At the heart of our noble profession is a simple concept: collegiality. We are all united by the fact that we are officers of the court, sworn to uphold the law, serve the administration of justice and very simply do what is right, no matter the cost.
In short, we have the privilege to know and the duty to act. When we encounter injustice, we must oppose it—there is no element of choice. We cannot honour and fulfil the oaths we have taken without standing up for the downtrodden and meeting oppressors head on—it is in our DNA.
That obligation is even more urgent when one of our own, one of the people who fight for the public good, is a victim. By that measure, we should all be up in arms about the plight of Nasrin Sotoudeh. This heroic, admirable lawyer stood up for the rights of women and children, opposing degrading and barbaric laws that force girls as young as nine to wear a hijab or face prison, flogging or a fine. For that, she was sentenced to 38 years in jail and 148 lashes.
We cannot stay silent on this point. With the federal election in full swing, it is one of the few times that we have the full and undivided attention of our politicians, so let’s use it. Harry your local members to ensure that Australia overtly and relentlessly condemns Iran for this atrocity—to ensure that Australia motivates the UN to get off its backside and do something—to ensure that justice is more than a pointless platitude.
On a much happier note, Law Week is up and running, with plenty of events to inform and entertain—you can check out the QLS website for more details. Also, the next instalment of the Society’s excellent Solicitor Advocate Course is coming up on 21–22 June, this time in Cairns. This course has been the most popular offering from the Society since its launch in 2017 by then-President Christine Smyth, so if you are interested, register here. Be quick though. These courses sell out in a heartbeat. Also, don’t forget they are available to QLS members at an exclusive subsidised rate!
Hopefully I will see some of you at the various Law Week events, and no matter what, stay safe and brave.