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

12.53pm Wednesday 26 October 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

Marianne Dickie
Senior Lecturer

Tony Foley
Professor

Ryan Goss
Senior Lecturer

Kath Hall
Associate Professor

Anthony Hopkins
Senior Lecturer

Anne Macduff
Senior Lecturer

Paul Maharg
Professor

Wayne Morgan
Associate Professor

Mark Nolan
Associate Professor

Molly Townes O'Brien
Associate Professor

Kate Ogg
Senior Lecturer

James Prest
Lecturer

Simon Rice
Professor

Imogen Saunders
Lecturer

Er-Kai Wang
Associate Lecturer

Asmi Wood
Associate Professor

Interns - Law Reform & Social Justice (LRSJ)

Laura Sweeney (2012)
The Physical Punishment Of Children In The Australian Capital Territory: Legal Regulation And Options For Reform
Melanie Poole (2012)
Catholic Healthcare Australia Guidelines as Torture, and Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment: A Human Rights Inquiry
Stephanie Henry (2012)
Constitutional Recognition of Australian Indigenous Peoples: Prior Consultation in Colombia and Australia?
Stephen Priest (2012)
Ensuring Judicial Impartiality in the Khmer Rouge Tribunal: A Judicial Obligation to Self-Recuse?
Clare Brennan (2011)
The legislative regime for segregation in the act: A deficiency in human rights compliance
Ellen Chapple (2011)
The Development of the Principle of Ne Bis In Idem and its Applicability in Cases before The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts Of Cambodia
Jessica Lee (2010)
Does the ECCC have jurisdiction to apply the doctrine of command responsibility?
Helen Macleod and Samuel Watts (2010)
The effectiveness of the Northern Territory Emergency Response alcohol provisions in reducing alcohol related harm in the Katherine region

Pages

Advisory board

Senior Lecturer
ANU College of Law
Canberra, Australia
Professor
ANU College of Law
Canberra, Australia
Lecturer
ANU College of Law
Canberra, Australia
Senior Lecturer
ANU College of Law
Canberra, Australia
PhD Candidate
ANU College of Law
Canberra, Australia
Elizabeth Curran
Senior Lecturer
ANU College of Law
Canberra, Australia

Latest news

12
Jan
2017
Judy Harrison, Senior Lecturer, ANU Legal Workshop

New to the MLP in 2017, 'Law and Organising' is about what can happen when law meets social justice and vice versa. Lawyers are often involved and the course explores why and how from different perspectives. Current and future lawyers and those interested in progressive change can enhance their repertoire through this course.

29
Nov
2016
Abbey Seckerson

Fifth Year law student at the ANU College of Law Abbey Seckerson has gained an internship, beginning in December, at the OECD in Paris. An active member of the Corporate Accountability Project at the ANU College of Law, Abbey will be researching issues about access to justice.

11
Nov
2016
Law Reform and Social Justice

The ANU College of Law’s Law Reform and Social Justice (LRSJ) program has initiated a research hub for students interested in making submissions to inquiries on contemporary law reform issues.

02
Oct
2016
Donald Trump

Loose and reckless civil rights talk increasingly characterises populist politics, from protecting citizens’ “rights” by opposing immigration to promoting “free speech” rights by permitting racist conduct. Simon Rice explores what civil rights actually are, and how easily the idea of "rights" can be used and abused in public debate.

08
Aug
2016
TEWLS

Five weeks working at the coalface of a women’s legal service in Darwin as part of the Aurora Internship Program helped focused the legal ambitions of fifth year ANU Law student, Harita Sridhar.

In the Media

30
Jan
2015

What is the meaning (and law) of 'freedom of speech'?

Simon Rice speaks to ABC Radio

12
May
2014

Call for a better WA Stolen Wages Reparation Scheme

Judy Harrison speaks to ABC Kimberley re-broadcast by the National Indigenous Radio Service

Upcoming events

No upcoming events found.

Past events

23
Feb
2017

Dealing with the wicked problem of racism – using theory as praxis

Event image
1.00PM to 2.00PM
  • Marcelle Burns, University of New England
  • Jennifer Nielsen, Southern Cross University

In this paper, we share our reflections on our success in using theory as a practice to challenge the wicked problem of racism in the law classroom. 

13
Feb
2017

Developments in criminal justice and human rights: Four years into the Xi Jinping era

Event image
3.00PM to 6.00PM
  • Dr Joshua Rosenzweig, Amnesty International
  • Professor Terence Halliday, Northwestern University; Regnet, ANU
  • Professor Sarah Biddulph, University of Melbourne
  • Professor Susan Trevaskes, Griffith University

Four years into the Xi Jinping leadership, it is appropriate to begin assessing the effects of his ‘governing the nation according to the law’ 依法治国 platform. 

13
Oct
2016

Confronting death: Capital punishment in Asia

Event image
5.00PM to 7.00PM
  • Julian McMahon (Reprieve Australia)

Does the death penalty deter crime? What is the scope and nature of Australia’s role in the region? Why has there been a resurgence of the death penalty in the Asia-Pacific?

13
Oct
2016

Law and human rights advocacy workshop

Advocacy
1.00PM to 2.00PM
  • Priscilla Chia (We Believe in Second Chances)
  • Guy Ragen (Amnesty International Australia)

How does advocacy intersect with law? How can you use your legal training to work for changes in policy in Australia and in the region?

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.

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.


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Ready 4 Recognition project

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.

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Corporate Accountability Project

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.

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Human Rights project

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).

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Police Integrity

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

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Prison Issues project

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 HopkinsMark NolanMolly O'Brien

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Community Legal Education project

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: 

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ANU Law Students for Refugees

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

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InfoHub

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.

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

 

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