A justice project by Victoria University law students “reflects everything that is noble in a true community spirit,” Principal Family Court Judge Peter Boshier said at the 2011 launch of the project on 7 March 2011.
That, he said, was “because you are helping others for no cost and for the greater good.”
The Wellington Community Justice Project is a student-driven initiative that matches law students to volunteer projects in the legal community.
Based at the Victoria University Law School, the project offers volunteering opportunities in four key areas of the law: education, advocacy, human rights and law reform.
In 2011, the education branch of the project will work closely with the Wellington CommunityLaw Centre on a project called The YEP: The Youth Education Project. This project delivers modules on key areas of the law to young people who are in alternative education or industry training organisations.
The advocacy team will engage students in several projects involving restorative justice advocacy, work at community law centres and help to develop the Howard League for Penal Reform in Wellington. It will also assist the Innocence Project (a joint project between Victoria and Otago Universities, which investigates possible cases of wrongful conviction).
The human rights team will work alongside the Human Rights Commission, involving students in policy review, law reform and litigation projects with a human rights focus. The team will also establish relationships with eminent human rights lawyers and civil society organisations. The students will create a human rights blog with reviews of case law and analysis of media and academic articles.
The law reform team will continue to consult with community organisations which desire law reform and then aid those organisations in researching issues, writing submissions to Select Committees, local Members of Parliament, or the Wellington City Council. Recently the team has worked on prisoner disenfranchisement and adoption in New Zealand. There are also projects concerning the general election and human trafficking.
For more information contact student directors Emily Bruce and Adele Taylor at email@example.com.
This article was first published in LawTalk 768, 25 March 2011, page 7.