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Law students to create Indigenous justice toolkit

By Katie Weiss

Law lecturer Felicity Gerry QC says CDU is at the forefront of advocacy with Indigenous people Law lecturer Felicity Gerry QC says CDU is at the forefront of advocacy with Indigenous people

A unique advocacy toolkit for Indigenous people and other stakeholders in the legal justice system is being compiled by law students at Charles Darwin University.

The three online students are collaborating to create the toolkit to assist Indigenous people who face communication issues with legal proceedings, and the lawyers involved.

Law lecturer Felicity Gerry QC said students participated in the project as part of the CDU School of Law’s Indigenous justice clinical legal education program.

The toolkit will be presented to online advocacy group The Advocate’s Gateway, which provides free access to toolkits for advocates working with witnesses and defendants who have communication needs.

“The toolkit will not only provide witnesses and suspects with understandings of legal proceedings, but will also assist lawyers in understanding clients’ communication needs,” Ms Gerry said.

Students will create the toolkit to assist communication between all parties during all stages of investigation, arrest, and court proceedings.

“Students are currently researching existing court law practices and procedures and will then carry out a survey of stakeholders working with Indigenous people,” Ms Gerry said.

“They will then submit proposals for the advocacy toolkit and, if accepted, this will be the first international toolkit provided by The Advocate’s Gateway.”

The program will continue into 2016.