The Indigenous Cultural Competency for Legal Academics Program (ICCLAP) aims to increase the inclusion of Indigenous cultural competency in legal education. This will improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student outcomes in law as well as developing Indigenous cultural competency in all students. This will lead to better legal service delivery for Indigenous communities in the long term.
ICCLAP is a cross institutional project involving five universities including the University of New England, University of Technology (Sydney), RMIT University, Australian National University, and Queensland University of Technology. The project is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training.
In May 2016, Marcelle Burns and Professor Larissa Behrendt from the ICCLAP Project Team participated in a roundtable convened by the NSW Department of Justice to discuss the department’s response to the Standing Committee on Law and Justice’s report on The family response to the murders in Bowraville. The report made a number of important recommendations regarding the need for greater Aboriginal cultural awareness in the legal education including that the Department of Justice request that all universities offering legal training offer Aboriginal cultural awareness as a compulsory element of their courses.
A number of universities were represented at the roundtable, where there was broad support for the inclusion of Aboriginal cultural competency in legal education. Participants at the roundtable were also keen to distinguish between cultural awareness and cultural competency, with the later including the ability to reflect on their own ‘culture and professional paradigms in order to understand its cultural limitations and effect positive change.’ (Universities Australia, 2011, Guiding Principles for Developing Indigenous Cultural Competency in Australian Universities).
The ICCLAP Project Team support these recommendations, which highlight the need for the inclusion of Indigenous cultural competency in legal education. A further roundtable to review the implementation of these recommendations is to be held in early 2017.
The NSW Parliament’s Standing Committee on Law and Justice’s report on The family response to the murders in Bowraville is available at. https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/committees/inquiries/Pages/inquiry-details.aspx?pk=2131#tab-reports
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY
We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.
Support for this project has been provided by the Australian Government Department for Education and Training. The views in this project do not necessary reflect the views of the Australian Government Department for Education and Training.
School of Law, University of New England
Phone: 02 6773 2686
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org