Special Projects | Law

Special Projects

Special Projects

The Law, Governance and Social Justice series is an initiative by the Law Faculty of the University of New South Wales and is now co-sponsored with the law faculties at the University of Sydney and the University of Technology Sydney.  The series promotes discussion about ways in which laws, legal processes and other aspects of governance can either help or hinder social justice in Australia and overseas.

Previous lectures:

  • Special Projects

    Sharan Burrow (30 March 2012)
    'The Damage Done Work, Social Justice and the GFC'
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    Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AO QC (23 November 2011)
    'Law, Justice and Mass Atrocity Crimes'
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    Geoffrey Robertson QC (8 August 2011)
    The International Justice Game’

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    Justice Virginia Bell (20 April 2011)
    'Democracy and the Rule of Law'
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    Reverend Tim Costello (3 November 2010)
    'Rights, law and whole lot more: Uses and abuses of law and governance in achieving social justice'

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    The Hon. Malcolm Turnbull, MP (24 June 2010)
    'And Something for the Grandchildren
    ...Intergenerational fairness'

    Read transcript
    Watch the address

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    Chief Justice James Spigelman (15 April 2010)
    ‘Inaugural address – Violence against women’
    Read transcript

Special Projects

TaxWatch is an information service established and operated by the Social Justice Project in the Law Faculty, University of New South Wales in conjunction with Monash University. Its purpose is to provide clear, reliable and timely information about key aspects of the current tax system in Australia, including comparisons with systems in other countries. It also provides a central location for exchanges of information and opinion on tax issues by community organisations, tax experts and the media, including proposals for reform.

The Convenor of TaxWatch is Prof Julian Disney, Director of the Social Justice Project. The Research Coordinators are Jenni Downes of the Social Justice Project and Peter Mellor of the Taxation Law and Policy Research Institute at Monash University.

The website is located at www.taxwatch.org.au and provides access to various policy papers and summaries of recent media coverage. A fortnightly update is produced highlighting key publications and articles, with a current special focus on the National Tax Forum being held by the Australian Government on 4-5 October 2011.

New Research Projects

New research activities being initiated by the various group members and centres include the following:

  • Social Needs Directory

In April 2012, The National Pro Bono Resource Centre launched socialneeds.net.au, a directory of key reports and submissions concerning social needs in Australia since 2007, with an emphasis on those released in the last 4 years.  The directory currently contains over 500 reports. The inspiration for socialneeds.net.au arose from a desire to provide pro bono legal service providers with a research tool that could assist them in reviewing and developing prioritise their limited resources to meet unmet legal need.  It is also an excellent tool for anyone researching or seeking to address unmet social need in Australia.

  •  ‘Why Not Family Law’

    The National Pro Bono Resource Centre’s current research project Why Not Family Law aims to identify what pro bono work is currently being done in family law/family violence, the reasons why pro bono service providers often do not take on these matters, where it can be increased and the inherent limitations. The purpose of this research is to contribute to policy development in the area of family law and family violence by providing a resource that increases the understanding of stakeholders of the nature, possibilities and limitations of pro bono legal services.
  •  What Works in Pro Bono?

    The National Pro Bono Resource Centre is aiming to identify successful models of pro bono assistance and partnerships and identify the features and issues associated with these models to assist those involved in providing, seeking and brokering pro bono legal assistance. It will provide case studies, tips for designing and developing project proposals and information on methods of evaluation.
  •  The possible roles of lawyers acting pro bono in Alternative Dispute Resolution

    The National Pro Bono Resource Centre is aiming to provide an overview of issues that are important for lawyers who are considering whether and how to become involved in ADR on a pro bono basis, and to identify some possible areas of practice involving ADR where lawyers acting pro bono could perhaps become more involved. The paper will draw on submissions received in response to a Discussion Paper on the possible roles of lawyers acting pro bono in ADR that the Centre released in October 2011. 
  • Cyberspace Codes Review

The Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre is developing a project analysing the effect of the plethora of overlapping and uncoordinated Codes in the online/Internet domain on the rights, remedies and participation of different actual and potential users of these communications channels. This is the first time such a review has been done, and may help identify and restrain the development of a possibly dysfunctional model for co-regulation of this increasingly important platform for social and economic participation.

  • "What is social justice?" A pro bono guide

The National Pro Bono Resource Centre aims to develop a publication that will assist pro bono providers to think about the concept of social justice and its application to their pro bono work. The resource will draw on past and present thinking about the concept of 'social justice', its development and its meanings.

The Centre is working from the premise that pro bono work grows out of a desire to advance social justice, and it would therefore be helpful to produce a resource which assists pro bono providers to think about the meaning of that concept and the rationale for their work.

The paper is part of a series of occasional papers to be published from time to time that explore concepts which relate to the provision of pro bono legal assistance.