find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Competition, Policy & Regulatory
Category: Other | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Work with a well regarded Partner · Sydney CBD
View details
Commercial Litigation Senior Associate
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Lawyers Weekly Australia Partner of the Year 2016, Insolvency
View details
MULTIPLEX Regional Legal Counsel (Vic) | 7 to 10 years + PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Career defining in-house role · Tier One international contractor
View details
Junior Lawyer - Personal Injury Law
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Parramatta & Western Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Highly specialized practice · Challenging role with great opportunities
View details
IR Advisor/Member Advocate
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: St Leonards NSW 2065
· Permanent (0.8-1.0 FTE) role in a developing team
View details
ABL settles landmark human rights claim

ABL settles landmark human rights claim

Arnold Bloch Leibler (ABL) has played a pivotal role in the resolution of a long-running human rights claim by the Wadeye indigenous community.

Wadeye community leaders, who were represented by ABL on a pro bono basis, signed a historic agreement with the Federal Government on 6 June.

For the past five years the community has been battling the Northern Territory government before the Human Rights Commission (HRC).

Tobias Nganbe, the former co-principal of a Wadeye school, lodged a racial discrimination action with the HRC in 2007. He claimed that funding arrangements for ex-mission schools in the Northern Territory meant they were funded in “a different and less favourable way” than mainstream schools.

While the Government did not accept the merit of the claim, the agreement provides $7.7 million in additional funding for education in Wadeye on top of recurrent funding.

“Ultimately, the community wasn’t so concerned about the position of the Commonwealth as long as it affected the changes required,” said Peter Seidel, who heads ABL’s native title practice.

He credited School Education Minister Peter Garrett with shepherding the settlement.

“The case had been going on for some years, but it was shifted by Peter Garrett who acted as a mediator with the Northern Territory Government,” he told Lawyers Weekly.

ABL was invited to represent Nganbe and the wider Wadeye community by the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law.

Supporting partnership

Nganbe’s claim followed a study by the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy and Research that found, for every dollar spent on the average child attending school in the Northern Territory, only 26 cent was spent on a child in Wadeye. The figure was later changed to 47 cent based on extra data provided by the state.

The settlement is a testament to what can be achieved through collaboration between communities and private law firms, Seidel said.

“You’re on the ground where the real work for reconciliation needs to be done and driven by the community. This partnership between law firms and communities works and ought to be supported.”

He admitted, however, that having a champion in Garrett was a significant advantage.

Seidel joined ABL in 1993, representing the Yorta Yorta Aboriginal people in their landmark native title claim, High Court appeal and associated legal transactions.

“The firm’s association with the indigenous causes stems from that initial involvement 20 years ago,” Seidel said.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

ABL settles landmark human rights claim
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Human body, illegal organ trafficking, ALHR
Sep 22 2017
Australia poised to combat illegal organ harvesting: ALHR
The Australian Lawyers for Human Rights are calling for changes to the law so that organ trafficking...
Online service, barristers, BarristerSELECT, Stephen Foley
Sep 22 2017
New online service leverages barristers’ clerks to aid briefing
A new online tool has been launched to help NSW solicitors find the most suitable barristers for the...
NSW District Court judge, Tim Gartelmann SC, next appointment,
Sep 22 2017
Silk replaces outgoing NSW District Court judge
A barrister has been named as the next appointment to the NSW District Court, following the retireme...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...