We specialise in
1. Inquests and Inquiries, in particular Coronial Inquests
2. Youth Detention
3. Medical Care in Detention
4. Mental Health Care
5. Discrimination Cases
6. Environmental Law and Climate Justice
7. LGBTI issues
8. Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
We focus on taking strategic legal action to advance social justice. To this end we have these projects.
1. Aboriginal Health Matters Project
The NJP has set up an Aboriginal Health Matters Project. We have found evidence of systemic discrimination of Aboriginal people in the Australian health system. In many cases in hospitals, particularly in Western Australia and in the Northern Territory, there have been terrible outcomes for Aboriginal Australians based on false assumptions made by health professionals that they must be under the influence of drugs and alcohol when in fact they are suffering from acute pain.
In one such case, our client, a 19-year-old woman woke up in so much agony from stomach pain that she could not walk. She crawled across the floor to reach the telephone and call her mother, who took her straight to the emergency department of a regional hospital in Western Australia. She was given Mylanta and some morphine and told she had indigestion. No scan was performed to see if the pain had anything to do with her pregnancy. In fact, the young woman was bleeding internally and her life was at risk. She was suffering from an ectopic pregnancy, a condition where a foetus develops outside the womb, usually in a fallopian tube.
Read more in The Guardian
2. THE ABORIGINAL INNOCENCE PROJECT
The Aboriginal Innocence Project will be the first Innocence Project in Australia specifically dedicated to the wrongful conviction and incarceration of Aboriginal Australians. This Project is unique because it will focus on miscarriages of justice for Aboriginal Australians who have been convicted on confessional or witness evidence obtained without an interpreter or with an unqualified and/or co-accused interpreter. We will consider cases where the evidence was given by an Aboriginal Australian where English is their second language, they speak Aboriginal-English and/or demonstrate gratuitous concurrence. We hope to leverage off successful cases to promote Aboriginal language rights in Australia and advocate for more funding for Aboriginal interpreting services and preliminary language assessments. The Project will be a vital part of the Australian social justice landscape.
In each case, the Project will aim to:
1. Correct errors (or facilitate exoneration in the event of wrongful conviction); and
2. Prevent errors (or generate research that facilitates law reform).
Our strategy is to obtain a just outcome for the individual and also to influence change to ensure the injustice is not repeated. This will be achieved through research and strategic case selection by senior solicitors. The selected cases will then be reviewed, and briefs will be prepared for pro-bono barristers to advise on appeal options.
3. THE PACIFIC JUSTICE PROJECT
There is a desperate lack of access to lawyers in Papua New Guinea, Irian Jaya, East Timor and the Pacific Islands.
- Immigration detainees on Manus Island and on Nauru are denied adequate access lawyers and justice in those jurisdictions
- Settlers and traditional owners in protecting their property rights against governments, resource companies and developers throughout the region
- Women in the Pacific are subjected to extremely high levels of violence without recourse
- Local communities in Bougainville are in need of support in their fight against multinationals
- Kiribati is under threat from sea level rises
- There are no established pro bono or social justice legal practices in the Pacific Islands
The National Justice Project Ltd will seek funding in Australia and internationally to allow us to establish an office in Port Moresby with Ben Lomai Australian social justice lawyers to work with and support lawyers and legal representatives in Pacific island nations, in particular PNG, Irian Jaya, Bougainville and Nauru in order to provide legal access to the most vulnerable and needy in those societies. We will also assist local lawyers to provide legal support for communities in order to protect their homes and environment.