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In Africa it is said that justice is open to all – and so is the Intercontinental Hotel. The hard reality is that most Africans do not know their legal rights and lack the means to obtain advice and representation. For example, in Uganda 90% of lawyers live in the capital Kampala, whilst 95% of the populace cannot afford to retain a private lawyer. Justice then becomes a luxury of the wealthy few. Hard won doctrines taken for granted by Australian lawyers such as the rule of law and judicial independence are still to be fought for. Injustice in the justice system is often the norm.

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy” (Proverbs 31:8 and 9)

In partnership with lawyers in the developing world CLEAR, Christian Lawyers for Justice, aims to provide human rights education and offer legal assistance to those suffering injustice… Want to be involved? PrayDoGoGive.

You can also find out about: CLEARThe Need (Stories)CLEAR VisionCLEAR Inspiration and contact CLEAR.

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Don’t Miss Your Place at the Third Australasian Christian Legal Convention in 2016 (ACLC). The ACLC is a major event that will bring together Christian lawyers, law students, academics, persons involved in the administration of justice and those with a concern for justice in our community from all over Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Our line up of distinguished speakers continues to grow, including:
• Queensland Shadow Attorney General, Ian Walker on ‘The Christian Parliamentary Representative – how much “Christian” and how much “Representative”?’
• Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Assistant Commissioner & General Counsel, Murray Baird on ‘Separation of church and state – are Christian charities any business of government?’
• Commonwealth Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Ageing, Shayne Neumann on ‘Constitutional Recognition for Indigenous Australians’
• Garth Blake SC, Fr Brian Lucas and Anne Robinson on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse
• Queensland Supreme Court Justice Debra Mullins, Professor Nicholas Aroney, Professor Rex Ahdar, Professor Augusto Zimmerman and Associate Professor Neil Foster on Religious Freedoms
• Mike Schutt Director of the United States Christian Legal Society (CLS) Law School Ministries and of the Institute for Christian Legal Studies
• Misha Coleman of the Australian Churches Refugee task Force on ‘the Church as a sanctuary for asylum seekers – political stunt or practical solution?’
• Crown Counsel (Advisings) to the Victorian Attorney-General, Mark Sneddon and CLEAR Chair Mark Fowler on human rights
• Jude Simeon of Barnabas Fund and Rev Dr Cannon David Claydon on ‘A Christian response to the persecution of Christians in the Middle East’
• Former Queensland Parliamentary Speaker, Fiona Simpson MP
• Peter Abetz Member of Western Australian Legislative Assembly, Wendy Francis of the Australian Christian Lobby and Amber Hawkes of International Justice Mission on human trafficking and prostitution
• Elenne Ford, Bruce Burgess and Steve Frost from Peacewise on Christian conflict resolution
• Dr Matthew Turnour and Elizabeth Shalders on not for profit and charity law
• Honourable Justice and Director of Public Prosecutions of Uganda, Mike Chibita.
With more speakers to be confirmed!

The following streams will be offered.
1.Being a Christian Lawyer
2.Religious Freedom
3.Peace Making
4.Slavery/Trafficking/Refugees
5.Not-for-Profit Law

We are privileged to have Queensland Supreme Court Justice Debra Mullins, South Australian Supreme Court Justice David Bleby and Federal Court Judge John Gilmour as the Convention’s Patrons.

The theme of the Conference is ‘Redeeming the Law for the Kingdom of God’ and will be held in Brisbane from Thursday 29th September to Saturday 1st October 2016.

Visit www.clear.org.au/aclc2016 to find further details on the topics of the convention, and to find out more about the speakers.

Don’t Miss Our Early Bird Rates
You can register online at our website here. Enrol and pay by 30 June 2016 and take advantage of the early bird rates to save on the full fares! Students, concessions and 1-5 year admitted lawyers also receive discounted early bird rates. Lawyers should consider whether attendance may contribute towards satisfaction of their Compulsory Professional Development requirements in their local jurisdictions.

For those travelling interstate bookings through the Conference Administrator will enable you to access discounted accommodation at the Mercure Hotel the heart of Brisbane, our conference venue.

We hope to see you there.
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Are you a student in Queensland? Only a week left to register for the Faith and Professional Life Seminar! This a seminar providing senior high school and university students with an avenue to consider how their faith may be expressed in their chosen profession. The keynote Speaker is former Queensland Parliamentary Speaker and current Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Fiona Simpson MP. In addition, a variety of professionals will offer their insights including, a lawyer, doctor, nurse, pilot, engineer and business person. Places are limited – don’t miss your spot!
Details are as follows:
Friday, 20th May 2016
8:30am – 12:30pm
Calvary Christian College
559 Beenleigh Redland Bay Road
Carbrook QLD

The seminar is project in collaboration with Christian Schools Australia and Associated Christian Schools.

Please email mmurray@christianschools.org.au for a registration form, which form needs to be returned by 18 May 2016.
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CLEAR, Christian Schools Australia and Associated Christian Schools are partnering to host FAITH & THE PROFESSIONAL LIFE 2016, a seminar aiming to provide senior high school and university students with an avenue to consider how their faith may be expressed in their chosen profession. Our keynote Speaker is former Queensland Parliamentary Speaker, Fiona Simpson MP.

The Seminar will consist of a half-day careers seminar featuring speakers from eight differing professions discussing the relationship between faith and career, and how to maintain both, answering the question “How can you be a Christian and a …” A variety of professionals will offer their insights including, a lawyer, doctor, nurse, pilot, engineer, business person, and politician.

Details are as follows:
Friday, 20th May 2016
8:30am – 12:30pm
Calvary Christian College
559 Beenleigh Redland Bay Road
Carbrook QLD
Please email mmurray@christianschools.org.au for a registration form, which form needs to be returned by 18 May 2016.

Fiona Simpson has a reputation for hard work and diligent service to her electorate and the people of Queensland as the Member or Maroochydore and as the Shadow Minister for Local Government and Main Roads, Community Recovery and Resilience.
Elected in 1992, she has served in shadow portfolios such as Health, Transport, Main Roads, Tourism, Women, Communities and Housing as well as Queensland’s first female speaker between 2012 and 2015.
In addition to a Bachelor of Arts in Japanese language, Journalism and Government, she has post graduate management qualifications including a Masters in Organizational Leadership, she is a graduate from the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has undertaken an executive leadership course with John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. Fiona was a key player in the formation of the LNP, a merger between the former National and Liberal Parties which she believed was important to restore conservative government in Queensland. As then Deputy Leader of the Nationals and Deputy Opposition Leader, Fiona voluntarily relinquished these roles to the former Liberal leader to help facilitate the merger.
Before entering parliament, she was an award-winning journalist (Dalgety’s Excellence in Rural Journalism Award). In 2013 she was honoured to be included in the Queensland Young Women’s Christian Association’s list of 125 Leading Women. Fiona subscribes to the motto of service above self.
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The QLS Human Rights Working Group (HRWG) met again on Monday, 7 March 2016 with the primary objective of giving further direction and substance to its draft working advice to QLS Council on the Human Rights Inquiry. Seated are the Hon. Justice Richard Chesterman AO RFD, Mark Fowler, Professor Sue Harris-Rimmer, James Farrell OAM, Julie Ball, Joanne Rennick, Peter Eardley, Julia Connolly and Dan Rogers (from right, round the table).
Key points arising from this meeting include:
•A confirmed emphasis on the HRWG’s advice comprising all positions for and against a Human Rights Act in line with the views of the Society’s membership.
•Referring to and relying on the Society’s significant ground work laid by its State Call to Parties campaign as a solid basis, not only for the Parliamentary Committee attaching significance to the HRWG’s submissions, but also to build on the successes already achieved in relation to Queenslanders’ human rights.
•That the Society’s submissions should make reference to objectives (for example, policy statements) which could be achieved regardless of whether human rights are legislated for, so that the strengthening of Queenslanders’ human rights protection is not limited to the absolute concept of passing or not passing legislation.
•The importance of education, for example, of our police and judicial officers, in the carrying out of mechanisms to protect human rights.
•The need to align Queensland human rights with Australia’s international obligations.
•The policy-oriented nature of reform being considered in this space and experience in other jurisdictions (such as the UK and ACT) that the change effected is cultural and often preventative, therefore difficult to quantify.

The HRWG meets again on Thursday, 31 March 2016 with the objective of reaching consensus on an overall position which it will recommend QLS Council adopts, along with finalised advice around this.

To that end, the QLS continues to welcome comments from members with a final deadline for this of Wednesday, 23 March 2016. Thoughts can be sent through to humanrights@qls.com.au

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