'The difficulties of communication encountered by Indigenous peoples’: moving beyond Indigenous deficit in the model admission rules for legal practitioners

Burns, Marcelle and Young, Simon and Nielsen, Jennifer (2018) 'The difficulties of communication encountered by Indigenous peoples’: moving beyond Indigenous deficit in the model admission rules for legal practitioners. Legal Education Review, 28 (2). pp. 1-27. ISSN 1033-2839

[img]
Preview
Text (Accepted Version)
Burns Young Nielsen Deficit Discourse LER final corrected author version.pdf

Download (417Kb) | Preview

Abstract

The Law Admissions Consultative Committee’s Model Admission Rules 2015 require new practising lawyers to have an ‘awareness’ of the difficulties of communication attributable to cultural differences, including ‘the difficulties of communication encountered by Indigenous peoples’ (LACC: 31). While there is no doubt that effective cross-communication is essential to providing ethical legal representation for clients from diverse cultural backgrounds, this paper will argue that in the context of the First Peoples of Australia greater regulatory attention to these issues is urgently needed and that the ‘difficulties of communication’ need to be framed differently. Numerous reports and inquiries have shown that First Peoples’ encounters with the Australian legal system are fraught with a lack of cultural understanding on the part of non-Indigenous legal actors. Given the ongoing and systemic over-representation of First Peoples in the criminal justice system and child protection regimes, there is a critical need for lawyers to develop Indigenous cultural competency as one step towards addressing this gross injustice, and making the Australian legal system more responsive to the needs and aspirations of First Peoples. Canadian developments, particularly in the wake of the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, underline the scale and significance of this need, and provide some broader context for a reconsideration of legal education and professional admission requirements in Australia. This paper will argue that Indigenous cultural competency should be a mandatory requirement for admission to legal practice in Australia, and that the ‘deficit discourse’ on First Peoples’ engagement with the legal system must be discarded, to ensure that legal ethical and professional responsibilities are inclusive of the needs of First Peoples.


Statistics for USQ ePrint 36505
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Accepted version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Law and Justice (1 July 2013 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Law and Justice (1 July 2013 -)
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2019 05:59
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2019 04:27
Uncontrolled Keywords: Legal education Indigenous cultural competency Deficit discourse Legal ethics Professional responsibility Regulation of law schools Admission rules Canadian legal education
Fields of Research : 18 Law and Legal Studies > 1801 Law > 180121 Legal Practice, Lawyering and the Legal Profession
18 Law and Legal Studies > 1801 Law > 180101 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Law
18 Law and Legal Studies > 1801 Law > 180106 Comparative Law
18 Law and Legal Studies > 1801 Law > 180119 Law and Society
18 Law and Legal Studies > 1801 Law > 180102 Access to Justice
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930202 Teacher and Instructor Development
C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9502 Communication > 950201 Communication Across Languages and Culture
C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9503 Heritage > 950302 Conserving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage
C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9303 Curriculum > 930302 Syllabus and Curriculum Development
C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950503 Understanding Australia's Past
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/36505

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only