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“Making Sense of Social Justice Lawyering”

Simon Rice Professor of Law; Director, Professional and Community Engagement
16th July 2018 14:00
16th July 2018 16:30
Bentham House, UCL Faculty of Laws, 4-8 Endsleigh Gardens, London, WC1H 0EG   View map


The Centre for Access to Justice at UCL Laws and the Law Centres Network are hosting a talk on 16 July 2018 by Professor Simon Rice of the University of Sydney entitled “Making Sense of Social Justice Lawyering”. The talk will be followed by a discussion led by the Centre’s Head of Teaching and Learning, Jacqueline Kinghan and Julie Bishop of the Law Centres Network ending with a reception.

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2pm: Event Registration - The Hub, Bentham House

2:15-2:45: Making Sense of Social Justice Lawyering - Professor Simon Rice

2:45-3:45: Comments and Discussion - Jacqueline Kinghan and Julie Bishop

3:45-4:30: Reception and Refreshments - The Hub, Bentham House


Making sense of social justice lawyering

Lawyering for social justice makes sense to those who do it: using legal skills for a better world. But law, legal education, and the rules of lawyering do not easily accommodate this approach to legal practice, and are unsupportive if not hostile. Social justice lawyers pursue their calling in spite of, not aided by, the institutions of law. Professor Rice will ask and offer answers to a range of questions that seem central to the sustainability and effectiveness of lawyering for social justice: what makes a social justice lawyer? what does a social justice legal education look like? what does a social justice lawyer need to know? how do social justice lawyers practice? what are social justice lawyers’ ethics? how do social justice lawyers achieve change?


Julie Bishop, Director of the Law Centres Network and Jacqui Kinghan, Head of Teaching and Learning at the UCL Centre for Access to Justice will contribute to a discussion following the Talk. We will situate our discussion within the current UK landscape for social justice lawyers considering, for example, the aftermath of cuts to legal aid, the under resourced justice system and wider pressures faced by the not for profit legal services sector.


About the Speaker

Simon Rice is a Professor of Law at the University of Sydney, and a solicitor on the volunteer roster at Redfern Legal Centre where he worked as a poverty lawyer in the mid-1980s. In between times, Simon has worked at, managed and consulted to a number of community legal centres in Australia, and has researched and written on legal aid and access to justice. He has been a board member of New South Wales (NSW) Legal Aid, director of the NSW Law and Justice Foundation, and chair of the Australian Capital Territory Law Reform Advisory Council. In the areas of human rights and equality law Simon has been president of Australian Lawyers for Human Rights, adviser to the parliamentary human rights scrutiny committee, and a judicial member of the tribunal deciding discrimination matters in NSW. His co-authored publications include Australian Anti-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity Law, and The International Law of Human Rights. 

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