Speech presented at the LAWASIA Conference session ‘Human Exploitation: Modern Slavery, People Trafficking and Refugees’
Speech delivered by Law Council of Australia President, Mr Tass Liveris at the 35th LAWASIA Conference, Sydney, 20 November 2022
I would like to begin by acknowledging the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognising their continuing connection to land, waters and community. In particular, I acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation on whose lands we meet. I pay my respects to Elders both past and present and extend that respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples here today.
I mentioned in my earlier presentation at the Opening Ceremony the many important topics being tackled and discussed throughout this Conference.
It is difficult to imagine a more urgent issue than protecting people, particularly the most vulnerable members of our communities, from exploitation.
The Law Council, with the help of the amazing volunteers who make up our expert committees, is dedicated to exposing and preventing those actions and actors that create the potential for or lead to exploitation.
Why is this something for the law profession to concern itself with? If I could begin by sharing a quote from the Law Council’s recent The Lawyer Project Report:
“The defence of rights and provision of a voice to those who might otherwise not be heard is another critical part of the legal profession’s role in ensuring the administration of justice. Lawyers also play a critical role outside of the courtroom and the justice system. They advocate for policy or law reform at a higher level, including by advancing the interests of those who are vulnerable or require assistance in participating in policy development. Lawyers frequently contribute to the development and scrutiny of policy or law reform through many actions beyond those that would be generally considered ‘lawyering’."
Read the full speech below.