Law Week celebrated 21st year of promoting legal awareness
by Azadeh Khalilizadeh
Law week was celebrated in NSW from March 20 to April 5, marking the 21st year the event has taken place. Once held only in NSW, the annual event is now celebrated across Australia, providing legal professionals an opportunity to participate in programs that help to educate the public about the law.
Throughout the week, fairs, court tours, lunchtime presentations, debates, mock trials and public forums took place across the state, including the Sydney CBD, Parramatta, Maitland, Coffs Harbour, Nowra, Dubbo and Broken Hill. NSW Law Society President High Macken announced the main subject of debate for the event would be the Road Transport (Driver Licensing) Regulation Amendment Bill 2008.
“Although the Bill is fictional it acknowledges statistical data as to the high comparitive rates of accidents amongst young drivers, in particular the over representaion of young males in traffic accident statistics,’ Mr Macken stated. “The object of the Bill is to excite interest and wide ranging debate on the significant issues that affect teenage drivers and to engage students in the participative citizenship.”
Other significant events throughout the week included:
- Seminar by the NSW Attorney-General’s department providing legal practitioners tips on how to influence legal policy and lawmaking;
- Forum on victims compensation and the Victims Assistance Scheme;
- The Launch of a Capacity Toolkit assisting professionals and carers on how to deal with people with a decision-making disability;
- Conference on developing a co-ordinated family law service system in the Shoalhaven and far South Coast;
- Launch of a community open day at the new $330 million Parramatta Justice Precinct;
- Mock trials at the Belmont Courthouse to teach children about the justice system and the importance of obeying road rules; and
- Promotion of alternatives to the court system such as Community Justice Centres with their mediation and conflict management programs.
According to Mr Macken, the event provides the opportunity for legal practitioners to:
- expand networks;
- identify business development opportunities; and
- experience and informal yet valuable avenue for improving public speaking skills.
“The one to one contact with legal professionals participating in Law Week programs provide the public with a view of the legal profession that is caring and willing to contribute to their community as well as giving lawyers and barristers immense satisfaction in being able to contribute their specialised knowledge to assist their local community,” he said.