Allens part of winning team at Human Rights Awards
13 December 2011
Allens Arthur Robinson (Allens), the Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre (RILC), Debbie Mortimer SC and Richard Niall SC (together, the M61/M70 team) have been announced as the winners of the Australian Human Rights Commission Law Award at the Human Rights Awards 2011.
Recipients were named at a sold-out event in Sydney on 9 December that coincided with International Human Rights Day, which is celebrated globally on 10 December each year.
The M61/M70 team was recognised for its pro bono work on two landmark High Court cases that upheld human rights and the rule of law.
The first case (M61) established that the Australian Government is obliged to act lawfully and fairly when handling claims by asylum seekers who arrive on Christmas Island. The case established that any failure to afford procedural fairness can be reviewed by the courts.
The second case (M70) established that asylum seekers could not be deported from Christmas Island to Malaysia for the processing of their refugee claims because Malaysia did not meet certain international standards in its treatment of asylum seekers and refugees.
Partner Malcolm Stephens, who led the Allens team, said that the matters involved lawyers from the firm's Sydney and Melbourne offices.
'These were important matters for the firm and the wider community,' Mr Stephens said.
'Our lawyers worked very hard on these matters and it is an honour for the firm to receive this award alongside RILC, Debbie Mortimer and Richard Niall.'
The Human Rights Award caps off a busy period for the M61/M70 team, which was awarded the 2011 Federation of Community Legal Centres Tim McCoy Award and the Law Institute of Victoria's President's Honorary Award.
Allens Pro Bono Committee Chair, Phillip Cornwell, said the awards are recognition for the way the firm's lawyers apply the same dedication, skills and energy to pro bono matters, as they do for commercial clients.
'We are proud to have assisted our pro bono clients in their quest for justice,' Mr Cornwell said.
Details of all Human Rights Award winners and finalists is available at the Australian Human Rights Commission website.
- Susan CowenCorporate Affairs Adviser,
Ph: +61 3 9613 8374
Notes for editors.
Allens Arthur Robinson has staff in 14 cities and eight countries across the Asia Pacific.