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Australian laws fall short when it comes to protecting religious liberty

OPINION: Professor George Williams AO, the Sydney Morning Herald, 21 November 2017.

Leading conservatives reacted to the clear result in the same-sex marriage postal survey by flagging a wind-back of anti-discrimination protections. This has predictably, and rightfully, received a scathing response. Sensing defeat, they have changed tack. Cabinet ministers are now calling for Parliament to include a general protection for religious freedom in the same-sex marriage law, or to enact a separate "religious protections" bill in the new year.

Backpackers, international students suffer widespread wage theft, report finds

A national survey of temporary workers in Australia has uncovered widespread exploitation of backpackers and international students working in a range of industries.

Workplace exploitation of  backpackers and international students in Australia is endemic and severe, a landmark study by UNSW Sydney and UTS has found.

One in three international students and backpackers are paid about half the legal minimum wage, according to a major new report, Wage Theft in Australia, the most comprehensive study of temporary migrants’ work and conditions in Australia.

Suspect Target Management Plan - Mornings with Wendy Harmer

Dr Vicki Sentas appeared on Mornings with Wendy Harmer (17 November 2017) to discuss her recent report into the STMP (Suspect Target Management Plan).

Dr Sentas was asked what brought STMP to her attention, responding, "Community legal centres like Redfern Legal Centre, who I work with, I run a ‘Police Powers Clinic’ where members of the community who have complaints around the police, can go to Redfern Legal Centre and get some advice."

Certification needed to combat multiple class actions

OPINION: Associate Professor Michael Legg, Lawyers Weekly, 4 October 2017.

Allowing more than one class action to be brought means that efficiencies are lost and costs are duplicated. Less compensation is returned to group members.

However, the courts have been reluctant to choose between competing class actions because they are wrongly viewed as being like normal litigation.

NSW Police in Queanbeyan, Monaro area using controversial suspect list

Dr Vicki Sentas speaks to The Canberra Times (5 November 2017) regarding her recent report into the  NSW Police's Suspect Targeting Management Plan (STMP).

"[It's a] crime prevention program that targets people, both adults and young people, who have committed offences in the past as well as people who may not have committed offence but police otherwise may think they might commit a crime," Ms Sentas said.

Cathy Sherry awarded 'Academic of the Year' at the 2017 Women in Law Awards

UNSW Law’s Associate Professor Cathy Sherry took home the Academic of the Year award at the recent 2017 Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Awards. UNSW Law is proud to have one of our academic staff take home the prize for the second year in row after Alexandra George took out the category in 2016.

The awards, organised by Lawyers Weekly, recognise the achievements of women who have challenged, influenced or changed the practice of law in Australia.

Same-sex marriage: beware reducing anti-discrimination protections

The bill to legalise same-sex marriage should not reduce anti-discrimination protections for LGBTIQ people, Kingsford Legal Centre says.

Kingsford Legal Centre (KLC) welcomes the results of the same-sex marriage postal survey today, with 61% of people voting yes.

Associate Professor Anna Cody, Director of Kingsford Legal Centre, said: "This is a win for equality, with the Australian community strongly supporting the right of people to marry who they love."

Muslims, NGOs, and the future of democratic space in Myanmar

Dr Melissa Crouch recently spoke to Catherine Scheer and Giuseppe Bolotta of The Religious Studies Project (13 November 2017) regarding her research on Myanmar’s Muslim population and the role played by the international community in relation to the escalation of violence targeting the Rohingyas.

Eye on Alumni: James Norton

James attended secondary school in the Riverina, graduating as Dux of Wagga Wagga High School. Thereafter, he completed a Bachelor of International Studies (Distinction) and a Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours) at UNSW. During his studies, James served as Executive Editor of the UNSW Law Journal and enjoyed success in mooting and witness examination competitions. He also studied abroad in Germany and interned at the Australian Embassy in Berlin. Passionate about education, James is a volunteer tutor in a program empowering Australian Indigenous children and a sessional academic at the University of Sydney. At Oxford, he hopes to gain the knowledge and skills essential to shaping ambitious policy in Australia, while continuing to live out his love of cricket.

Law in Action

Professor Prue Vines appeared on BBC Radio 4 (9 November 2017) discussing her studies in apologies law and the new campaign in England that urges companies to publicly apologise for mistakes. 

"When a person apologises to somebody, the person has been injured or hurt, their blood pressure drops, they feel a lot better. People are less likely to sue you if you apologise to them, and if they do feel that they really need to sue you, they are much more likely to settle early and cost you a lot less" Prue said.

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