Attorney-General, Simon Corbell, today announced the appointment of Jon Stanhope AO as the president of the Legal Aid Commission for the next five years.
“As a former ACT Chief Minister, Attorney-General and administrator of Christmas and Cocos islands, Jon Stanhope is well qualified to be the president of the ACT Legal Aid Commission,” Mr Corbell said.
“He has extensive experience in both the ACT and Commonwealth spheres, and is a strong advocate for vulnerable people.
“Mr Stanhope’s leadership and experience will be invaluable to Legal Aid, particularly as the National Partnership Agreement on Legal Assistance is being renegotiated with the Commonwealth.”
Mr Stanhope’s achievements during his time as Attorney-General of the ACT include the introduction of the Human Rights Act 2004, which made the territory the first jurisdiction in Australia to formally adopt human rights legislation.
Admitted as a barrister and solicitor in the ACT, Mr Stanhope has a Bachelor of Laws from the ANU and has a strong legal background. Prior to being ACT Attorney-General he was a legal officer in the Commonwealth Public Service for 15 years, Secretary of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, chief-of-staff to Federal Attorney General, Michael Lavarch, and a solicitor for ACT Legal Aid.
“Í look forward to working with Mr Stanhope on the board to ensure the continued effective management of the Legal Aid Commission,” Mr Corbell said.
“I would also like to thank outgoing president, Michael Peedom, for his leadership and contributions to the Legal Aid Commission over the past five years,” Mr Corbell said.
“Under his stewardship, Legal Aid ACT has undergone a period of renewal and consolidation.
“The board of the Legal Aid Commission plays a critical role in the provision of legal assistance to the community by determining the broad policies, priorities and strategies of the commission.”
The board is made up of the president and chief executive officer of the ACT Legal Aid Commission, and six other members including representatives of the minister, Bar Association, Law Society and the ACT Council of Social Services (ACTCOSS), a member with financial management experience and a member who can provide specialist experience.
(Simon Corbell Media Release)