Why Access to Justice Matters

If you took a poll of people on the street and asked them if access to justice was important, the overwhelming majority would probably say yes. But ‘access to justice’ is one of those ideals that we take as a given, like democracy or freedom of expression, without really thinking about what it means in practice and how it should be implemented.

One of the most visible aspects of the right to access justice is the court system. This could vary from getting compensation from the person who crashed into you while driving, to holding the government to account through judicial review. Without access to the courts it is often difficult or impossible to ensure that your rights are being upheld.

However, the right to access the courts does not just include a literal right to bring a case. Access remains an issue if you are unable to understand the court system or adequately represent yourself during your court case. This is why the right to access the courts is often indivisible from the right to legal representation.

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Australia Vs. Refugees

How did Australia get to where they are on refugees?

Self-harm, suicide, rape, deplorable conditions and human suffering have all been frequently reported in the offshore processing facilities of Nauru and Manus Island, where refugees are transferred after arriving in Australia.

Refugees flee from terror only to find themselves subject to further cruel and inhumane treatment at the hands of the Australian government.

These events are not a secret. Reports of various incidents have been presented in newspapers, on TV and in parliament. The UN Human Rights Committee, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and Amnesty International amongst others have condemned Australia’s immigration practices as not only morally wrong, but highly illegal and a breach of international law.

Australia was one of the first signatories of the UN Refugee Convention and has signed up to other international human rights instruments such as the Convention Against Torture and the UN Convention on Human Rights. Its refugee regime breaches all of these protocols.

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