Who are we?
The Western Sydney University Justice Clinic is a Western Sydney University experiential learning program where law students gain practical lawyering experience while critically reflecting on the role of the law and of lawyers in advancing justice.
What do we do?
Western Sydney University Justice Clinic students work under the supervision of the Director of Clinical Legal Education, School of Law and the Principal Solicitor / Clinical Supervisor. The specific placement activities and opportunities align with clinic projects each semester. They will ordinarily include:
- Working on advice, casework, policy development, submissions and/or research and reporting in substantive law reform or access to justice projects; and
- Participating in clinic instruction and advice appointments.
Please note that the Western Sydney University Justice Clinic does not have a drop in service or general advice line.
If you are a Western Sydney University student requiring legal assistance, please contact the Student Legal Service.
If you are a member of the Western Sydney community and you require legal assistance, please contact the Western Sydney Community Legal Centre.
Clinic Projects and Partnerships
The Western Sydney University Justice Clinic responds to and informs identified law reform and access to justice issues, especially those relevant to the Western Sydney community.
The Western Sydney University Justice Clinic seeks to build ongoing relationships with community stakeholders and partners to inform its work and for project collaborations.
Some of our existing partnerships, and current and recently completed projects, include:
- Pro bono brief to advise on complaint to United Nations Human Rights Committee;
- District Court Indigenous Database project with the District Court of NSW and The Shed;
- Coercive control law reform project with Ashurst and Good Shepherd;
- Development of Modern Slavery Lawyer’s Manual with the Salvation Army and others;
- Human rights implications of COVID in Australia Clinic presentation at Global e-symposium in Qatar (November 2020);
- Development of Fact Sheet series for the Student Legal Service with Criminal Defence Lawyers Australia;
- Regular referrals from Legal Aid NSW for legal aid application work.
Clinic Location and Operating Hours
The Western Sydney University Justice Clinic is located in:
Room 14, Level 2
169 Macquarie street
Parramatta NSW 2150
Students undertaking the Clinical Legal Placement unit with the School of Law attend the Western Sydney University Justice Clinic or at an alternative equivalent site (such as a CLC) on a designated day a week (usually on Tuesdays or Thursdays) for 12 weeks in a semester.
Academic and Professional Staff
Jenni Whelan | View Profile
Jenni has worked as a human rights lawyer for 25 years. She has worked in Australia’s domestic legal system as an in-house government and NGO lawyer, as a Tribunal member and as a human rights implementation consultant. She worked for over a decade at the Australian Human Rights Commission including as Counsel Assisting on the Stolen Children Inquiry and as instructing solicitor for the Commission’s intervention in the High Court 'Malaysian Solution' case. She has been the Legal Director at the St Vincent de Paul Society NSW and a Legal Member of the NSW Guardianship Tribunal and a Guardian Ad Litem of the Children’s Court.
She has worked extensively as a human rights consultant to Government, NGOs’ and corporations including as an Expert on the Rights of the Child to the Australian Defence Force. Jenni has also worked in the international human rights system as Legal Counsel for Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions. Jenni has lectured in discrimination and human rights law for over 20 years and has been the Director of Experiential learning at UNSW Law and co-director of the UNSW Human Rights Clinic. Jenni has led and supervised international and domestic clinic projects in partnership with community and other stakeholders.
These projects focused on testing aspects of law, policy or practice to strategically advance the rights of asylum seekers, refugees, migrant workers and other vulnerable groups. Jenni was appointed as the Clinical Director of Western Sydney University School of Law in March 2020 and will work closely with domestic and international stakeholders on access to justice and law reform projects with Western’s emerging social justice lawyers.
Rebecca Dominguez | View Profile
Rebecca (BA Hons, MLLP Hons) is Principal Solicitor / Clinical Supervisor with the WSU School of Law’s Justice Clinic. Prior to joining WSU, Rebecca was a senior lawyer in the Pro Bono Practice Group of Baker McKenzie specialising in human rights and social justice cases involving modern slavery, human trafficking, forced marriage, family violence, elder abuse, disability discrimination, employment, and refugee and asylum seeker claims. She was responsible for representing her own clients, supervising and mentoring lawyers in Baker McKenzie’s Australian and international offices in pro bono legal cases and managing relationships and referrals with community legal centres, NGOs, public interest organisations, NFPs, private firms and government departments.
Rebecca has partnered with clients to conduct research on domestic and international human rights issues including examining the introduction of civil protections against forced marriage in Australia, Canada and the UK and analysing the intersection between family violence, forced marriage and modern slavery legislation in Australia. She has also assisted community and other stakeholders to draft legal and policy submissions to federal and state government inquiries, including the NSW parliamentary inquiry into the Modern Slavery Act NSW; the Commonwealth parliamentary inquiry into family, domestic and sexual violence; the Victorian Law Reform Commission’s review of the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996; the Queensland parliamentary inquiry into the Human Rights Act; and the Australian Law Reform Commission’s Elder Abuse inquiry.
Rebecca has also worked in-house in legal and compliance, in private practice in worker’s compensation and public liability matters and as a criminal defence lawyer in the Supreme, District, Local and Children’s Courts of NSW, representing clients of the Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) and Legal Aid NSW. She was an inaugural member of Baker’s McKenzie’s Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander engagement committee.
Rebecca appears on panels and in programs for young lawyers and law students on access to justice in the legal sector and social justice career pathways. She was an original contributor to the Australian Pro Bono Centre’s Client Management & Self-Care Guide for pro bono practitioners in Australia. She received the national 2019 Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year award in recognition of her family violence work. Her practice’s work with the Refugee Advice and Casework Service was acknowledged in the 2020 Humanitarian Award for Best Refugee Project in NSW for RACS’ Women At Risk Program.