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Monash University Faculty of Law

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James Campbell

I have come to believe that because we’ve had the opportunity to receive a world-class legal education.

Through these experiences, I have seen that so many people in our community continue to suffer under an incredible disadvantage, extreme hardship, and are locked out of justice, fairness, and equal opportunity in life.

I’ve learned that having a legal education puts us in a privileged position: of knowing and understanding the language that governs our institutions, our community, and our daily life. And to the extent that we have that knowledge, we also have a toolkit that is capable of making a difference - even a modest difference - to those who don't have that same privilege, and who need it most.

Through the clinical program, I’ve also seen that people may be deprived of justice because the system or the law itself fails them. I’ve had to confront the fact that our laws are not inherently good - when lawmaking power, authority or discretion is not exercised justly, fairly or in good faith, our laws can become a tool of oppression.

With the tools that a legal education provides, I’ve learned that we are uniquely positioned to identify these wrongs and to advocate for change and reform where it is necessary to do justice. But most importantly, from my time at Monash I have come to believe that because we’ve had the opportunity to receive a world-class legal education, we also have an obligation to do so - to use it for good.