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Social justice advocates needed

Briefs

Cite as: (2007) 81(7) LIJ, p. 14


The legal profession has been asked to use its advocacy skills in the promotion of social justice.

Jesuit Social Services associate director Fr Peter Norden made the call when he presented the key findings of the national “Dropping off the Edge: The distribution of disadvantage in Australia” report at a Law Institute of Victoria (LIV) President’s Luncheon.

The report, which was released in February, mapped levels of social disadvantage across Australia.

It found that despite Australia’s recent strong economic growth, some communities remained caught in a spiral of low school attainment, high unemployment, poor health, high rates of imprisonment and child abuse.

Fr Norden, who is an advocate for many disadvantaged groups in the community, said the legal profession had an important role to play.

“Lawyers have a reputation of being successful advocates for individuals or groups of individuals. They now need to take on the role of public advocacy for justice,” he said.

About 140 people attended the luncheon which was held during Law Week on 15 May.

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