Overview of Indigenous Issues
The Law Society is committed to advocating for the protection and promotion of the rights of Indigenous people in NSW, and in providing opportunities for the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait individuals and communities to be heard by governments and other institutions. Through the Indigenous Issues Committee, the Law Society has made a number of submissions on key priority areas such as Indigenous incarceration rates, accessibility to justice and institutional responses to child sexual abuse in out of home care.
The Voice to Parliament FAQs
These FAQs provide concise insights into key legal matters concerning the Voice to Parliament, with additional resources to help our members and the community stay informed leading up to the referendum.
Uluru Statement from the Heart
The Law Society of NSW acknowledge that the paramount voices in respect of issues concerning First Nations People are the voices of First Nations People themselves. We urge readers to prioritise the voices of First Nations People in discussions of the Uluru Statement from the Heart (Uluru Statement).
Indigenous Reconciliation Strategy
We are currently developing a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) that is appropriate for our organisation, after more than a decade of targeted reconciliation strategic work. Our Indigenous Reconciliation Strategic Plan for 2019-2022 was an integrated part of the organisation's core business. This plan sat alongside the Law Society’s 2019-2022 Strategic Plan. Our new RAP will also be an integrated part of the Law Society’s organisational strategy, and will build on past work.
In 2023, the priority issues for the Indigenous Issues Committee are Indigenous incarceration rates; domestic and family violence, care and protection and family law; Aboriginal self-determination, community empowerment and economic development (including reform pursuant to the Uluru Statement); cultural heritage protection, land rights, native title and natural resource management; consumer protection; and access to justice (including specialised court lists).
Indigenous Enterprise Legal Assistance Scheme
The Law Society of NSW and the NSW Indigenous Chamber of Commerce have partnered to deliver the Indigenous Enterprise Legal Assistance (IELA) scheme. The IELA scheme is a referral scheme aiming to provide free legal assistance to eligible Indigenous enterprises.
15 April 2016 marked the 25th anniversary of the Report of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody. In NSW, where recommendations of the Royal Commission have been implemented, good outcomes have been achieved.
Working With Indigenous Clients
There are a number of resources available for solicitors to deliver practical and culturally appropriate legal services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
2023 COMMITTEE LIST
Mr Jason Behrendt (Chair), Ms Danielle Captain-Webb (Dep Chair), Z. Armytage, B-J. Attard, S. Calnan, R. Cavanagh, B. Charlton, S. Crellin, Z. De Re, L. De Silva, B. Dufty, M. Dupuis, M. Gleeson, L. Holden, M. Holden, E. Hudson-Buhagiar, J. Lovric, T. McComsey, O. Monaghan, S. Mortimer, P. Mulroney, P. Novotna, L. Swan.
How to join a committee
Law Society Committees have powers, authorities and tasks delegated by the Council. Consisting of dedicated volunteers, each committee focuses on a particular area of law, pooling together specialist skills and experience in order to scrutinise legislation, court decisions and other government policies.
There are three broad categories of committees:
- Regulatory committees – perform statutory duties under the Legal Profession Uniform Law (NSW)
- Liaison committees – linked to other professions or organisations
- Policy committees
By drawing on the insights of committees, the Law Society can meet its statutory duties and act as a major player in law reform and policy debates.