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
Corporate Lawyer (3-5 years PQE)
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· National firm acting for domestic and multinational clients
View details
Lawyer – CTP Insurance (2-3 years)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Well-regarded team offering mentoring and career development
View details
Asylum seeker lawyers win ALA award

Asylum seeker lawyers win ALA award

Murray Watt Maurice Blackburn

The lawyers who fought to free baby Ferouz and his asylum-seeking family from a detention centre in Darwin have received a prestigious civil justice award in Queensland.

This year’s Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) Queensland Civil Justice Award was presented to solicitor Angus Francis from the Refugee and Immigration Legal Service, Maurice Blackburn senior associate Murray Watt (pictured), and barristers Mark Steele, Matt Black, Stephen Keim SC and Walter Sofronoff QC.

The legal team worked on the high-profile asylum seeker matter on a pro bono basis.

Ferouz’s parents were also presented with the award at the ALA’s Queensland state conference on February 13.

Francis, Watt and the four barristers undertook a number of legal actions on behalf of baby Ferouz, including seeking urgent injunctions to stop the family being transferred to Nauru; lodging challenges to the Migration Act to test whether a baby born in Australia to asylum seeker parents was in fact an ‘unauthorised maritime arrival’; and lodging a citizenship application on behalf of Ferouz.

Even though Ferouz’s legal appeal seeking the right to apply for a protection visa was ultimately unsuccessful, former Minister for Immigration Scott Morrison announced that an exception would be made, allowing Ferouz and his family, as well as 30 other Australian-born babies living in detention with their families, to be released under temporary protection visas.

Ferouz and his family were freed from detention in January. The family had been detained since Ferouz’s birth 14 months earlier.

ALA Queensland president Michelle James commended the legal team on its unwavering pursuit of justice and its appeal of every legal challenge that came the family’s way.

She said the lawyers made numerous direct representations at the highest political and media levels on behalf of the family.

“The baby Ferouz case was a landmark case for two reasons: firstly, it led to 31 babies being released from detention and gave them the legal right to seek temporary protection in Australia,” Ms James said.

“Further, it played an historic role in giving a face to the many hundreds of children still living in detention centres today.

“This case blew open the national debate once again to demand a fair go for people escaping violence and persecution who seek a better life for their families in Australia.”

The award presentation was part of the ALA’s 2015 Queensland Conference which was held on the Gold Coast from 13-14 February.

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

Asylum seeker lawyers win ALA award
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 & ...