New principal solicitors bolster National Justice Project

Emma Hearne and Ashleigh Buckett will be co-heads of the firm's legal team

New principal solicitors bolster National Justice Project
Ashleigh Buckett, Emma Hearne

Emma Hearne and Ashleigh Buckett have become principal solicitors at human rights law firm the National Justice Project.

Hearne and Buckett will both head up the firm’s team of social justice lawyers alongside CEO George Newhouse. The new principal solicitors were admitted by the NSW Law Society.

Buckett commenced with the National Justice Project in 2018, bringing a rich background in international law. Her She has tackled significant human rights cases, helping to secure urgent medical care for refugees in offshore immigration detention. At present, she is acting for Leetona Dungay, who filed a complaint against the Australian government with the UN regarding her son David Dungay's death while in prison custody.

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She will spearhead the National Justice Project’s efforts to expand into climate justice work.

Hearne began working with the National Justice Project in 2017. She has helped asylum seekers and refugees in the country’s offshore detention centres on Nauru and Papua New Guinea to access life-saving medical treatment. Her efforts contributed to the #kidsoffnauru campaign and the 'Medevac Bill,' leading to significant policy changes.

She has experience as a criminal defence lawyer. She has helped Indigenous Australians in their legal battles against the police, corrective services and health services for mistreatment, abuse, negligence and discrimination. Currently, she is acting on damages claims for refugees who suffered in Australia’s offshore detention centres in addition to helming a large, complex claim for the mistreatment of young people in Banksia Hill Detention Centre

“I’m passionate about fighting against laws arbitrarily imposed, often rushed through, that only target or affect minorities. Governments and government institutions wield so much power over individuals that we need to join together to hold them to account”, Hearne said.

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