NSW barrister wins national Civil Justice Award

8th Mar 2022

A NSW barrister who is a passionate advocate for the rights of those who have suffered injury and abuse within institutions has received the Australian Lawyers Alliance’s (ALA) 2021 Civil Justice Award.

Dr Andrew Morrison RFD SC was presented with the award at an ALA conference in Sydney on Friday. ALA National President Graham Droppert SC said Dr Morrison has worked tirelessly for many years to ensure justice for the survivors of institutional child sexual abuse.

“Andrew is a truly deserving recipient of our annual Civil Justice Award,” said Mr Graham Droppert SC, National President, ALA. “Andrew has given a significant amount of his personal time and his expertise over many years to advocate for law reform so that the survivors of historic child sexual abuse can receive justice.

“Most recently Andrew has worked hard to reform the law in relation to setting aside unfair settlements for historic child sexual abuse cases. His persistence and ongoing work on this issue means that survivors of historic sexual abuse are now able to seek the justice that they deserve.”

Dr Morrison RFD SC’s work contributed to the NSW Government’s decision last year to allow courts to set aside unfair settlements in child sexual abuse matters.

“We know that there are many abuse survivors who have, in the past, accepted inadequate compensation and unreasonable gag orders because of the power and financial resources of institutions,” said Dr Morrison RFD SC.  “The new laws allow survivors to pursue the compensation they deserve and overturn the often horribly unfair and unreasonable settlements of the past.

“Many people are working hard to support the survivors of institutional abuse. I am grateful to be recognised with this Award and would like to acknowledge the hard work of so many other lawyers, policy experts and advocates who have all contributed to achieving justice for people who suffered this terrible abuse.”

The ALA’s Civil Justice Award is presented annually to an individual or organisation who has made a significant contribution to the pursuit of civil justice in Australia.

“Andrew is an excellent example of a lawyer who is using his skills and expertise every day to improve the lives of others,” said Mr Droppert SC. “His advocacy and lobbying over many years has directly made a difference to the survivors of institutional abuse.

“We are pleased to be able to acknowledge and recognise Andrew’s outstanding work.”

For 2021, the ALA presented two people with Civil Justice Awards and, Queensland lawyer, Roger Singh from Shine Lawyers, was the other recipient. Previous ALA national Civil Justice Award winners include Malcolm Fraser, John Ellis, Bernard Collaery, Eddie Mabo and Andrew Wilkie.

Tags: Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse Civil Justice Award Child Sexual Abuse