Law Council of Australia


Kate Eastman AM SC honoured for her commitment to human rights

28 November 2022

NSW barrister, Kate Eastman AM SC’s distinguished career and commitment to addressing and preventing human rights injustices was recognised by the Law Council of Australia at its Gala Dinner Friday night, with the bestowal of the 2022 President’s Award.

The President’s Award honours an individual who has been an ‘outstanding example to the Australian legal profession and to those who might seek to join its ranks’.

“An inspiration is certainly an apt way to summarise the impact Kate has made over her career," Law Council of Australia President, Mr Tass Liveris said.

“For 30 years, Kate has been committed to providing pro-bono assistance for individuals in human rights cases. This has spanned representing Yazidi women trafficked into Syria, David Hicks during his time in Guantanamo Bay, asylum seekers, women experiencing sexual violence, children with disabilities seeking access to education and war crimes investigations.

“Most recently, Ms Eastman has been Senior Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability.

“This impressive list represents only a tiny portion of her work and the difference she has made in the lives of so many.”

Ms Eastman has practiced as a barrister since 1998 and was appointed Senior Counsel in 2012. Her areas of practice are employment, discrimination, human rights, professional conduct, international law and public law.

In 2021, Kate was appointed a member of the Order of Australia for significant service to the law, human rights and professional organisations.

“Kate has not only been a dedicated advocate throughout her career, but committed to fostering and improving our justice system and our profession,” Mr Liveris said.

“She has generously shared her time and knowledge as a member of a number of Law Council Committees, and is currently the Chair of our Equal Opportunity Committee, as well as NSW Bar Association Committees.

“Through this work, she has been a driving force behind the Law Council’s Equitable Briefing Policy, our submission to the Australian Human Rights Commission’s National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces, the Diversity and Equality Charter, and the Law Council’s National Action Plan to Reduce Sexual Harassment.

“Kate has been a valued and valuable source of advice and guidance to the Law Council. It was a great privilege to be able to present this Award to Kate and express our gratitude for all she has done and continues to do to uphold the honour and integrity of the Australian legal profession and the judiciary.”

Contact: Kristen Connell, P. 0400 054 227, E.


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