Australian Lawyers Alliance Civil Justice Awards

1st Jan 2014

Every year, the Australian Lawyers Alliance presents the highly acclaimed Civil Justice Awards to individuals and organisations around the country who have displayed outstanding advocacy in their support for human rights and social justice.

Sometimes a single individual, through extreme personal risk or sacrifice will fight to preserve individual rights, human dignity, or safety.  On other occasions, an individual’s lifetime commitment to preservation of rights and human dignity will make them worthy candidates.

The outstanding work of advocacy organisations and community legal centres has also been extensively recognised.

In many circumstances, award recipients have persevered despite difficult challenges, to fight for the rights of the individual.

This may have included an element of personal risk, sacrifice and a dedicated commitment to the pursuit of the public interest, no matter the cost.

In such cases, the dedicated advocacy of award recipients both informs and heightens public awareness of important issues, which will often lead to systemic change that may benefit a local community or the nation.

The Australian Lawyers Alliance Civil Justice Awards recognise the dedication, commitment and perseverance of individuals and organisations to social justice and human rights in Australia.

The National Civil Justice Award is presented at our National Conference annually in October. State-based Civil Justice Awards are presented at our State Conferences annually.

We warmly applaud the achievements of our previous winners:

Year National Civil Justice Award Recipient

Ferdi Tanoni, Director, West Timor Care Foundation

Outstanding advocacy for communities in Nusa Tenggara Timur, Indonesia, who have sustained severe economic, social and environmental impacts following the Montara oil spill, which occurred in Australian waters of the Timor Sea in 2009.



Eddie Mabo (posthumous)

Accepted by his daughter Gail Mabo, the Award celebrated his outstanding advocacy for the achievement of Indigenous rights, including the common law recognition of native title 

David Manne, Director, Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre

Outstanding advocacy for refugee rights, including successful challenge in the High Court of Australia of the 'Malaysia Solution', and his representation of individuals negatively assessed by ASIO.


Colin Macdonald QC

Outstanding advocacy in support of the rights of Indigenous people in the Northern Territory and in recognition of his work in saving Australians Scott Rush and Renae Lawrence from the death penalty in Indonesia.

2010 Malcolm Fraser


Year Jurisdiction State Civil Justice Award Recipient
2014 Victoria

Flemington and Kensington Community Legal Centre

Awarded in recognition of outstanding advocacy to the United Nations on behalf of a young Victorian woman subjected to police brutality  

2014 QLD

John Sneddon

Outstanding advocacy in defending criminal charges for five years against Australian citizen, Marcus Lee, in Dubai.

2013 QLD

Peter Boyce

Outstanding advocacy in his work supporting the family of Daniel Morcombe, including establishing the Daniel Morcombe Foundation to improve children's safety in Australia.

2013 VIC

Lynette Rowe

Outstanding advocacy as the lead plaintiff in the class action fighting for the rights of thalidomide survivors against German drug company Grunenthal.

2012 VIC

David Manne

Outstanding advocacy for refugee rights

2012 QLD

Paul Pisasale, Mayor of Ipswich

Outstanding advocacy for communities impacted by Queensland floods

Tags: Human rights Civil Justice Award