The first day of National Law Week 2010 (Monday 17 May) was National Pro Bono Day. The centrepiece of this day was the Walk for Justice 2010, now in its third year, which took place in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide.
The Walk for Justice is a 3 – 5 km walk past key city legal landmarks which aims to raise awareness of unmet legal need in the community and raise funds to support the work of the pro bono clearing houses in each State and Territory. It is an initiative of the Public Interest Law Clearing Houses of Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, JusticeNet in South Australia and the National Pro Bono Resource Centre, as the Australian Pro Bono Centre was then known.
This year over 1,400 members of the legal community participated in the Walks for Justice across the country, including more than 600 in Queensland alone. Walkers around the country included Attorneys-General, Members of Parliament, Judges, Magistrates, lawyers and staff from private firms, legal aid, pro bono clearing houses and community legal centres, law students and many others.
The Walk in Melbourne was led by the Hon Chris Maxwell, President of the Supreme Court of Appeal and included The Hon Michael Rozenes, Chief Judge of the County Court, Ian Gray, Chief Magistrate of the Magistrates Court, and the Hon Mark Dreyfus QC MP.
The Walk in Brisbane was led by the Hon Paul de Jersey AC, Chief Justice of Queensland. Also walking were the Hon Cameron Dick MP, Attorney-General, the Hon Lawrence Springborg, Shadow Attorney-General, the Hon Justice Margaret McMurdo AC, President of the Queensland Supreme Court of Appeal and the Hon Justice Andrew Greenwood, Federal Court of Australia.
The Walk in Adelaide was led by the Hon John Doyle AC, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia.
The Walk in Sydney was led by the Hon Robert McClelland MP, Attorney-General of Australia and the Hon John Hatzistergos MLC, Attorney-General of NSW.
The Walk for Justice on National Pro Bono Day 2010 celebrated the outstanding pro bono commitment of the legal profession in ensuring access to justice for marginalised and disadvantaged Australians, while raising over $25,000 for the PILCHs in NSW, Queensland and Victoria and JusticeNet in South Australia.
According to the latest survey of the legal profession conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian lawyers did over 950,000 hours of pro bono work in the 2007-2008 financial year. This commitment to social justice by the legal sector is truly cause for celebration. For more information please refer to the Centre’s media release.
Below you will find photos taken at the 2010 National Pro Bono Day and Walk for Justice in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. Reports from the time can also be found in the following issues of National Pro Bono News (now Australian Pro Bono News):