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Media Release - CALD Issues Paper Launch Event

07 September 2022


The Asian Australian Lawyers Association (AALA) is proud to announce the Australian launch of the Cultural and Linguistic Diversity (CALD) Issues Paper drafted by Mai Chen and Dr. Andrew Godwin with the support of The University of Melbourne, Super Diversity Institute, and AALA, on 12 September 2022.


CALD parties have long faced barriers that disrupt their access to justice. The CALD Issues Paper seeks to identify these barriers and suggest ways of addressing them. The purpose of this Issues Paper is:

1. To outline for readers in Australia the key findings and recommendations of the CALD Report of the Superdiversity Institute in New Zealand entitled ‘Culturally

and Linguistically Diverse Parties in the Courts: A Chinese Case Study’, published November 2019;

2. To outline the changes to the legal landscape elicited by the CALD Report;

3. To reflect on the insights that the recommendations of the CALD Report offers to Australia;

4. To propose an action plan for related initiatives to meet the challenges arising out of increasing superdiversity in Australian courts; and

5. To contribute to public discourse.


Following its launch in November 2019, the CALD Report was acknowledged as ground-breaking and has materially assisted the consideration of the unique challenges for CALD parties in getting equal access to justice in New Zealand courts among the judiciary, the legal profession, and the broader community. The report was subsequently cited in the New Zealand Court of Appeal case Zheng v Deng [2020] NZCA 614 and in the recent Supreme Court case of Zheng v Deng [2022] NZSC 76. Given the report’s significant influence in New Zealand’s legal landscape and the long-term impacts of the discourse it has sparked, with a Global Symposium in Cultural Experts in the courts in the Sorbonne in 2023, we believe that these developments will provide valuable insight for Australia with its substantially similar legal system and superdiverse population.


The launch will take place at The University of Melbourne Law School at 5.30 pm (registration) for a 6 pm start (AEST) and will be joined by the Honourable Paul Coghlan AO QC (former Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria) and her Honour Judge My Anh Tran of the County Court of Victoria. The launch will be a hybrid event allowing both in-person and online attendance.


Registration is essential and can be done through the following link - http://membersuite.aala.org.au/event-4949339


We hope to see as many attendees as possible at the event so that the true impact of the CALD Issues Paper can be realised, thereby promoting greater access to justice for CALD parties in the courts and justice system.


President of the Asian Australian Lawyers Association Molina Asthana says that “This ground-breaking research from New Zealand, as contextualised for Australia, will for the first time explore issues of access to justice for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities in the court system in Australia and recommend actions and initiatives that may assist in overcoming these challenges so that ‘Justice is not only done but seen to have been done’. We want to hear from all interested stakeholders so that the Comprehensive report when published, takes into account views of those who are directly involved in implementation.”


Authors Mai and Andrew state they “hope that the Issues Paper will make a useful contribution to the discourse in Australia and elsewhere concerning the challenges facing CALD parties in the courts and how those challenges might be overcome to ensure everyone gets equal access to justice. We look forward to engaging further with stakeholders on these important Rule of Law issues.”

For all media inquiries, please contact Molina Asthana on president@aala.vic.gov.au or 0400785299.




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