Change Makers: Financial Barriers to Accessing Constitutional Justice

Thursday, 2 December, 2021 - 17:00 to 18:15

Join Monash Law and the AACL as they partner for the final instalment of the 2021 Change Makers series.

About this event

The Constitution guarantees legal access to the courts for the purpose of reviewing the lawfulness of government action. But practical access to the courts is not guaranteed.

Financial barriers may operate more widely and effectively than privative clauses in protecting government action from judicial review. Court fees are beyond the means of most Australians. A one-day hearing before the High Court in a constitutional matter will cost a litigant about $10,000 in court fees. And the risk of an adverse costs order is a serious disincentive to challenging government action. The Public Interest Law Clearing House estimated that in some situations up to 9 out of 10 meritorious cases do not commence due to fear of an adverse costs order.


Isabelle Reinecke, Executive Director and Founder, Grata Fund (@isreinecke)

Isabelle Reinecke is the Executive Director and Founder of Grata Fund, which provides adverse costs protection and disbursement funding for people who are seeking access to justice for human rights, democratic freedoms and climate harm litigation in Australia. Isabelle is a Churchill Fellow and the 2021 Women's Leadership Institute of Australia Fellow. Previously Isabelle was Legal & Governance Director, GetUp and Solicitor, Clayton Utz.

Jack Maxwell, Barrister, Vic Bar (@_jackmaxwell)

Jack Maxwell is a barrister at the Victorian Bar practising in public and commercial law. Jack previously worked at the Victorian Government Solicitor's Office and as a research fellow at the Public Law Project in London, and has published widely in law journals and online publications.

Chair: Associate Professor Luke Beck, Monash Law (@DrLukeBeck)

Associate Professor Luke Beck is an Associate Professor of Constitutional Law. He is also Associate Dean (Education) of the Faculty of Law.