George Newhouse wins 2019 ALA Civil Justice Award

25th Oct 2019

A lawyer who uses his skills and expertise to make a significant difference to the lives of vulnerable people, including asylum seekers and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, has received the 2019 Australian Lawyers Alliance’s (ALA) Civil Justice Award.

Sydney lawyer, Mr George Newhouse was presented with the award during the ALA’s national conference in Queensland today.

“George Newhouse is a truly deserving recipient of our annual Civil Justice Award,” said Mr Andrew Christopoulos, National President, ALA. “His work through the National Justice Project gives a voice to people who would otherwise be unable to access legal representation and helps to address systemic problems of abuse and discrimination.”

Mr Newhouse co-founded the National Justice Project, a not-for-profit legal centre, in 2016. As the principal solicitor of the Project, he uses the law to support and advance social justice and human rights in Australia. 

The National Justice Project works with some of Australia’s most vulnerable communities, providing legal support to people who struggle to access justice.

“Mr Newhouse is an advocate for the development of a justice system which is fair and equitable, and he is known for taking on the most challenging cases that offer the opportunity to advance human rights and address systemic injustice,” said Mr Christopoulos.

“Mr Newhouse makes himself available 24/7 in the fight for justice for those in need. He is an excellent example of a lawyer who is using his skills and expertise every day to improve the lives of others.”

Recent important cases for Mr Newhouse include:

  • Representation for the Deaths in Custody Watch Committee of WA at the inquest into the death of Ms Dhu, who tragically died in custody in WA. The inquiry into her death culminated in the introduction of the Custody Notification Scheme, and a halt in arrests for fine default.
  • The National Justice Project’s class action to allow detainees in immigration detention to retain access to and use of their mobile phones - a claim which was successful.
  • Winning ground-breaking strategic cases which led to getting all of the #KidsOffNauru.
  • Representing the family of Naomi Williams in a coronial inquest into her death, which led to the NSW Deputy State Coroner making findings about implicit racial bias in health care systems.

“In each of these victories, Mr Newhouse not only represented an individual who had experienced severe injustice but he has had a wider and highly significant impact on public policy and the law,” said Mr Christopoulos.


Tags: Civil Justice Award