At the recent Directors’ Meeting of the Law Council of Australia, the following Directors were elected as Members of the Law Council Executive for 2021:
• Dr Jacoba Brasch QC, President • Mr Tass Liveris, President-elect • Mr Ross Drinnan, Treasurer • Mr Luke Murphy, Executive Member • Mr Greg McIntyre SC, Executive Member • Ms Caroline Counsel, Executive Member
Outgoing President, Ms Pauline Wright, said that it has been an honour to lead the Law Council during 2020, a truly unprecedented year.
“As Australia emerged into 2020, scorched and grieving from a deadly summer, no one imagined that we would be thrust into the grips of the worst pandemic the world has faced in over a century. This year has certainly been eventful and the legal profession has had to manage countless issues with agility and determination,” Ms Wright said.
“It has been both challenging and deeply satisfying to lead the Law Council of Australia this year. I am enormously proud of the role the Law Council has played in ensuring that the profession adapted nimbly to enable the essential work of the legal system to continue despite the necessary lockdowns and restrictions, as well as getting on with the business of defending the rule of law, civil rights and freedoms, promoting access to justice and contributing to reform in important areas of the law.
“This work included ensuring that the COVIDSafe app had the protections Australians had the right to expect, igniting a new conversation on the need for a federal Human Rights Charter with the launch of a refreshed Law Council policy, and our calls for a federal integrity commission. I am also proud to have spearheaded the Law Council’s National Action Plan to address sexual harassment in the legal profession and to have worked with some brave and undaunted advocates in tackling the scourge of violence against women and children in our society.
“I am particularly gratified by the work that the Law Council has undertaken in advocating for a fairer and more just society for Australia’s First Nations communities. This important work continues in consultation with our Indigenous Legal Issues committee, with the aim of narrowing the shameful justice gap for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
“I thank the Executive, Directors and Secretariat for their support and counsel, and particularly the many volunteers from all over the country, who so generously provide their expertise, time, passion and commitment to ensuring that the objectives of the Law Council continue to be met,” Ms Wright said.
Incoming President, Dr Jacoba Brasch QC, said that Pauline Wright has embodied the Law Council’s values.
“Pauline has led the Law Council with a steely determination, purpose and decency, during a year that came with challenges no one envisaged,” Dr Brasch said.
“Her capacity to advocate the Law Council’s case respectfully and persuasively has been a huge advantage to our profession. “In the year ahead, the Law Council will continue to build upon the great work achieved by past presidents to promote the administration of justice, importance of the Rule of Law, and for the legal profession and the broader community in Australia and our region,” Dr Brasch said.
Dr Brasch begins her term as Law Council President on 1 January 2021.