The Cultural Diversity Justice Network brings together individual Cultural Diversity Advocates from courts and tribunals around Australia into a professional network, with the aim of supporting and inspiring each other to raise greater awareness for cultural diversity and improve access to justice for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in Australian courts and tribunals.
The Network is the primary mechanism through which Cultural Diversity Advocates receive resources and support from Judicial Council on Cultural Diversity (JCCD), and provide feedback back to the JCCD on issues experienced within their jurisdiction.
The Network primarily focuses on recommendations for adapting court and tribunal policies and practice to enhance their cultural responsiveness, acknowledging that enabling cultural considerations does not provide advantage, but rather provides an assurance that all Australians are treated equally before the law and have access to justice.
The Network is composed of Cultural Diversity Advocates from each level of court and tribunal in every state and territory in Australia, who have been nominated by their head of jurisdiction to be responsible for issues relating to cultural and linguistic diversity and access to justice in their jurisdiction. The Network reports periodically to the JCCD to provide updates on implementation initiatives, and issues arising, for the consideration of the JCCD.
Justice Bampton chaired the South Australian Indigenous Justice Committee and the South Australian Indigenous Law Students’ Mentoring Program Management Committee, as well as representing South Australia on a number of national Indigenous justice committees between 2014 and 2017. Her Honour is the Supreme Court of South Australia’s Cultural Diversity Advocate for the Judicial Council on Cultural Diversity. Justice Bampton chairs the Higher Courts Redevelopment Project Working Party, tasked with the delivery of three additional jury capable criminal courtrooms and the redevelopment of the Supreme Court civil precinct. Justice Bampton acts as a mentor to women appointed to the Step Up to the Bar Program in the Supreme Court.
Luke Davis was appointed as a Magistrate in 2013, and as a Youth Court Magistrate in 2016. Prior to this, Luke worked for many years as a solicitor and barrister with the Legal Services Commission of South Australia, where he began in 1991 as a Duty Solicitor to the Youth and Magistrate’s Courts as well as to Cavan Youth Training Centre, the Adelaide Remand Centre and Yatala Labour Prison, as well as Northfield Women’s Prison. Luke has had extensive experience of grass roots, social justice advocacy and has acted for clients from many different cultures and circumstances, including asylum seekers. Luke has an interest in restorative justice, Youth justice and specialist family violence intervention courts and has presented papers nationally on the role of Men’s behavioural change groups within the South Australian context. Luke has also spoken to the legal profession of his personal experience with depression and the importance of seeking help.
Michelle Howard is a Senior Member of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT). She has held full-time appointments at QCAT since 2009, initially as a Member and more recently as a Senior Member.
Admitted as a lawyer since 1986, Michelle holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Master of Laws (Public Law). She formerly worked in private practice as a solicitor and in government roles, across broad jurisdictional areas. She previously held appointments as a Member of the Guardianship and Administrative Tribunal (2000-2006), the Mental Health Review Tribunal (2002-2005), and the Children Services Tribunal (2005-2006). For some four years Michelle was the Public Advocate, Queensland (2006-2009), a role in which she advocated for systemic change to law, policy and service provision to protect the rights and interests of vulnerable Queenslanders from diverse backgrounds who have impaired decision-making capacity.
Deputy Chief Judge Morris was appointed to the Local Court in the Northern Territory in 2010. Prior to that her roles included appointments as Deputy Coroner, Executive Director of Racing, Gaming and Licensing and Deputy CEO of the Department of Justice in the Northern Territory. She was named the NT’s Children’s Lawyer of the Year in 1999 and formerly worked as a barrister and solicitor with the NT Legal Aid Commission, predominantly in crime.
Deputy Chief Judge Morris is the Chair of the Board of the NT Legal Aid Commission and maintains positions on, amongst others, the National Domestic Violence Bench Reference Committee and the Courts Technology Committee. As well as degrees in Law and Arts from the University of Sydney, she has a Graduate Certificate in public sector management, is a graduate of the ANZSOG Executive Fellows Program and holds an Executive Certificate in Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare from Georgetown University.
The Cultural Diversity Justice Network:
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