Doing lawyering differently and in a non-adversarial way Inquiries & Recent Empirical Findings from Curran Research

Presented by ANU College of Law

This Seminar & Conversation will explore recent public inquiries in Australia and Dr Liz Curran’s research over the past six years suggesting a less adversarial approach may be necessary. These inquiries have considered:

-The impact on different cultures of colonial and adversarial practices (Australia, Canada etc);
-The effect of the adversarial approach in family violence and family law where children involved;
-Institutional abuse by churches and similar organisations and by defence forces;
-The effect of poverty and an unequal bargaining position – where for example, industry groups with immense resources routinely exploit this advantage to wear those without resources down i.e. ‘repeat players’ in human rights and equal opportunity and employment law cases to disempower complainants, cost of litigation;
-Barriers to access to justice – navigability, confidence, capacity and engagement issues.

There is a great deal of international research on this as well, some of which would be flagged.
Then there will be a conversation with participants about their views, experiences and ways forward.