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A national approach to advocacy

Briefs

Cite as: December 2010 84(12) LIJ, p.15

Policy lawyers from Australia’s legal constituent bodies have met in Melbourne to discuss delivering key advocacy messages more strategically and collaboratively.

The timing of the inaugural National Policy Lawyers Forum, hosted by the LIV Legal Policy & Practice department (LPP) on 11-12 October, came as Australia moves closer to a national legal profession.

Representatives of the Law Council of Australia (LCA) and various state law societies who attended the forum received information, tips and tools on how to lobby effectively. Blueprints for future lobbying projects were also developed.

LIV LPP general manager Joy Acquaro said a major focus of the forum was to enhance communication and identify a collaborative approach to advocacy with the LCA and other constituent bodies, including the Victorian Bar.

“There were several excellent speakers presenting on a range of advocacy issues,” she said.

“These included strategies to influence the government’s law reform agenda, the use of media, including social media, in advocacy and the implications of a national profession.

“It was beneficial to discuss priorities in the coming 12-18 months and to determine the scope for collaborative advocacy on key issues of concern.”

Topics included the accessing of interpreters in civil proceedings; the safeguarding of the fundamental principles of criminal law; mental health and the legal profession; and promoting and defending law and justice in the South Pacific.

Forum presenters and discussion panellists included Dr David Neil SC and Jacqueline Stone of the Victorian Bar, Hawker Britton lobbyist Danny Pearson, LCA secretary-general Bill Grant and Emma Cashen of the Victorian Law Reform Commission.

Australian Youth Climate Coalition online communications director Claire Snyder and LIV Young Lawyers’ Section representative Melanie Szydzik presented a snapshot on social media.

Queensland Law Society principal policy lawyer Matt Dunn said the event was superbly run and both topical and relevant.

“The workshops were a unique and welcome opportunity to actively collaborate on issues with our national colleagues,” he said.

“I thank the LIV for the very significant time, energy and resources they committed to the forum and I hope it is the beginning of much-needed closer collaboration between the constituent bodies.”

Forum attendees also battled it out for the first Collaborative Cup and participated in the Koorie Heritage Trust “Introduction to Koorie Culture” walk, which took participants to sites of Indigenous cultural significance throughout Melbourne.

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