Author(s): Elizabeth Curran
This is a report of the Consumer Action Law Centre. Dr Liz Curran was an adviser on the project.
The focus of this evaluation sits within a quality framework of continuous development, reflection and improvement of that service.This evaluation report and the quality framework recognises the extent of unmet legal need in Victoria and the critical role non-legal agencies can play in helping meet that need.
In addition to providing free legal assistance to individuals, Consumer Action Law
Centre (CALC) provides legal secondary consultations (LSC) to Victorian financial counsellors and other community workers through a dedicated telephone legal advice service.
Legal Secondary Consultations (LSC) are defined as where a lawyer offers a non-legal professional (such as a doctor, nurse, youth worker, social worker or financial counsellor) legal advice or information on legal processes (such as what happens at court, and how to give evidence or structure reports for a court to provide the required considerations), or on their professional and ethical obligations, or guides the non-legal professional through tricky situations involving their client or their work for clients. Critically, LSCs can build capacity in non-legal professionals likely to come into contact with the most challenging problems, so as to be able to identify or quickly verify that a problem is capable of a legal solution.
This orientation towards collaborative, holistic and joined-up service delivery is reflected in CALC’s current strategic plan, which includes actions to explore relationships with other community support agencies and catalyse new approaches to meeting unmet need and ‘hard-to-reach’ communities.
Dr Curran was adviser on the project and the report and data collection was undertaken by the Consumer Action Law Centre who have given the author permission to place the report on SSRN, so as to share with others how LSC can enable non-legal professional support, enhance multi-disciplinary practice and reach more clients who are currently excluded from gaining legal help for due to a number of barriers.
Lawyers in the Shadow of the Regulatory State: Transnational Governance on Business and Human Rights
This paper examines the growth of transnational governance, and what it means for business lawyers advising multinational corporate clients. The term “governance” incorporates the network of actors, instruments and mechanisms that now govern transnational corporations, separate from the nation state. It is reasonable to expect that lawyers play an important role in advising business clients on how to effectively operate within this system. Indeed, many transnational legal instruments are intended to enhance clients’ business goals by enabling them to engage more efficiently in cross-border commerce. Other forms of regulation, such as human rights regulation, purports to impose requirements on companies that go beyond what is necessary to enhance cross-border commerce.
In this paper we discuss the transnational governance regime that has arisen to address the adverse human rights impacts of business activities. We focus in particular on the United Nations (UN) Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which were adopted by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011. We ask what if any role is there for lawyers in fostering acknowledgment and fulfilment of these responsibilities among clients? Is the duty to respect human rights a “legal” obligation in any sense? If a lawyer does provide advice, should it encompass only legal risks to the company that fall within the lawyer’s traditionally defined specialized expertise? Or should it go beyond that to include other concerns?
Author(s): Anthony Hopkins
Indigenous offenders are heavily over-represented in the Australian and Canadian criminal justice systems. In the case of R v Gladue, the Supreme Court of Canada held that sentencing judges are to recognise the adverse systemic and background factors that many Aboriginal Canadians face and consider all reasonable alternatives to imprisonment in light of this. In R v Ipeelee, the Court reiterated the need to fully acknowledge the oppressive environment faced by Aboriginal Canadians throughout their lives and the importance of sentencing courts applying appropriate sentencing options. In 2013, the High Court of Australia handed down its decision in Bugmy v The Queen. The Court affirmed that deprivation is a relevant consideration and worthy of mitigation in sentencing. However, the Court refused to accept that judicial notice should be taken of the systemic background of deprivation of many Indigenous offenders. The High Court also fell short of applying the Canadian principle that sentencing should promote restorative sentences for Indigenous offenders, given this oft-present deprivation and their over-representation in prison. In this article, we argue that Bugmy v The Queen represents a missed opportunity by the High Court to grapple with the complex interrelationship between individualised justice and Indigenous circumstances in the sentencing of Indigenous offenders.
Author(s): Greg Weeks
The recognition and enforcement of legitimate expectations by courts has been a striking feature of English law since R v North and East Devon Health Authority; ex parte Coughlan  3 QB 213. Although the substantive form of legitimate expectation adopted in Coughlan was quickly accepted by English courts and received a generally favourable response from public law scholars, the doctrine of that case has largely been rejected in other common law jurisdictions. The central principles of Coughlan have been rejected by courts in common law jurisdictions outside the UK for a range of reasons, such as incompatibility with local constitutional doctrine, or because they mark an undesirable drift towards merits review. The skeptical and critical reception to Coughlan outside England is a striking contrast to the reception the case received within the UK. This issue warrants the detailed scholarly analysis that it receives in this forthcoming book to be published by Hart.
This chapter considers the promises public authorities make to individuals and how they are received. It examines both the capacity of government to create expectations and the legitimacy of people entertaining firm expectations of government and considers the substantive enforcement of legitimate expectations, when government might be estopped from resiling from its representations and in what circumstances government may be liable for making negligent misrepresentations.
Research theme: Administrative Law
Draft Working Paper for a Research and Evaluation Report for the Bendigo Health–Justice Partnership: A Partnership between ARC Justice Ltd and Bendigo Community Health Services
Author(s): Elizabeth Curran
This report documents the reasons for health justice partnerships, the literature, the methodology, the field research which used a participatory action research approach with a continuous learning and development framework. This Draft Working Paper sets out the summary of qualitative and quantitative data, the findings, conclusions lessons and recommendation emerging from this longitudinal study on the Bendigo Health Justice Partnership, in advance of the Full Final Research and Evaluation Report which will be released in 2017.
ARC Justice (specifically one of its programs, the Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre (LCCLC)) and the Bendigo Community Health Service formed a partnership in 2013 to commence a Health Justice Partnership (HJP) in January 2014 to better reach those clients experiencing disadvantage.
ANU (through the author Dr Liz Curran) was commissioned to conduct empirical research and an evaluation of the pilot project's impact on the social determinants of health, its outcomes and the effectiveness of Health Justice Partnerships in reaching clients who would otherwise not gain legal help with a range of problems capable of a legal solution.
This Draft Working Paper is released, in advance of the Full Final Report, so that agencies, researchers and funders and policy makers developing or working in Health Justice Partnerships or multi-disciplinary practices can benefit and be informed by the research and evaluation given the wide range of issues emerging from the research canvasses while the Full Final Report is finalised.
The Full Final Research & Evaluation Report will be released in 2017 but, in the interim, people using SSRN can utilise the research for their work. This responds to the numerous requests to share the research at the earliest opportunity so as to inform service delivery and funding applications which may occur before the release of the Final Report.
Author(s): Moeen Cheema
The Supreme Court of Pakistan underwent a remarkable transformation in its institutional role and constitutional position during the tenure of the former Chief Justice of Pakistan, Iflikhar Muhammad Chaudhry (2005-2013). This era in Pakistan's judicial history was also marked by great controversy as the court faced charges that it had engaged in "judicial activism," acted politically, and violated the constitutionally mandated separation of powers between institutions of the state. This article presents an in-depth analysis of the judicial review actions of the Chaudhry Court and argues that the charge of judicial activism is theoretically unsound and analytically obfuscating. The notion of judicial activism is premised on the existence of artificial distinctions between law, politics and policy and fails to provide a framework for adequately analyzing or evaluating the kind of judicial politics Pakistan has recently experienced. The Supreme Court's role, like that of any apex court with constitutional and administrative law jurisdiction, has always been deeply and structurally political and will continue to be so in the future. As such, this article focuses on the nature and consequences of the Chaudhry Court's judicial politics rather than addressing the issue of whether it indulged in politics at all. It analyzes the underlying causes that enabled the court to exercise an expanded judicial function and in doing so engages with the literature on the "judicialization of politics" around the world.
Human rights and their principles of interpretation are the leading legal paradigms of our time. Freedom of religion occupies a pivotal position in rights discourses, and the principles supporting its interpretation receive increasing attention from courts and legislative bodies. This book critically evaluates religious pluralism as an emerging legal principle arising from attempts to define the boundaries of freedom of religion. It examines religious pluralism as an underlying aspect of different human rights regimes and constitutional traditions.
Author(s): Ron Levy, Graeme Orr,
Laws have colonised most of the corners of political practice, and now substantially determine the process and even the product of democracy. Yet analysis of these laws of politics has been hobbled by a limited set of theories about politics. Largely absent is the perspective of deliberative democracy – a rising theme in political studies that seeks a more rational, cooperative, informed, and truly democratic politics. Legal and political scholarship often view each other in reductive terms. This book breaks through such caricatures to provide the first full-length examination of whether and how the law of politics can match deliberative democratic ideals.
This book arose from an inaugural conference on Migration Law and Policy at the ANU College of Law. The conference brought together academics and practitioners from a diverse range of disciplines and practice. The book is based on a selection of the papers and presentations given during that conference. Each explores the unexpected, unwanted and sometimes tragic outcomes of migration law and policy, identifying ambiguities, uncertainties, and omissions affecting both temporary and permanent migrants. Together, the papers present a myriad of perspectives, providing a sense of urgency that focuses on the immediate and political consequences of an Australian migration milieu created without due consideration and exposing the daily reality under the migration program for individuals and for society as a whole.
Research theme: Migration and Movement of Peoples
When it comes to wellbeing, NSW Young Lawyers, the Australian National University and the Law Society of New South Wales are keen to lead. Being Well in the Law is a toolkit for lawyers. It draws on expert and multidisciplinary knowledge about the breadth of mental health problems and offers ideas to help everybody, young and old, deal with depression, anxiety and stress and learn to better manage the business and pressures of work and life. We all share a responsibility to continue the conversation about mental health. In the legal profession this is especially important as lawyers have a heightened pre disposition to depression and mental illness.
This small but important book, with its varied suggestions and personal stories from people who have been touched by mental illness, is a solid first step towards a happier and healthier world.
Civil Procedure — Commentary and Materials provides students and practitioners with a comprehensive analysis of the practical and theoretical issues encountered in Australian civil procedure, including alternative dispute resolution. This text combines a wealth of primary and secondary materials from all jurisdictions. The common law is clearly set out, together with extensive practical commentary. Each chapter features in-depth questions and notes together with lists of further reading to aid and extend understanding of the issue. It also examines and discusses each substantive and procedural step in the trial and appeal process.
This sixth edition contains completely revised and updated legislation, Rules of Court, cases and articles.
Research theme: Private Law
Author(s): Kim Rubenstein
Citizenship is the pivotal legal status in any nation-state. In Australia, the democratic, social and political framework, and its identity as a nation, is shaped by the notion of citizenship. Australian Citizenship Law sheds light on citizenship law and practice and provides the most up-to-date analysis available of the Australian Citizenship Act 2007 (Cth).
Rubenstein’s Australian Citizenship Law is the much-awaited second edition to her highly acclaimed text. It has been cited in High Court decisions, referred to in national and international academic work and used extensively by practitioners working in citizenship law, migration law, constitutional and administrative law and is an essential resource for migration agents.
Moreover, because of its broader analysis, it is crucially relevant to any discipline associated with citizenship, including, history, politics, education or sociology, and to government officials working in the area of citizenship, especially those working in our embassies and consulates.
Author(s): , Jack Richardson
This book comprehensively describes Australia’s unique pattern of constitutional government. Jack Richardson was always convinced that the legal basis of federal government and the evolving patterns of power should be understandable — not just to experts in constitutional law, but to people in all walks of life. He believed that knowledge of the principles by which we are governed must be available to the general public, and to participants in the federal system. The author advances expert knowledge by divining those principles. By describing their operation in words intelligible to readers who are not legally qualified, he achieves his aim of acquainting a much wider range of people with the powers that rule them.
The result is a book that will be a great help to students and scholars of law, government, politics and history, as well as a useful guide for administrators, journalists, politicians and legal practitioners. Anyone who needs a straightforward explanation of an element of constitutional government will value the understanding they can easily get from the book.
Research theme: Constitutional Law and Theory
Author(s): James Stellios, D Meagher
This book considers the concepts underlying our Constitution and explores constitutional decision-making in context. It reviews all of the important constitutional decisions of the High Court of Australia, and exposes the issues that arise in those decisions to a critical analysis. The book covers all major areas of study in both constitutional law and public law.
Updates for this edition include the two Williams cases in which the High Court reworked the executive power of the Commonwealth to contract and spend; recent cases developing the Kable principles and considering the validity of State laws against Chapter III implications; important recent cases on the implied freedom of political communication; recent cases on s 92 of the Constitution dealing with internet trade and commerce.
Research theme: Constitutional Law and Theory
Did Defensive Homicide in Victoria Provide a Safety Net for Battered Women Who Kill? A Case Study Analysis
Author(s): Anthony Hopkins
This article seeks to draw conclusions about the potential impact of the Crimes Amendment (Abolition of Defensive Homicide) Act 2014 (Vic). We do so by considering whether defensive homicide served as a safety net in the 2014 case of Director of Public Prosecutions (Vic) v Williams. The article presents a detailed analysis of the trial transcript and sentencing remarks to support the contention that the defence did in fact achieve this purpose. The conclusion rests, principally, upon understanding the jury finding that Williams killed in the belief that her actions were necessary for her own protection, but apparently determined that she had no reasonable grounds for that belief (thereby failing the legal test of self-defence as it then stood). Having looked at how the 2014 legislation also amended relevant evidence laws, and reinforced jury directions to accommodate considerations of family violence, we then consider the implications of these reforms for battered women who kill. We suggest that, in the absence of the offence of defensive homicide, women like Williams may in the future be convicted of murder, even when they kill in response to family violence and with a genuine belief that their actions are necessary in self-defence.
Health Justice Partnership - Multi-Disciplinary Practices: Research Evidencing Working Ethically to Ensure Reach to Those in Most Need & Improve Outcomes (Presentation Slides)
Author(s): Elizabeth Curran
This paper examines the emergence of Health Justice Partnerships (HJP) in Australia and will discuss some of the ethical dilemmas and resolutions of these dilemma that have emerged during Curran's action research evaluations. These have been embedded in services from start-up undertaken by Curran. The evaluation research not only measures service effectiveness but also examines and measures positive outcomes and any progress in the social determinants of health as a result of the intervention. As the research empirical data has been analysed, what emerges is the elements leading to effectiveness for lawyers working in integrated models and ways to work ethically across different disciplines to achieve better outcomes including for their social determinants of health. This paper is to firm the basis of a refereed journal article to be submitted shortly end 2016.
Health Justice Partnerships (HJP): Working Ethically to Reach Those in Most Need of Legal and Medical Support & to Improve Outcomes – Research Evidence, a Seminar for City, University of London (Law School) 13 September, 2016, London (Presentation Slides)
Author(s): Elizabeth Curran
This presentation will examine the emergence of Health Justice Partnerships (HJP) in Australia and will discuss some of the ethical dilemmas and resolutions of these dilemmas that have emerged during Dr. Curran's action research evaluations. A Health Justice Partnerships (HJP) sees a partnership between a legal assistance (or legal aid) service and health services (including allied health services). Empirical research sees unresolved legal problems lead to poor health outcomes. In Australia and the UK those most likely to have multiple legal problems are the poor and disadvantaged and figures say only 13% - 16 % get help. In HJP the focus is on problem solving for client/patients with often complex and multiple problems and solving these in a holistic way through integrating legal and non-legal services to enable client access and seamless assistance. This presentation will also discuss the ethical issues and how these have been resolved due to the holistic client focus of all the professionals in the HJP examined.
Topic - 'Health Justice Partnerships (HJP) Research, Evaluations and Findings, and 'How To.'' Presentation Slides, Panel of the Legal Education Foundation UK & Allen & Overy, 12 September 2016, London, UK
Author(s): Elizabeth Curran
There is a growing evidence base demonstrating positive outcomes from the provision of legal advice in healthcare settings. In the US and Australia there are national centres that promote and co-ordinate this work, where they are respectively known as medical-legal partnerships and health justice partnerships. There are also multiple examples of good practice in the UK, captured by reports such as the Low Commission’s 2015 paper The Role of Advice Services in Health Outcomes. The Legal Education Foundation is keen to see the expansion of partnerships between health funders and providers and social welfare legal advice. There have been discussions about how to convert the isolated good practice into a more cohesive national system of health justice partnerships.
This event was a workshop, which heard from Dr Liz Curran, a leading academic in this field who has been involved in Health Justice Partnerships in Australia and Steven Schulman, a partner at Akin Gump who has worked on Medical-Legal Partnerships in the US. Professor Dame Hazel Genn with a UK perspective as a leading authority on access to civil and administrative justice and her work to develop a pioneering student law clinic based at the Guttman Health and Well-being Centre in east London. The workshop was designed to be participatory so as to hear about UK-based examples of best practice and to explore how best to build upon the work going on in the UK.
Author(s): Moeen Cheema
In March 2009, Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry and several other deposed judges were restored to the Supreme Court of Pakistan as a result of a populist movement for the restoration of an independent judiciary. The Supreme Court of Pakistan has since engaged in judicial activism that has resulted in a clash between the judiciary and the elected executive and has brought the distinction between the Rule of Law and the judicialization of politics into contestation. This Paper deconstructs the philosophical debates over the meaning and relevance of the Rule of Law in order to show that the claims to universal applicability, neutrality and inherent value implicit in the dominant modes of theorizing about the Rule of Law are hollow. The deeper concern animating these debates is not the desire to draw hard lines between “law” and “politics.” However, abstract Rule of Law contestations have limited value and relevance, when divorced from the political, constitutional, and sociological context. Only a sharper understanding of the nature of the special politics of law and the specific contexts (of constitutional law, state structure, social, and economic life- forms) shall enable a better understanding of the ever-increasing resonance of the Rule of Law, especially in the Global South.