Rule of Law webathon

Black Lives Matter - an Australian perspective

NSWCCL hosted Australia's contribition to the International Rule Of Law Webathon on Weds 5 May 2021. You can view our session with others from around the world on YouTube here:

Thirty years after the seminal report of the Australian Royal Commission into Black Deaths in Custody, its recommendations remain ignored along with the those in the Uluru Statement from the Heart, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to be incarcerated at alarming rates and consequently lose their lives in prison. While the Black Lives Matter movement is not precisely analogous in the Australian context, the panel will explore similiarities, differences, the impact of BLM in Australia, and the work that remains to be done to identify and implement durable solutions.  

Keynote speaker: Wiradjuri and Wailwan lawyer Dr. Teela Reid was the first Aboriginal person to be elected to the UNSW Law Society, the Founding director of the UNSW Law First Peoples Moot, and the Inaugural recipient of the NSW Indigenous Barristers Trust award.

Our panel:

  • Cheryl Axleby is the Co-chair of Change the Record. Cheryl is a proud Narungga Woman who is passionate about improving the quality of life for her people. Cheryl has spent the last 40 years working within the Aboriginal community, Federal Government and South Australian Government to improve the lives of First Nations peoples.  
  • Dr Thalia Anthony is a Professor with the University of Technology Sydney's Law Faculty. Herexpertise is in the areas of criminal law and procedure and Indigenous people and the law, with a particular specialisation in Indigenous criminalisation and Indigenous community justice mechanisms. 
  • Barry ‘BJ’ Duncan, founding member and Board member of the Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council and proud Gomeroi/Gamilaraay man from North West NSW.

This session was facilitated by Pauline Wright, President NSW Council for Civil Liberties, former President of Law Council of Australia and Law Society of NSW and solicitor at PJ Donnellan & Co, Central Coast NSW.

The Rule of Law Webathon

"The Rule of Law is not merely the stock and trade of lawyers. It is our core value, the fulcrum of our profession and the polestar of our activity.  It is the social fabric that ensures human rights, democratic principles, economic opportunity, social development, and the fundamental freedoms we all recognise as self-evident. And with the world now facing unprecedented challenges, lawyers remain the first line of defence against efforts to undermine, circumscribe, or defeat the Rule of Law. To underscore the critical importance of that mission and the strong commitment shared by lawyers around the world, we have chosen to come together in an extraordinary way.

Three of the world’s major international lawyers associations: AIJA HRC (International Association of Young Lawyers - Human Rights Committee), UIA IROL (Union Internationale des Avocats - Institute for the Rule of Law), and ABA-SIL (American Bar Association – Section of International Law) have joined forces to launch the first 24-hour webathon in defence of the Rule of Law."