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Judicial impartiality, an encouraging move towards cultural diversity

4 August 2022

The Australian Asian Lawyers Association (AALA) congratulates the Australian Law Reform Commission and its President, Hon Justice SC Derrington AM FAAL, on the launch of the report “Without Fear or Favour: Judicial Impartiality and the Law on Bias”.

AALA made a submission to the inquiry into the laws relating to judicial impartiality and bias as they apply to the federal judiciary in July 2021, highlighting the lack of cultural diversity within the judiciary and the senior ranks of the legal profession. AALA also noted the importance of education and training in reducing unconscious cultural bias when appearing in court. These submissions have been extensively referred to in the Report.

AALA National President Molina Asthana says that the report is an encouraging step in ensuring greater cultural diversity in the legal profession.

“AALA welcomes the report’s fourteen recommendations. We are very happy that our call for greater inclusion and diversity in the legal profession has been embraced in the report. In particular, recommendation 7 calls for a transparent appointment process for judicial officers with selection to be based on criteria such as cultural awareness and the enhancement of diversity of both expertise and lived experience on the bench. Recommendation 8 calls for the collection of statistics on judicial diversity. AALA believes that these recommendations are important for maintaining public confidence in the administration of justice and are also reflective of the value of diversity in the delivery of justice.

We call on the Government to commit to immediate action to implement these recommendations in order to address the issues of real, apparent, and apprehended bias in the judicial system.



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