What we do

Advocate – Litigate – Communicate – Reform
 

We advocate for the development of law and a justice system which is fair, just and equitable, taking on the most challenging cases that will advance human rights.

Our legal work covers

Medical Care in Detention

Youth Detention

Inquests and Inquiries

Racial Discrimination in Health Care

Discrimination

Aboriginal Child Removal

Government Accountability

Police Accountability

Access to Health Care in offshore Detention

Medical Negligence

The law is at the centre of everything we do. Our legal expertise and educational initiatives support and advance social justice and human rights. We are committed to ensuring everyone has the right to equal access and status under the law.

In all cases, a successful outcome for our client is our first objective. Our success contributes to advocacy efforts, policy improvements and behavioural change.

We advocate for the development of law and a justice system which is fair, just and equitable, taking on the most challenging cases that will advance human rights.

The National Justice Project works with some of Australia’s most vulnerable people and communities, providing legal support to people who struggle to access justice.

We take strategic legal action to advance social justice, with a focus on First Nations communities and asylum seekers.

We conduct advocacy, strategic litigation and test case litigation for Australians who need our help


We educate the community about the law, their rights and responsibilities


We lobby for social, economic and legislative reforms to create a fairer system

Take Action

You can support our vital human rights work and enable access to justice for those in need. Join our community and help us to change lives.

Our Major Projects

We advocate for the development of law and a justice system which is fair, just and equitable, taking on the most challenging cases that will advance human rights.

Aboriginal Health Justice Project

Australia’s public health system is the envy of many countries. However, access isn’t available to all Australian’s equally. While access to healthcare is a basic human right. But many First Nations peoples experience significant discrimination and even negligence in their medical treatment.

The Aboriginal Health Justice Project is a targeted health-law service for First Nations peoples and communities who have experienced discrimination in healthcare or medical negligence.

We:

  • identify and support people who need legal help after experiencing healthcare discrimination, be it through advocacy, discrimination complaint or a civil action

  • deliver legal education and plain English material to help people understand their rights

  • develop policies and protocols for health service providers to address discrimination and negligence in health care and to keep First Nations patients safe

THE PACIFIC JUSTICE PROJECT


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The Pacific Justice Project improves access to justice for communities and individuals in Papua New Guinea, Irian Jaya, East Timor and the Pacific Islands by supporting local lawyers and NGO’s in those countries. This includes legal support for asylum seekers in Australian immigration detention on Nauru and Manus Island, who find it difficult to access to lawyers.

The Pacific Justice Project works to protect the homes and rights of Indigenous land holders and settlers. We stand up for women who have been subjected to domestic violence and assault and we work for climate justice in Pacific nations threatened by climate change.

CORONIAL INQUESTS


Coronial inquests present an opportunity to examine the system’s and policies that don’t work and call for recommendations to address failings in key areas.

The NJP is acting in relation to a number of deaths of asylum seekers and refugees in detention. The NJP is also acting for the family of young Aboriginal men and women who have died in detention or in the health system.

OFF-SHORE/REFUGEES


The National Justice Project has changed Australia’s legal landscape, helping people sent to Nauru and Papua New Guinea by the Australian government in to access essential, life-saving medical care, and setting legal precedents in the process. Medical facilities in those countries often lack essential equipment, or the equipment is broken, and specialist doctors are unavailable. This means it can be impossible to provide essential treatment in those countries.

We believe these people remain Australia’s responsibility. Australia sent them there, pays for their visas, accommodation and living expenses, and they cannot go anywhere else without Australia’s permission. So we have gone to court over a dozen times to force the government to provide sick and dying children and adults the medical care that they need. We have had to threaten legal action for dozens of others, before the government would agree to provide essential healthcare. Our legal action has revealed horrific illnesses emerging in offshore detention, like Resignation Syndrome, which was first raised in Australia in a case that we brought to court.

We have also trained other lawyers in how to bring these cases, and together the sector had a has forced the government to evacuate all children and their families from Nauru.

The crisis for adults continues to deepen, however, and there is so much more to be done. We are continuing to see adults with horrific injuries and illnesses being neglected and mistreated in both Nauru and Papua New Guinea. So with Julian Burnside SC, the National Justice Project has filed two class actions in the High Court of Australia, to force the government to treat these people with humanity and respect."

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