In an effort to “transform education in law”, a Canberra-based university will soon be delivering a course designed to engage students and increase cultural competency, develop their understanding of Indigenous perspectives and critique the system.
In partnership with the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency, the Australian National University (ANU) College of Law revealed that it had launched both a website and EOI processes as part of an initiative to provide “Aboriginal-led, on-Country and immersive experiences in the Northern Territory” for law students.
In a blog post, ANU deputy vice-chancellor and College of Law dean Professor Sally Wheeler OBE MRIA FAcSS FAAL said that she is delighted to have partnered with the justice agency to support the design and delivery of the new course.
“As the law school of Australia’s national university, it is our privilege and our responsibility to develop the nation’s capacity to listen deeply to First Nations voices and partner with First Nations people in pursuit of ‘true justice’,” she said.
In addition to allowing students the opportunity to critique the nature and impacts of the justice system on Indigenous people, the course will encourage them to collaborate and ally themselves with the community. ANU shared it will also provide a “sustainable path” for students to help recalibrate legal education.
ANU College of Law’s Professor Asmi Wood said the ‘True Justice’ course, “which genuinely enable students to see and experience the depth, breadth and intricacies of Aboriginal laws”, will set up future leaders who “truly know and appreciate the wealth that Indigenous laws and culture can bring” and use it to benefit others.
North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency CEO Priscilla Atkins added the course is an “incredible opportunity” for students to connect with Aboriginal people who will speak from their own roles, including interpreters, lawyers, and academics.
“We are pleased to work with the ANU College of Law to establish the exemplar course, and to build from this and partner with law schools and other partners across the country. Courses will also be available for lawyers, judges, and select participants involved in law or policy.”