National Press Club Address ‘Justice State of the Nation’
Speeches delivered by Morry Bailes, President, Law Council of Australia and immediate past-President, Fiona McLeod SC, at the National Press Club, Canberra, 14 March 2018.
"We need to value a just society – not merely one which keeps law and order. The values of equality, of democracy and of justice underpin who we are as a nation. If those values are compromised …. So are we. The preventative, everyday role of timely, effective legal assistance stops simple problems from escalating into more serious, often criminal matters at great cost to the taxpayer and community, it’s time this was recognised."
- Morry Bailes
"This is a project that transcends party politics - it is about supporting our most vulnerable and lifting them out of disadvantage. Our visits leave a nagging certainty that we are pushing difficult social problems to the legal fringes, towards good hearted individuals in the legal assistance sector who are struggling to provide the service they want and their clients need - and who are destined for burn-out and despair. It’s absolutely clear that a systemic lack of access to justice contributes enormously to cycles of intergenerational trauma and disadvantage within communities. Let us learn from the findings of the Justice Project concerning what is working and what is not."
- Fiona McLeod SC
You can read the full speeches below.