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Death row lawyer recognised


Cite as: December 2015 89 (12) LIJ, p.11

2016 Victorian Australian of the Year is barrister Julian McMahon for his commitment to fighting the death penalty.

Acting pro bono, the Melbourne human rights advocate led the decade long legal effort to save the lives of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

The two Australians, found guilty of drug smuggling, were executed on 29 April this year.

Mr McMahon also represented executed drug smuggler Van Tuong Nguyen in Singapore.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews paid tribute to Mr McMahon and other state and territory award recipients. “They are truly inspirational and great role models for Australians young and old.

“The dedication and commitment each of them shows to their chosen field is something for us all to truly admire.”

2016 Australian of the Year will be announced on 25 January, Australia Day eve.


UN review recommends human rights improvement

The National Association of Community Legal Centres (NACLC) has welcomed the recommendations made in Geneva by more than 100 countries in a review of the human rights record of UN member states. The international community is concerned about Australia’s treatment of refugees and asylum seekers, as well as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

New NACLC chair

The NACLC has welcomed Rosslyn Monro as the new chair of its board. Ms Monro is the coordinator of Women’s Legal Service Queensland and has extensive experience in leading community responses to domestic and family violence.

New Fair Work Commissioner

Tanya Cirkovic was welcomed to the Fair Work Commission in November. The LIV accredited specialist is the principal of her boutique law firm, Tanya Cirkovic & Associates, specialising in employment and workplace relations.

Federal Court appointments

Victorian barrister Mark Moshinsky QC has been appointed to the Melbourne registry of the Federal Court following the appointment of Justice Michelle Gordon to the High Court of Australia. Dr Joshua Wilson QC has been appointed a judge of the Federal Circuit Court in the Melbourne registry.

15 law firms recognised on gender equality

Fifteen law firms have been recognised for policies and practices that actively support women in the workplace by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), receiving a 2015 Employer of Choice for Gender Equality citation.

Commissioner for Children retires

Bernie Geary, the Victorian Commissioner for Children and Young People, has announced his retirement after more than 40 years of service to Victoria’s young people. Mr Geary was appointed to the role in 2013, following his previous role as Victoria’s first Child Safety Commissioner, which he held from 2005.

New counter terrorism laws

The Victorian government introduced a new bill to amend Victoria’s counter terrorism laws in October. Attorney-General Martin Pakula said the Terrorism (Community Protection) Amendment Bill 2015 will extend the sunset dates currently applying to the Terrorism (Community Protection) Act 2003 from March 2016 to December 2021.


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