Since the 1990s, numerous reports and studies have identified the serious inequity experienced by First Peoples in their dealings with the Anglo-Australian Legal system. These reports have consistently called for change in the way lawyers are educated and trained. There are broad initiatives underway to promote cultural competency across the higher education sector – largely driven by Universities Australia – and collaborative law-specific initiatives are steadily building.  International progress on these issues is also evident – particularly in the Canadian response to the ‘Calls to Action’ of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. There is now a clear case for the existing momentum to be underwritten in Australia by a careful revision of legal admission and educational standards - to support positive, collaborative, consistent and sustainable reform.  Yet a meaningful shift in outcomes for First Peoples will only be achieved if this reform is disentangled from the ‘deficit’ narratives of the past. This is not a discussion about Indigenous ‘incapacity’, it is a discussion about legal professional responsibility, about opportunity, and about justice.

Presented by Dr Simon Young - Professor of Law and Justice (USQ), Adjunct Professor (UWA), External Fellow (UQ Centre for Public, International and Comparative Law).


Level 2
Forgan Smith building
The University of Queensland
St Lucia campus
Sir Harry Gibbs Moot Court