Modern Slavery Law Clinic

Modern Slavery Law Clinic seeks to assist those caught up in modern slavery by providing legal help to those who might not otherwise have the resources or the expertise in seeking justice.

While open to partnering with NGOs throughout the world, the Modern Slavery Law Clinic is focused, in the main, on Asia and provides legal capacity to NGOs and lawyers in the region to assist them in bringing claims which challenge the legal landscape and provide redress for victims of human rights violations.

The Modern Slavery Law Clinic also provides technical assistance to States to support them in ensuring their international obligations touching on modern slavery are effectively undertaken, through the development of suitable legislation and policy options. The Clinic staff are open to providing legal training to grassroots workers, judges, the police, social workers and other front-line workers who are addressing modern slavery, including ‘training the trainers’; and to assisting businesses in ensuring their supply chains a free of modern slavery.

Established in 2019, the Modern Slavery Law Clinic is based in the Faculty of Law, Monash University. A trailblazer in the clinical legal education for nearly half a century, Monash Law guarantees to all its students the possibility of developing their practical legal skills by assisting people from adverse and disadvantaged backgrounds to seek justice.

Each student participating in the Modern Slavery Law Clinic has the benefit of the international experience provided by taking the upper-level LAW4687 – Human Trafficking, Modern Slavery and the Law  – providing them with the subject-matter expertise foundational to providing assistance to others in dealing with legal issues of modern slavery.

Human Trafficking, Modern Slavery and the Lawis taught at Malaysia, taking advantage of Monash Malaysia campus to focus student minds on issues of modern slavery within ASEAN States and other countries of South East Asia. Under the New Colombo Plan’s Mobility Program, funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, students not only benefit from learning about issues of modern slavery in situin Malaysia, but for those students in leadership positions within the Clinic, the possibility of travelling in the region to visit with NGOs and others prospective clients of the Modern Slavery Law Clinic.

Members of the 2019 Pilot of the Modern Slavery Law Clinic: 

Sharda Bhargave, Nejra Mandzic, Stephanie Janisch, Prof Jean Allain, Evthoxia Annabelle Apokis, and Phoebe Naylor

In piloting the Modern Slavery Law Clinic in early 2019, we assisted the Global Pro Bono Bar Association and the International Justice Mission in understanding the legal landscape of various countries in Asia and networks of collaboration amongst ASEAN States. In working with the Global Pro Bono Bar Association, we collaborated with Clinical Legal Education program at Pepperdine Law in California, USA.

Students at K&L Gates (Melbourne): 

The students benefited by being under the supervision of lawyers from K&L Gates (Melbourne), where they received insights into transitioning from University to the profession and gained insights into pro bono work within a leading global law firm.

Our People

The Modern Slavery Law Clinic benefits from a number of comparative advantages. The first Modern Slavery Law Clinic to be established globally, it benefits from the two of the foremost thought-leaders and pioneers of clinical education: Profs. Jeff Giddings and Adrian Evans.

The Clinic also benefits from a high concentration of expertise in moderns slavery, including Prof.Jean Allain, whose work has ‘revolutionised contemporary slavery studies globally’.  Prof Allain is Special Adviser to Anti-Slavery International, the world’s oldest human rights organisation, and also holds the Chair in International Law at WISE – the Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation – of the University of Hull, UK.

Associate Professor Julie Debeljak brings practice experience to her role, having had extensive field research experience on issues of modern slavery both in Australia and across the Greater Mekong Sub-region, manifest in her 2012 book (co-authored Susan Kneebone) Transnational Crime and Human Rights: Responses to Human Trafficking in the Greater Mekong Sub-region.

Dr Heli Askola has had a long time interest and demonstrative expertise in the area of modern slavery having authored the 2007 Legal Responses to Trafficking in Women for Sexual Exploitation in the European Union. She has provided her expertise to various international bodies including the International Organisation for Migration, the European Parliament, and the European Commission.