Indigenous Legal Issues

2016/17 Annual Report

The Indigenous Legal Issues Committee joined with representatives from the Law Society’s Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Committee and Access to Justice Committee to lead a strategic campaign in relation to justice reinvestment and incarceration rates, publishing a number of policy resources available on the Law Society’s website and distributed to key stakeholders. The Committee is also keeping abreast of developments in the Constitutional Recognition campaign.

The Committee continues to support the implementation of a Reconciliation Action Plan for the Law Society and is excited about the development of the next phase of the Reconciliation Action Plan, which will see the Law Society expand its commitments after completing an environmental scan of its knowledge and relationships in this area.

The Law Society’s Mentoring Programme for Indigenous law students completed its seventh year. The Law Society has worked to develop its relationships with each of the universities to ensure the success of this valuable programme and has reviewed the best methods by which to target students to ensure that they are properly supported.

The Committee hosted a Law Society social function this year to provide a networking platform for Indigenous law students and members of the profession as well as share the work of the Committee.

The Committee continues to work closely with the Francis Burt Legal Education Programme to provide input and advice in relation to programmes and initiatives being developed by the Programme. This includes the Lore Law Project, an educational campaign targeting Aboriginal youth in both metropolitan and regional Western Australia and providing education about legal rights and responsibilities to school and community groups.

The Committee has also maintained its commitment to communicating on issues of importance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and is close to recommending to the Law Society’s Council a set of cultural protocols and guidelines for practitioners representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Western Australia.

For more information about this committee please email General Manager, Advocacy – Mary Woodford, advocacy@lawsocietywa.asn.au