find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Property lawyer - Melbourne
Category: Property Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Impressive client list, national firm · Well-led and high-performing team
View details
Senior family lawyer - Melbourne
Category: Family Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Outstanding national firm · High-calibre family law team
View details
Lawyer launches Melinda Taylor petition

Lawyer launches Melinda Taylor petition

Lawyers in Victoria counted on the “power of humanity” to influence the Libyan prime minister’s decision to release detained Australian lawyer Melinda Taylor.

Lawyers in Victoria counted on the “power of humanity” to influence the Libyan prime minister’s decision to release detained Australian lawyer Melinda Taylor.

Specsavers legal director Asia-Pacific, and City of Greater Geelong councillor, Stretch Kontelj launched an online petition addressed to Libyan prime minister Abdurrahim El-Keib on 26 June.

The petition urged Australian residents and citizens to sign to effect the “immediate safe release of fellow Australian, lawyer Melinda Taylor”, who was detained in Libya for four weeks on suspicion of breaching the country’s national security.

Kontelj said the petition would give foreign minister Bob Carr another reason to interact with the prime minister of Libya; and he hoped the “human element” of the appeal would carry some weight with El-Keib.

“We have a politician advocating on behalf of the government but it’s another story when you have the hearts and minds of ordinary, everyday Australians through a petition; the power of humanity.”

The petition was unanimously supported by City of Greater Geelong, with the mayor John Mitchell being the first signatory. Councillors circulated the petition through local councils across the country with the help of the Australian Local Government Association.

Kontelj, who won the Corporate Lawyer of the Year Award at the ACLA Awards in 2011, revealed on Geelong radio that he used his “wide network of contacts and associates” to gather as much support as possible.

“Someone needed to do something to [continue to] raise the awareness of this issue to the general public, otherwise it could get lost in other day-to-day stories and I felt I was in a position to do that through my involvement with the City of Greater Geelong,” said Kontelj.

Taylor was released by Libyan authorities on 2 July.

She was arrested on 7 June for an alleged breach of Libya’s national security after meeting with Muammar Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam, who has been indicted by the ICC for crimes against humanity.

Australian ambassador David Ritche was among diplomatic representatives from Lebanon, Russia and Spain who travelled to Zintan (around 180km southwest of the Libyan capital Tripoli) to receive their nationals.

ICC President Judge Sang-Hyun Song said the court was grateful to Libyan authorities for agreeing to release Taylor and her colleagues “so that they can be reunited with their families”.

He also confirmed that the ICC will investigate reports by Libyan authorities on the visit’s circumstances.

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

Lawyer launches Melinda Taylor petition
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Warning
Aug 23 2017
NT Law Society sounds alarm on mandatory sentencing
The Law Society Northern Territory has issued a warning over mandatory sentencing, saying it hasn’...
Unite
Aug 22 2017
Professionals unite in support of marriage equality
The presidents of representative bodies for solicitors, barristers and doctors in NSW have come toge...
Aug 21 2017
Is your firm on the right track for gig economy gains?
Promoted by Crowd & Co. The way we do business, where we work, how we engage with workers, ev...
APPOINTMENTS
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'...
opinion
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...
Help
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 & ...