CLA pair named ALA 2015 National CJA Winners

23rd Oct 2015

Two people who done more than many to help curb the security powers of police and security forces and governments have been declared the winners of the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) National Civil Justice Award.

Dr Kristine Klugman OAM and Bill Rowlings OAM were presented with the honour at the ALA’s national conference in Hobart this morning.

ALA National President Greg Phelps said that Dr Klugman and Mr Rowlings had shown diligence, passion and vision in their bid to protect the rights and civil liberties, freedoms and responsibilities of all Australians.

“It is for their selfless devotion to improving Australia’s laws and legal system on a voluntary basis over a number of years that the ALA is proud to present this award,” Mr Phelps said.

“The pair founded Civil Liberties Australia (CLA) specifically to monitor the powers and actions of police and security forces, as well as governments, across Australia.

“Their recent work includes campaigning for the ‘Right to Appeal’ law that was recently introduced into the Tasmanian parliament to be mirrored around the nation, so that innocent people have the chance to appeal their wrongful conviction of serious crimes if new evidence comes to light,” Mr Phelps said.

Mr Phelps said that Dr Klugman has been the President of the CLA since 2003, has served on the NSW Legal Aid Commission, was a founding member of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties, and a researcher with the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, where she helped to establish the Criminal Justice tertiary course for police and prison officers.

“Dr Klugman was also the first female President of The Australian Museum and the first female board member and Deputy President in the 100-year history of the Board of Fire Commissioners of NSW, in which role she successfully fought for female firefighters to have the opportunity serve in the NSW Fire Brigades,” Mr Phelps said.

“Mr Rowlings has not only enjoyed a prominent career in the media and public relations, but also received an Order of Australia in 2013 for services to civil liberties and human rights.

“Bill has maintained his commitment to the CLA as the current President and Secretary, managing the day-to-day affairs of the organisation,” Mr Phelps said.

”Without the selfless devotion shown by people such as Dr Klugman and Mr Rowlings in the service of promoting human rights, Australians everywhere would not enjoy the freedoms and ideals that we all hold so dear.”

“I can think of no more worthy winners of ALA’s Civil Justice Award than these two people,” Mr Phelps said.

ALA’s 2015 National Conference is being held at Wrest Point, Hobart from Friday 23 October to Saturday 24 October 2015.

It is the premier annual event for lawyers, barristers and associated professionals with a social justice focus. The conference is attended by many plaintiff and defendant lawyers as well as representatives of the various regulators and insurers.