Social justice practice
At Maurice Blackburn we recognise that there are individuals and
organisations in our community who cannot afford the services of a
lawyer. That's why in appropriate cases, Maurice Blackburn will
provide legal services to such organisations and individuals on a
no charge (pro bono) or reduced charge basis. We also work
with many barristers on a similar basis. We fight for
This work is based on the view that Australian and international
law should support the notion of justice and reflect community
values. The firm's Social Justice Practice challenges the excesses
of government and business and champions the rights of those that
are disadvantaged. We believe legal action that supports social
justice contributes to a better society.
A history of fighting for
Maurice Blackburn has led litigation in the public interest on
behalf of refugees, workers who have been underpaid, and people who
have been unfairly targeted by national security legislation.
As far back as 1945, the firm worked with the ACTU and won a
claim for the 40-hour week. Maurice Blackburn also worked together
with union clients for equal wages for women throughout the 1950s
and 60s until the final victory in 1972, when the principle of
equal pay for equal work became law. In 1966 we acted on behalf of
the Northern Australian Workers Union in a landmark victory in the
Northern Territory Cattle Industry Case.
Aboriginal men employed as station hands achieved wage equality and
award conditions were extended to them. This case set the stage for
similar decisions to be achieved in other industries.
Social Justice practice
Maurice Blackburn has a dedicated Social Justice Practice,
headed by Elizabeth O'Shea which draws on lawyers from each of the
firms different practice areas, providing access to the some of the
best legal social justice expertise in Australia.
Key areas of practice:
Examples of how Maurice Blackburn's Social Justice Practice has
assisted organisations and individuals are listed on the left.
Maurice Blackburn welcomes applications for assistance. These
should be directed to Elizabeth O'Shea.