with the law and expose students to ideas of how they can work within and beyond the legal profession to achieve law reform and social justice.

The Director of Law Reform and Social Justice, Professor Simon Rice OAM, is on leave until mid-2016. The current Director is Associate Professor Matthew Zagor.

An active approach to studying law

PDF icon This guide (448.93 KB) provides law students with information about how to take an active approach to studying law, and useful contacts for legal organisations in Canberra that accept student volunteers. 

 

Staff


Justine Poon
Manager - LRSJ

Members


Matthew Zagor
Associate Professor

Faculty advisors


Pauline Bomball
Lecturer

Kevin Boreham
Lecturer

Lauren Butterly
Lecturer

Marianne Dickie
Senior Lecturer

Tony Foley
Associate Professor

Ryan Goss
Senior Lecturer

Kath Hall
Associate Professor

Anthony Hopkins
Senior Lecturer

Anne Macduff
Lecturer

Paul Maharg
Professor

Wayne Morgan
Associate Professor

Mark Nolan
Associate Professor

Molly Townes O'Brien
Associate Professor

Kate Ogg
Lecturer

James Prest
Lecturer

Simon Rice
Professor

Imogen Saunders
Lecturer

Er-Kai Wang
Associate Lecturer

Asmi Wood
Senior Lecturer

Interns - Law Reform & Social Justice (LRSJ)

Nelson Mendonca (2015)
Nick Christodoulou (2015)
Medicinal Cannabis on The Australian Capital Territory: A Perspective on the Apparent International and Domestic Barriers
Ying Ching Ng (2015)
Treatment of human tissue and body parts
Christian Dent (2014)
Olivia Kelly (2014)
Stefanie Schweiger (2014)
Get your rosaries off my ovaries: A proposal for exclusion zone legislation around abortion service providers in the Australian Capital Territory
Christina Karolis (2014)
Louisa Hermitage (2014)
Special measures – What place in the Australian Racial Discrimination Act?
Sonja van der Steen (2013)
Command responsibility of mid-level political and military cadre in international criminal law
Amy Sinclair (2012)
Amanda Joyce Neilson (2012)
A Marriage of Inconvenience: Self Represented Litigants and the Family Court of Australia
Khash Kamali (2012)
Justice behind the Shi’a veil: The rule of law and the Iranian Judiciary

Pages

Advisory board

Mr Daniel Stewart
Senior Lecturer
ANU College of Law
Canberra, Australia
Professor Paul Maharg
Professor
ANU College of Law
Canberra, Australia
Ms Mary Spiers
Lecturer
ANU College of Law
Canberra, Australia
Dr Ryan Goss
Senior Lecturer
ANU College of Law
Canberra, Australia
Ms Helen McGowan
PhD Candidate
ANU College of Law
Canberra, Australia
Dr Liz Curran
Senior Lecturer
ANU College of Law
Canberra, Australia

Latest news

08
Aug
2016
Harita Sridhar

An Aurora Internship helped focused the legal ambitions of fifth year ANU Law student, Harita Sridhar.

11
Apr
2016

ANU Law expert Associate Professor Hall argues that while Australia’s regulatory authorities are diligent and conscientious, the deficiencies in corruption regulation have been on show this year.

07
Apr
2016

The National Law Reform Conference will bring together some of Australia's best legal practitioners, policy experts, researchers and academics.

05
Apr
2016

Australian politicians should put socially contentious issues to the public vote to help break political impasses, according to a key speaker at the upcoming ANU National Law Reform Conference.

16
Mar
2016

Aurora internships provide an invaluable opportunity for students interested in working for Indigenous organisations after graduation.

Upcoming events

No upcoming events found.

Past events

25
Aug
2016

LRSJ workshop: Community legal education

Law Reform and Social Justice
1.00PM to 2.00PM
  • Heidi Yates, Head of Practice, Legal Aid ACT

One of the barriers to access to justice is that people often don't know how to navigate through complex law. Community Legal Education aims to address this gap by providing the public with the 'awareness, knowledge and skills' needed to solve their legal problems. It is often one of the core services that legal aid organisations provide.

12
Aug
2016

Sexual intimacy, gender identity and fraud: A conversation

Professor Alex Sharpe
12.00PM to 1.00PM
  • Professor Alex Sharpe

In recent years, the UK has witnessed a series of sexual offence prosecutions brought against young LGBT people (all of whom were designated female at birth) on the basis of so-called ‘gender fraud’.

04
Aug
2016

Writing law reform submissions

Law Reform and Social Justice
1.00PM to 2.00PM
  • Natasha Molt, Law Council of Australia
  • Chris Dyer, Law Council of Australia

Law Reform and Social Justice would like to invite students to a workshop on writing law reform submissions.

26
Jul
2016

'Chasing Asylum' film screening

Chasing Asylum
6.00PM to 9.00PM
  • Linda Kirk, ANU College of Law
  • Matthew Zagor, ANU College of Law

The critically acclaimed documentary, directed by Academy Award winner Eva Orner, exposes the real impact of Australia’s offshore detention policies and explores how ‘The Lucky Country’ became one where leaders choose detention over compassion and governments deprive the desperate of their basic human rights.

25
Jul
2016

Talk with Suzanne McCourt, Australian Ambassador to Zimbabwe

Law Reform and Social Justice
12.00PM to 1.30PM
  • Suzanne McCourt, Australian Ambassador to Zimbabwe

LRSJ students are invited to an informal 'chat' with Australian Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Suzanne McCourt, about the challenges of being a diplomat in a human rights hotspot such as Zimbabwe, and the landmark rights cases under the 2013 Constitution before the Constitutional Court. 

Projects & clusters

LRSJ student led projects

Contact: Matthew Zagor

Student-run projects are a key feature of the work supported by Law Reform and Social Justice, providing a practical outlet for students to use their research skills, and assist students to understand the operation of the law in society through community engagement.

Students are encouraged to approach staff with new ideas for new projects via the mailbox. Current faculty advisors can be found on our People tab.

The following students-run projects are currently supported by Law Reform and Social Justice.


project icon

Established in 2016, this project is currently working on producing a community magazine and doing further legal research.

project icon

This project was established in late 2014. Teams of students partner up with local community legal organisations in order to discuss their legal information needs and how our students may be able to help them and their clients. The students then research and produce plain-language legal information to be used by the organisation. A website to collect together this work is currently in progress. We envisage this to be a legal information hub where students contribute articles and factsheets and where we aim to bring together the many sources of legal information on the web. We would welcome any students interested in this project to get in touch with us.

project icon

Students involved in the Prison Issues project have the opportunity to engage in law and legal issues with people incarcerated in the Alexander Machonochie Centre.

Student Leaders: Max Henshaw 
Faculty Advisors: Anthony Hopkins, Mark Nolan, Molly O'Brien

project icon

This project aims to increase the understanding of Canberra school students in the role of the law and legal information and to provide an opportunity for law students to prepare and deliver lesson plans. 

Student Leaders: 
Faculty Advisors: 

project icon

The Police Integrity project documents police accountability measures in place across Australia’s federal and state jurisdictions.

project icon

This project is responsible for maintaining the ACT Human Rights Act Portal that provides researchers and practitioners with an accurate database of case summaries, Hansard, explanatory memoranda, general information and other material relating to the application of the Human Rights Act 2004 (ACT).

project icon

The Corporate Power Accountability project aims to cover four principal areas in which corporate law and social justice meet: corruption, labour, human rights, and the environment. We are a research group that empowers the public, increases access to information and raises awareness on issues of corporate accountability.

project icon

Ready 4 Recognition is an educational project that provides the community with clear, concise and legally accurate information about the constitutional recognition of Indigenous peoples.

Project leader: Lauren Butterly

Law Internships

Through the ANU College of Law internship program, students can contribute to the work of a social justice agency of their choice and conduct research that will support the agency's work. Most internships can be undertaken as courses for which students receive credit to their degree, and some provide a unique experience for volunteers.

Internships provide students with unique opportunities to make use of their developing legal skills in areas of need, building on their knowledge and putting it into context.

LRSJ offers internships for later year students, done through the LAWS4230 Internship Program. All LRSJ internships are subject to the course assessment criteria.

Past and current LRSJ interns can be found on our LRSJ People tab. You are also welcome to do your own research and/or consult us regarding an alternative location (local or overseas) or type of work relating to law reform or social justice.

To discuss possible internships, please contact Matthew Zagor, Director of the LRSJ Program.

Law Internship course

The LRSJ Program at the ANU College of Law takes in two student interns each semester as part of the course LAWS4230: Law Internship.

LRSJ interns will conduct research into current issues in areas of law and social justice, adding to the knowledge base of the Program and enhancing the resources provided through the Program's website.

Areas of research could include:

  • poverty
  • discrimination and human rights
  • access to justice
  • the concerns of the elderly, migrants and refugees, indigenous peoples and/or other disadvantaged groups.

Law Reform

The idea of law reform is integral to the study of law at the ANU College of Law. We encourage students to ask: Where did a law come from? What is its purpose? Is it working as it should? How could it be different?

Staff integrate the study of law reform into their teaching, conduct research into the need for law reform in particular areas, and contribute their expertise to formal law reform processes

ACT Law Reform Advisory Council

The ANU College of Law collaborates with the ACT Attorney-General's Department to operate the ACT Law Reform Advisory Council (LRAC), based at the ANU College of Law.

The Council’s role is to provide expert advice and recommendations to the ACT Attorney-General on terms of reference dealing with law reform matters referred to it by the Attorney-General.

The Council includes a panel of expert members with a broad range of expertise who are selected by the Attorney-General to serve for a period of up to three years.  Members are appointed for their expertise in matters relating to law and legal policy, and not as representatives of an organisation.

Information about LRAC membership is available on their website.

Contact: Dr Tony Foley

LRAC Links

 

Activities archive

11
Aug
2016
Welcome Professor Alex Sharpe

On Thursday 11 August we welcome Professor Alex Sharpe to the Centre for a series of events co-sponsored by the ANU Gender institute.

Alex is based at Keele University UK.  She is an international scholar of issues in transgender, sexualities, and the law, as well as broader interests in contemporary critical theory.  She will be fronting a Q & A session on ‘gender fraud’ at 12pm, Friday 12 August, in the Moot Court.  Then at 4pm, she will be presenting a public lecture entitled Scary monsters: the hopeful undecidability of David Bowie (1947-2016), which promises to be a load of fun.  

Updated:  10 August 2015/Responsible Officer:  College General Manager, ANU College of Law/Page Contact:  Law Marketing Team