Teaching clinic within a practice of injustice: clinical legal education with asylum-seekers in Australia

Asylum-seekers cases are highly politicised. For example, those who arrived by boat between 2012- 2013 are the subject of numerous changes in policy and law, including a new ‘fast track assessment’ with short timeframes to make applications, and little access to legal assistance or interpreters.

This paper will present research on the impact of this on the mental health of the applicants and their lawyers and migration agents. It will ask, are these cases appropriate for clinical legal teaching? Should students be protected from areas that are highly politicised and traumatic or is exposure to law’s injustice an important part of legal education?