Education about Law and Legal Issues in Australia for New Migrants

There appear to be masses of inspiring things happening in the migration policy and law space, like IMPALA and surely many others I have no awareness of and would love to learn more about. But the focus of this post is narrow; it is intended merely to address how law students who are interested can get involved with and gain experience in the provision of legal services and basic legal education to new Australians. This limited scope is just to keep things manageable and does not mean to discount the many wonderful initiatives happening at universities in Australia related to refugee issues.

I welcome suggestions on where to find a good, comprehensive listing or for suggestions to help build one here. Again, the focus is on how law students and recent law grads can get involved with legal clinics and also helping deliver basic legal education. I think the latter deserves more attention because education empowers through knowledge and awareness. Not power as in power used to manipulate and control, but power as in strength and capability and confidence that comes from being able to deal with things for ourselves rather than needing others to tell us.

In addition to government services there is a range of organisations and resources that provide support and services for asylum seekers and new migrants. Most are about legal advice and many offer resources and materials about legal issues and legal awareness. A few examples of what is happening with law clinics for new migrants and asylum seeker that students might get involved with in Australia:

 

QUT students can sign up for law clinic and work with The Refugee and Immigration Legal Service (RAILS). 

 

The UQ clinic link takes you to the RAILS site. (and this is the RAILS education page)

UNSW Kaldor Centre – the UNSW Refugee Law & Policy Group has now been incorporated into the Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law.

Griffith has a course called a Law and Policy Clinic in which students work with RAILS
 
 
 
Newcastle Refugee and Migration Law Clinic is listed as not available in 2017 –
 
There may be a clinic of some kind associated with the Legal Intersections Research Ctr at Wollongong
 
 
UNSW, Sydney Uni and Maquarie are connected with and/or support the Refugee Advice and Casework Service 
 
UTS Law students are volunteering with the Refugee Advice & Casework Service (RACS)
 
The School of Law at Charles Darwin University runs a legal clinic where externships are available in relation to refugee law, environmental law and Indigenous Justice
 
Most of the clinics are geared toward providing much-needed legal services. Many organizations (some of which are listed with links below) provide excellent legal information in the form of kits and videos and guides. Education as in face to face programs where people can get together and ask questions, talk to each other and share ideas and experiences seem to be less common. Many organisations doing excellent work may not have the time and resources to offer basic classes in law and government for new migrants.
 
According to its website Melbourne Uni will be including education programs in its new refugees studies program
 

See also Street Law. The focus of the Australian branch of Street Law seems to be on people living rough, rather than the broader focus of Street Law overseas, which runs several programs including Protidinar Ain/the Law in Everyday Life.

UQ Asylum Seeker and Refugee Law Project Blog by students from The University of Queensland

For services and support for new migrants more generally, The Family Court of Australia provides an excellent list of links about legal assistance to migrants organised by state & territory. And some other resources include the following:

 

A couple of examples of educational initiatives overseas:

Protidiner Ain (Law in Everyday Life)

American Legal System 101 for Spokane refugees – a workshop intended to help build understanding of civic responsibility and the American legal system, Gonzaga University,  USA