Kingsford Legal Centre
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Welcome to the April issue of the Kingsford Legal Centre e-Bulletin.

Funding Campaign Breakthrough

After months of campaigning, NSW Community Legal Centres including KLC received some welcome news last week when the NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman announced that the State Government will cover the shortfall in funding for the next two years, created by the Federal Government's funding cuts. 

Federal funding is set to be cut by 30% from July 1st, which represents $92,000 of our budget. We are relieved and grateful that the NSW government has stepped in to assist because without it, we would have had to cut a solicitor position and reduce our provision of legal advice, casework, community legal education and supervision of law students. 

While we are encouraged by this show of support from the NSW government we are concerned that the federal government’s decision to go ahead with its planned 30% funding cut on July 1st will exacerbate the pressure nationwide on CLCs in circumstances of rising demand for services.

That's why we're asking you to reach out to your MP and Senators to let them know that funding equal justice must be a priority!
Contact your Federal MP/Senator
Sign Rosie Batty's Petition
CLCs nationally are facing a 'funding cliff'. Between 2017-2018 and 2019-2020, CLCs will be cut by $34.83 million nationally. This will be $12.1 million in 2017-2018, $11.6 million in 2018-2019 and $11.13 million in 2019-2020.

Update on our March petition

Thanks to all of our friends who signed our online Federal Government petition to stop the funding cuts to KLC. We had over 750 signatures in the end – which is massive. We are waiting to hear the Attorney-General’s response to the petition and will work with Kingsford Smith member Matt Thistlethwaite on raising the issue again in parliament.

Australian Clinical Legal Education – Designing and Operating a Best Practice Clinical Program in an Australian Law School – ANU Press

KLC Director Associate Professor Anna Cody, along with some of Australia’s leading clinical legal education academics – Adrian Evans, Anna Copeland, Jeff Giddings, Peter Joy, Mary Anne Noone and Simon Rice – are proud to announce the publication of the above book. It is the culmination of many years of research. The book sets out in detail the many complex issues associated with developing law students’ public-interest professionalism in an Australian context. It also offers very practical guidance on how to construct and operate a best practice clinical program. The book is available to purchase in hard copy or free download here.

Law Reform Update

KLC made a submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee's Inquiry into Human Rights Legislation Amendment Bill 2017. KLC argued that section 18C as it is presently constituted strikes the appropriate balance between freedom of speech and freedom from racial vilification. KLC recommended the following:
  1. The current wording of 'offend, insult and humiliate' in section 18C(1) should remain;
  2. The current test of an ordinary, reasonable person from the targeted racial or ethnic group remain;
  3. The current time limit of 12 months to make a complaint remain;
  4. The Court not be required to seek leave to apply to the Court when their complaint is terminated by the Commission;
  5. The Court not have the power to have regard to an offer to settle in deciding whether to award costs;
  6. If the Government wishes to provide greater protections for freedom of speech, this should be enshrined in the Australian Constitution or a national human rights act.
While KLC was pleased that changes to section 18C did not pass, some of the changes to the Commission's complaints handling process that did pass raise access to justice concerns for our clients. For example, the time limit to lodge a discrimination complaint has been reduced from 12 to 6 months, and the Courts will have the power to consider an offer to settle in deciding whether to award costs. KLC will be working with the CLC sector to raise our concerns about these changes.

Staff Movements

New Law Reform and Policy Solicitor

KLC’s employment solicitor Maria Nawaz has been appointed our new Law Reform and Policy Solicitor.  Maria had been acting in the position for the past three months but gained it permanently through a competitive recruitment process.  Maria has extensive experience in law reform and has already been extremely prolific. Congratulations Maria.

Herbert Smith Freehills Secondees – Farewell to Ellen and Hello to Rafe

KLC staff were sad to farewell our secondee of six months, Ellen Temby, in early March. Ellen had been a welcome member of our team. We are very happy to welcome Rafe Andrews on board as the new secondee solicitor. Rafe is a UNSW Law alumnus and has settled in very quickly. Thanks, as always, go to Freehills for their continued generosity in support of our work.
Welcome back to Tess Deegan

KLC is also delighted to welcome back our Allens Arthur Robinson secondee of 2014, Tess Deegan, who has come on board for three months to help plug the gaps in our staffing.  Tess has only very recently returned from the USA where she has been studying and working for the past year. 

KLC in the News

  • 10th April 2017 UNSW Law Dean Prof. George Williams 'A state fix isn't enough to save community legal centres'. Read on Fairfax websites here.
  • 11th April 2017 'Legal Centre Reprieve' Southern Courier. Read here.
  • 31st March 2017 'Deliveroo faces legal action for underpaying bicycle delivery riders'. Read here.
Copyright © Kingsford Legal Centre 2016
Address: Kingsford Legal Centre, F8-003, UNSW, 2052 
Telephone: (+61 2) 9385 9566
 UNSW ABN 57 195 873 179
CRICOS Provider No: 00098G.

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KINGSFORD LEGAL CENTRE · F8-003 · UNSW · Sydney, NSW 2052 · Australia

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