Fiona McLeod SC presents Solomon Lecture in Queensland

On 27 August 2019 Fiona presented the David Solomon Lecture Accountability in the Age of the Artificial in Brisbane at the request of the Queensland Information Commissioner. The paper explores issues of government and business accountability in the use and sharing of big data and artificial intelligence. The paper identifies seven big challenges to accountability and a road map to reform.

An edited transcript of the speech reproduced in two parts in the Mandarin is available here (Part 1) and here (Part 2).

A copy of the podcast appears here.

Transparency International Australia welcomes new Chair

Transparency International Australia welcomes Fiona McLeod SC as the new Board Chair.

‘I warmly welcome Fiona to the leadership of our Board. We are grateful to have her extensive experience in, and lifelong commitment to, promoting justice, accountability and transparency,’ said Transparency International Australia CEO, Serena Lillywhite. 

‘I am delighted to have been chosen to Chair of the Board of Transparency International Australia,’ said Fiona McLeod.

‘It is an honour to work for such an important organisation dedicated to tackling corruption and promoting good governance.

Media here and here

Law Council launches Justice Project Final Report

The Justice Project is one of the most significant pieces of work the Law Council has ever undertaken: a landmark project examining the state of access to justice in Australia, particularly for disadvantaged people.

This Project was inspired by the realisation of a simple truth - that despite our lofty commitment to equality before the law, for many tens of thousands of Australians, equality, and justice, remain out of reach.

We accept this situation as inevitable when it is not.

We do so perhaps because we consider the cost of access to justice for all is too high.

Or perhaps because we do not understand the devastating impact of injustice upon lives, because the voices of those denied justice are not heard.

It was my intention that we give a voice to those who are most vulnerable to the impacts of this inequality.

It has been a joy to work with an extraordinary team of policy lawyers at the Law Council on this Project. They should be immensely proud of the body of work they have produced. It is an honour to have been so ably assisted by our Steering Committee. It has been a privilege to work with the hundreds of lawyers and their clients who spoke directly to me, and to the team, over the course of the consultations. Their stories will stay with me forever.


Accountability Round Table appoints Fiona McLeod SC new Chair

The Accountability Round Table is delighted to announce that eminent barrister Fiona McLeod SC has been appointed its new Chair 

She replaces Tim Smith, a former Supreme Court judge and foundation President of ART, which he co-founded in 2006.

“I am honoured to accept the office and to advance ART’s valuable work in scrutinising government accountability and integrity,” Ms McLeod said.

“Important steps are being taken in open government, but there is still much work to do to set up a federal anti-corruption body and ensure donations to political parties are transparent and not able to buy influence, to name just two pressing issues.”

The Accountability Round Table is a non-partisan group of citizens with diverse backgrounds (academics, lawyers, politicians, journalists, authors) who are concerned with the current erosion of honesty and integrity in our democracy.  It is dedicated to improving standards of accountability, probity, transparency and democratic practice in all governments and parliaments in Australia.

Media release here

Justice Project Progress Report launch at the National Press Club

Speaking at the National Press Club today to launch the Justice Project Progress Report, Law Council immediate past President Fiona McLeod SC said:

“The Justice Project is one of the most significant pieces of the work The Law Council has ever undertaken, a landmark project to review the state of access to justice in Australia, particularly for disadvantaged people, and gather the evidence to make the case for reform.

This is a project that transcends party politics - it is about supporting our most vulnerable and lifting them out of disadvantage. Our visits leave a nagging certainty that we are pushing difficult social problems to the legal fringes, towards good hearted individuals in the legal assistance sector who are struggling to provide the service they want and their clients need - and who are destined for burn-out and despair. It’s absolutely clear that a systemic lack of access to justice contributes enormously to cycles of intergenerational trauma and disadvantage within communities. Let us learn from the findings of the Justice Project concerning what is working and what is not”

The Final Report of this ambitious project will be available mid 2018

National Press Club Speeches available here

Watch on i’view available here

Progress Report is available here

LCA President announces ambitious Justice Project

Conceived and overseen by President Fiona McLeod SC, the Law Council is conducting a comprehensive national review into the impediments to justice in Australia, focusing on those facing significant social and economic disadvantage in our community. This work will culminate in a final report at the end of November 2017.

Details of this important project including the Terms of Reference and Steering Committee membership are available on the Law Council website


Appointment as President of the Law Council of Australia

Fiona McLeod SC has been appointed President and will lead the Law Council of Australia in 2017.

Ms McLeod SC served as president-elect of the Law Council in 2016 and is a former president of the Australian Bar Association and the Victorian Bar.

Having gone to the Bar in 1991 and taken silk in 2003, Ms McLeod SC specialises in public law, commercial and common law.

She has received numerous awards and been recognised for her commitment to human rights and equality. She was appointed to the Victorian Honour roll in recognition of her work on behalf of gender equality and human trafficking.

When she takes on the presidency in 2017, she will be the fourth woman, and the first woman barrister, to hold the role in the organisation's 84-year history - .

Media report here

Law Council of Australia