Law Council advocacy – Council of Australasian Tribunals Conference
25 June 2019
Law Council President, Arthur Moses SC, spoke recently at the Council of Australasian Tribunals Conference (COAT) at the Melbourne Convention Centre regarding ‘Accountability, transparency and diversity – the importance of an independent tribunal appointment process’.
His presentation considered three contemporary challenges to the appearance of independence of modern tribunals: the character and purpose of tribunals; executive and parliamentary comment on tribunal decisions; and the absence of a transparent, diverse and merit-based appointments process. This presentation will also investigate the compelling case for an apolitical, open and merit-based appointment system and a stand-alone Federal Judicial Commission.
As the COAT Conference 2019 theme focused on ‘Communicating Justice’, the Law Council’s the Justice Project’s key findings regarding the communications challenges experienced by a diverse range of vulnerable groups in the justice system were also presented by Deputy Director of Policy, Leonie Campbell. These groups included people with disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, recent arrivals and asylum seekers, rural, regional and remote Australians, children and young people, and older people.
This session outlined the different kinds of communications needs which the justice system must accommodate to ensure access to justice, taking into account the changing demographics of its many users, ranging from appropriate use of technology, to interpreters, to disability-related supports, aids and adjustments.