Flinders University has joined forces with the Environmental Defenders Office SA in a new partnership that will provide opportunities for law students to gain practical legal experience in the not-for-profit organisation, and to contribute to environmental advocacy in SA.
Officially launched by Supreme Court Chief Justice Chris Kourakis last night (Wednesday, September 24), the partnership will enable Flinders law students to undertake work placements at the Environmental Defenders Office SA (EDO SA) as part of their enrolment in the topic Social Justice Internship.
Students will also have an opportunity to contribute to, and improve, environmental advocacy in SA by providing legal advice to clients under supervision, submissions to government and community legal education.
The EDO SA is a statewide service that assists the community to understand SA environmental laws by providing free legal assistance, advice and education to individuals, organisations and community groups on matters such as town planning and development, conservation, cultural heritage, tree protection, air, noise and water pollution, and third party appeal rights.
The organisation, which moved into premises at Flinders University Victoria Square earlier this year, along with the Practical Legal Training team from the Law School, will also provide mentorship and opportunities for Flinders students to work on Federal and SA policy and law reform matters through the Law School’s Environmental Law or Planning Law elective topics.
Flinders Law School Dean, Professor Kim Economides, said the School already has a strong interest in environmental law research, and the new relationship will bring a different perspective and dynamic to the focus.
“The potential for students to be involved in research and policy through their exposure to the work of the EDO SA will broaden the dimensions of environmental research within the Law School,” Professor Economides said.
“The synergies of the relationship, and the broader networks involved, will augment research capacity and provide further opportunities for valuable cross-disciplinary research,” he said.
“Overall, the opportunities provided through the partnership will allow students to develop skills in teamwork and coordination, problem solving, communication, research, legal argument, law reform and reinforce an understanding and commitment to legal professional values and their role in supporting the delivery of legal services and access to justice.”