The Law Council of Australia today released its 2019 Federal Election: Call to Parties, which highlights the key areas of legislative reform in need of improvement for the betterment of the Australian community, its democracy and the legal profession.
Central to the document is the principle that all Australians deserve access to justice, with a key focus on increased legal assistance funding, strengthened governmental and legal system integrity and the law and the disadvantaged.
President, Arthur Moses SC, said the Call to Parties clearly sets out the Law Council’s core policy platforms and recommended legislative reforms in the lead up to the federal election.
“Central to the mission of the Law Council is promoting the administration of justice, access to justice, a strong legal profession and improvement of the law,” Mr Moses said.
“Our Call to Parties states our major policy priorities across a broad range of areas, from legal assistance funding to regulation of the legal profession.
“The Law Council is calling on parties to significantly increase the federal contribution of legal assistance funding by $310 million a year. “A key focus is also improving justice outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through community-led initiatives and constitutional recognition.
“We believe the enactment of a federal bill of rights is vital, as the existing legal framework does not adequately protect fundamental human rights.”
The Call to Parties comprises nine sections, including:
- Access to Justice
- Strengthening Integrity
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
- Criminal Justice
- The Law and People Experiencing Disadvantage
- Human Rights
- Business Rights and Consumer Rights
- Professional Regulation
- Other Law Reform
“All Australians deserve effective, good laws, as well as access to justice,” Mr Moses said.
“The Law Council’s Call to Parties provides a clear and concise roadmap to help ensure the rule of law is respected, the rights of individuals are upheld, and that the legal profession is able to operate to the best of its ability.”