Law reform and social justice - two powerful ideas
The ideas of law reform and social justice are not obviously, or necessarily, connected: law can be reformed without regard to social justice, and social justice is a policy goal which can be pursued without reforming law. But to put them together, as we do at the ANU College of Law, invites us to think about the occasions when the two do – or could, or should – intersect.
When can law reform be about social justice? And when can social justice be pursued through law reform?
A career in law can be a career in social justice: promoting human rights and achieving just outcomes for poor, marginalised and powerless people. The ANU College of Law offers students a variety of opportunity to study and experience law's potential for social reform, and for achieving social justice.
At the LR&SJ program, we offer critical perspectives in our teaching: analysing law's successes – and inadequacies – in controlling power, allocating resources, sustaining livelihoods, protecting the environment, promoting equality, resolving disputes and ensuring fair process.
We complement classroom teaching in a number of ways, partnering with organisations such as the Youth Law Centre, the Welfare Rights and Legal Centre, Migrant and Refugee Settlement Services and the ACT Human Rights Commission.