New national president appointed as ALA celebrates 25 years
1st Jul 2019
The new national president of the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) will take on the role from 1 July 2019 as the organisation celebrates its 25th anniversary.
In accepting leadership of the organisation the new president, Mr Andrew Christopoulos, has reaffirmed the ALA’s commitment to the importance of preserving common law rights and ensuring access to justice for everyone.
“The 25th anniversary is a good time to take stock of the important work that has been done by the ALA and review where our journey has taken us,” said Mr Christopoulos. “It is also an ideal opportunity for further discussion about balancing rights and interests in our advocacy work to protect the common law.
“Australia is unusual among common law countries in not having a legislative bill of rights. While the courts are vested with power to protect those rights, legislation can specifically override this power.
“We are increasingly seeing legislation eroding common law rights, primarily in the form of statutory schemes, and our challenge is to ensure that we continue to work towards achieving justice and the best outcomes for individuals.
“We are committed to protecting the rights of individuals to access justice. All Australians have a right to access legal services and our legal system runs the risk of becoming meaningless if barriers prevent people from accessing or enforcing their rights.”
The ALA began in 1994 and was originally known as the Australian Plaintiff Lawyers Association. It has had several well-known national presidents in the past including Tom Goudkamp OAM, Greg Barns, Andrew Stone SC and Peter Semmler QC.
“For 25 years the ALA’s commitment to justice, fairness and protecting the rights of the individual has not wavered. Our values and principles are relevant whether we are fighting for justice for someone injured on the road or in a workplace accident, a survivor of abuse, someone in immigration detention or a person with a disability,” said Mr Christopoulos.
Mr Christopoulos is the Principal of AC Lawyers and has many years of experience working in personal injury litigation and dispute resolution. Mr Christopoulos takes over from Ms Noor Blumer, now the ALA’s immediate past president.