We need to ask ourselves whether our idea of Australia as a free and open society, committed to the fair-go, stands up to scrutiny when it comes to access to justice
BY Scot James
The Law Council have recently announced ‘Justice Project’, a review focusing on social and economic disadvantage in Australian communities. It will be a comprehensive view of impediments to justice in Australia.
Speaking of the review, President of the Law Council of Australia Fiona McLeod SC said the review will investigate how these issues affect key groups, such as the elderly, young people, those living in remote areas, the homeless and marginalised and the many in our community who have experienced crisis in their lives.
It will examine how these less privileged groups are exploited in the face of significant discrimination.
The project will be overseen by a Steering Committee of renowned Australians, and will be chaired by The Hon Robert French AC, former Chief Justice of the High Court.
“I am delighted that former High Court Chief Justice Robert French AC, has agreed to chair the Steering Committee, and very grateful for the contribution of our expert Committee members,” Ms McLeod said.
Existing research on access to justice issues will be reviewed to construct what is working and why, in order to create informed recommendation for future action.
The Justice Project will be seeking involvement and submission from individuals and organisations with key experience, and focus on case studies that illuminate the key impediments and solutions.
“This is a significant undertaking to examine critical issues that need to be urgently addressed. We need to ask ourselves whether our idea of Australia as a free and open society, committed to the fair-go, stands up to scrutiny when it comes to access to justice. At the moment this is a very difficult question to answer,” Ms McLeod said.
The findings in the review will be reported later this year in November.
Further information can be found at the Justice Project website.