STATEMENTS AND ENDORSEMENTS
STATEMENT ON THE VOICE TO PARLIAMENT
The Australasian Law Academics’ Association (ALAA) comprises members from across Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific and broader Indo-Pacific region. While the common law dominates in the jurisdictions represented in the Association’s membership, we acknowledge the continuing existence and practice of the laws of the Indigenous peoples of this region and the role of colonial laws in the dispossession of Indigenous peoples from their lands and waters.
As the peak body representing law academics across the region, we recognise our members’ role in grappling with, and facing the challenges of ongoing injustices afforded by, colonisation through legal research and education.
Australia is presently at a watershed in its colonial history, facing a referendum to reform the Australian Constitution by embedding an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.
Voice is a significant step towards justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. As reflected in the Uluru Statement from the Heart, it seeks to reform the culture of Australian governance while upholding the constitutional framework, and it provides the institutional foundation for embarking towards Treaty.
ALAA endorses the constitutional reform proposed by the forthcoming referendum to create an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.
CALD STATEMENT ON DISCRIMINATION AND STRUCTURAL BIAS
We endorse the Council of Australia Law Deans’ Statement on Australian Law’s Systemic Discrimination and Structural Bias Against First Nations Peoples available here
STATEMENT ON SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN LAW
We have known, as a legal community, for a very long time, that sexual harassment curtails a person’s space for action and, therefore, their opportunities, both professional and personal.
We have known, as a legal community, for a very long time that sexual harassment keeps the gendered status quo intact, and limits some people’s freedoms, opportunities and security, and not others’.
We know that the diminished status of women won’t end until sexual harassment stops.
We know that sexual harassment is not only the problem of those individuals who engage in it or are subjected to it - it is an endemic cultural, institutional problem for all.
We know that sexual harassment won’t end without hard thinking and different actions. Institutional and cultural change is essential and long overdue. Policies and compensatory mechanisms are not enough. Every word, deed, and attitude on display is part of the culture that can either enable or stop sexual harassment.
As members of the Australasian Law Academics Association, we are responsible for contributing to the institutional and cultural change required to end sexual harassment in our law schools, the legal profession, indeed, everywhere in our society. We are responsible for, and have the opportunity to, model and teach the attitudes and values we seek to instil in our students and to create and nurture safe learning, research and working environments in which sexual harassment is not practised or tolerated, so that all students and legal academics can flourish. We are committed to doing so.