Social Justice Forums
Throughout the year JATL hosts a number of social justice forums, which aim to facilitate discussion about topical legal issues. The events are free and open to the public. These education forums embody our commitment to raising awareness of social justice issues pervading the Australian legal system. Our focus is predominantly on social justice issues that intersect with the law, but we strive to promote a plethora of different perspectives with a range of speakers sharing their experience and knowledge. As such, our speakers include legal professionals, academics, social workers, government officials, and individuals who belong to vulnerable groups.
Forum 1: Let’s Talk About Sex
The Social Justice team kicked off the year with a panel discussion around law reforms that best promote community safety. Emile McPhee (Executive Director, LGBTI Legal Service), Sharna Quigley (Queensland Positive People), and Clarissa (Queensland-based sex worker) discussed how the law affects the safety outcomes of marginalized and stigmatized people in the Queensland community, in the context of sex and sexuality. This forum was presented in collaboration with the Sexual Health Action Group, another UQ student society.
Forum 2: Tax on the Beach - transparency, tax, and turmoil
Following the revelations of the Panama Papers scandal, students heard about the tax law issues arising from the leaks, and considered avenues for reform. The speakers at the forum were former Assistant Commissioner in the Australian Tax Office John Passant, and Chair of the Policy and Research Committee of Electronic Frontiers Australia Angus Murray.
Forum 3: Barriers to Change: Homelessness
Our third and final Social Justice Forum of 2016 covered the topic of homelessness. The Barriers to Change: Homelessness forum heard from two experts in the field, Jesse Nolan of the Brisbane Youth Service and Cameron Lavery, Coordinator of the Homeless Person’s Legal Clinic at QPILCH. The speakers discussed the lived struggles of those experiencing homelessness and offered attendees an opportunity to learn about the issues preventing access to justice and equality.