7 November 2018
This Sunday is Remembrance Day. It also marks the 100-year anniversary of the World War I Armistice. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month 1918, Germany and the Allies signed an armistice agreement to finish the war.
The legal profession was not exempt from war. In fact, as leaders in the community, solicitors, barristers, judges and their families led the way for others in the war effort. I will speak more about the contributions of solicitors in World War I in a blog that will be published on Sunday via our LawTalk platform.
This conversation reminds us about legal practitioners’ long history of not only leading the community, but also protecting others. We are a profession steeped in not only tradition but also ethics and duty. We are duty bound to protect the legal system and our clients. That spirit shone through in the wars our country has fought.
During World War I in fact, then Chief Justice of Queensland – Sir Pope Cooper – was a supporter of the war effort. He led the way for practitioners to join up. There were judges whose sons were lost in battle. Those sacrifices left a lasting legacy not only for Australian society, but also for our proud profession.
Those practitioners who did not go to war, still played a key role back at home. They provided free advice to soldiers, offered rooms to the Red Cross and filled the roles that those at war had left behind. Our practitioners – from solicitors and barristers to the judiciary – joined together to embrace the community and those who went to war.
We see the same spirit in our profession today. That of mateship, tradition, guardianship and community. You are part of your local communities and Queensland’s justice system. You engage in pro bono work and in helping your local sporting organisation or family business.
We are united by this willingness to assist others. We should be proud to be a part of a profession that has roots which go back centuries — a profession that steps up when times are tough and helps those around them. Whatever you will do or wherever you go on Sunday, I urge you to take a moment at 11am to pause and reflect on the sacrifices made during World War I.
Lest we forget.