Andrew Christopoulos (pictured) will assume the presidency, taking on the role from 1 July 2019.
In accepting leadership of the organisation, he reaffirmed the ALA’s commitment to the importance of preserving common law rights and ensuring access to justice for everyone.
“The 25th anniversary is a good time to take stock of the important work that has been done by the ALA and review where our journey has taken us,” Mr Christopoulos said.
“It is also an ideal opportunity for further discussion about balancing rights and interests in our advocacy work to protect the common law. Australia is unusual among common law countries in not having a legislative bill of rights. While the courts are vested with power to protect those rights, legislation can specifically override this power.”
Mr Christopoulos continued: “We are increasingly seeing legislation eroding common law rights, primarily in the form of statutory schemes, and our challenge is to ensure that we continue to work towards achieving justice and the best outcomes for individuals.
“We are committed to protecting the rights of individuals to access justice. All Australians have a right to access legal services and our legal system runs the risk of becoming meaningless if barriers prevent people from accessing or enforcing their rights.
“For 25 years, the ALA’s commitment to justice, fairness and protecting the rights of the individual has not wavered. Our values and principles are relevant whether we are fighting for justice for someone injured on the road or in a workplace accident, a survivor of abuse, someone in immigration detention or a person with a disability.”
Mr Christopoulos is the principal of AC Lawyers and has many years of experience working in personal injury litigation and dispute resolution. He takes over from Ms Noor Blumer, now the ALA’s immediate past president.