Tuesday 19 November 2013

Judge Joe Harman, Robert Reed, Associate Professor Andrea Durbach and Tamar Hopkins are the finalists for the 2013 Australian Human Rights Law Award.

The Australian Human Rights Commissioner, President Professor Gillian Triggs, announced the shortlist today. Professor Triggs said finalists for the Young People’s Human Rights Medal and the Human Rights Medal will be announced later this week.

Judge Joe Harman, together with Deborah Nitkin and Mary Gleeson, Judge Harman helped establish the Barnardos Legal Service and was instrumental in establishing the Penrith Court Support Scheme.

Judge Harman was appointed to the Federal Magistrates Court (now the Federal Circuit Court) in 2010. He has encouraged recognition of the rights of children, women, LGBTI  people and Indigenous Australians in parenting decisions.

Robert Reed leads law firm Minter Ellison’s Queensland Community Investment Program, which focuses on homelessness, access to justice, alleviation of poverty, and disadvantaged youth.

Mr Reed oversees Minter Ellison’s involvement in the Queensland Public Interest Law Clearing House (QPILCH) Homeless Persons’ Legal Clinic in Brisbane and was responsible for developing a telephone legal clinic for this service, the first of its kind in Australia.

Associate Professor Andrea Durbach is a member of the Faculty of Law at the University of New South Wales and previously headed the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, where she established the Homeless Persons’ Legal Service and led the establishment of the Public Interest Law Clearing House. Before coming to Australia, Associate Professor Durbach represented 25 black defendants in the notorious Upington death penalty case in South Africa.

Tamar Hopkins is a community lawyer with the Flemington Kensington Community Legal Centre in Melbourne. Ms Hopkins was a key driver in the first and most significant challenge to the practice of racial profiling, achieving a landmark agreement for Victoria police to publicly review its training practices. The case was the first time Victoria’s police have faced allegations of racial profiling under the Commonwealth Racial Discrimination Act.

Tickets are available online for the Human Rights Awards on 10 December at the Museum of Contemporary Art, with MC Craig Reucassel from The Chaser

Details of finalists in the media, business, literature and community categories are also online at