How we work

How we work

The Police Accountability Project is a unique socio-legal advocacy project that applies a variety of legal, law reform and community advocacy strategies.

We are a specialist and innovative non-for-profit legal practice located within the Inner Melbourne Community Legal Centre (IMCL), taking the lead in police accountability law and strategies.

Our legal team provide specialist and public interest casework services, test cases and legal action for victims of police abuse including: discrimination cases, civil actions, judicial reviews, criminal defence work, coronial inquests and FOI applications.

We spearhead landmark cases, develop new approaches, build networks and drive the political, cultural and systemic change required for true police accountability.

The Advocacy-Legal-Advocacy model

This centre prides itself on a legal-advocacy model.  Community outreach, legal education and assertive advocacy for young people in their initial allegations of police assault leads directly, to a large public interest litigation cases – which instigates more substantial community and political advocacy.  Our staff team consists of youth workers, experienced solicitors and advocacy and law reform officers who work together on cases.

Most cases within the Police Accountability Project follow a similar, integrated pattern of Advocacy – Legal – Advocacy.

Law reform and advocacy for political, systemic, policy and cultural change has always accompanied and been informed and strengthened by the casework and litigation.  In essence, the casework we do within this project is advocacy in action.

For an explanation of the Police Accountability Projects’ use of strategic litigation see Civil Litigation as a Police Accountability Mechanism (IMCL)

Find out about our Walking Alongside Program.

Find out more of our History.

What we do

The Police Accountability Project:

a) Provides information to victims of police misconduct and the community about police misconduct, racial profiling, where to go for help, what to do if you are assaulted, and your rights and the police

b) Increases the access of victims to justice through civil litigation and anti-discrimination mechanisms

c) Assists victims to defend charges laid by police after they have made a complaint about police behaviour

d) Seeks systemic changes such as the introduction of a fully independent, effective and human rights compliant police complaint system

 e) Works with other legal centres, justice centres, universities, community groups, individuals, lawyers, advocates, youth workers towards increasing the safety of the community in their interactions with police and the elimination of human rights abuses by police

f) Supports, works with and resources impacted communities to address racially discriminatory policing in their lives

g) Draws upon local, national and international campaign experiences, resources and connections

h) Conducts targeted research into policing practice, social impacts, policy and police accountability mechanisms

i) Distributes information gained from this project to government, human rights bodies, police, community organisations and community legal and human rights organisations confronting similar issues

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