About

The Police Accountability Project (PAP) is undertaking some of the most important human rights work in Australia at present.

PAP is a specialist, innovative, public interest legal project located within the Flemington & Kensington Community Legal Centre, taking the lead in police accountability law and strategies.

The Police Accountability Project is located in Victoria, Australia.

By providing victim-centred remedies, strategic litigation, evidence based research, community support and policy and law reform, the Police Accountability Project aims to provide justice for those who least experience it and by doing so hold police who abuse to account. We aim to drive the political, cultural and systemic change required for true police accountability.

The abuse of power by police officers has a profound and detrimental impact on all of those who experience it, their families and entire communities.

It undermines safety, self-worth and belonging and erodes and degrades faith in the institutions of democracy and the rule of law.

It impacts most upon those who already experience disadvantage such as the young, the mentally ill, those from refugee and migrant backgrounds and Indigenous Australians.

In Australia and throughout the world, police are rarely prosecuted or disciplined for torturing, killing, assaulting or ill-treating members of the public.

Existing accountability mechanisms in Victoria and Australia have consistently failed to maintain accountability, human rights compliance, change police behaviour or improve practices.

We seek to change this.

Our top strategic priorities are:

  1. The independent investigations of police misconduct in accordance with the Australia’s obligations under the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR);
  2. A strong legislative, training and regulatory framework that prohibits racially discriminatory policing practices;
  3. Knowledgeable and resilient communities, able to access justice, enjoy their rights and receive equal treatment before the law.
Daniel Haile Michael at media conference Feb 2013. Photo: Charandev Singh
Our legal centre

The Centre

The Flemington & Kensington Community Legal Centre has been working with the victims of human rights abuses by police for over thirty years. As community lawyers we have seen the direct human and community impacts, the seriousness of the issues and the need for preventative work and legal redress. Our casework, advocacy and law reform work has been informed by our experience, by comprehensive research and by established human rights principles and practises.

As a centre we have built a vast body of specialist skills, experience, data and evidence. The Centre pioneered work in the 1980s and 90s on behalf of families effected by police shootings. View Our History page.

We have strong partnerships with local and statewide youth and community agencies, law firms, barristers and a network of supporters. View Our Supporters page.

Support Our Work

In 2006 we received the Tim McCoy Award for our work on behalf of the victims of human rights abuses by police. In 2009, the Police Accountability Project was awarded an AMES certificate of excellence for its work with refugee youth.

1n 2013 we were awarded Best Service Provider by the Victorian African Community Awards.

In 2014 Australian Lawyers Alliance’s highly regarded Victorian Civil Justice Award was awarded to the Flemington and Kensington Community Legal Centre, in recognition of our work representing Corinna Horvath all the way to the United Nations.

We also received the Tim McCoy Award for our work representing Corinna Horvath in November 2014.

The project is managed by Executive Officer, Anthony Kelly and Principal Solicitor, Tamar Hopkins and overseen by the Board of FKCLC. View Our Staff page.

  • “I have not come across [others] who will be helpful, without discrimination, like Tamar and all professional staff. Flemington & Kensington Community Legal Centre is a place I recommend for those people fighting for their justice”

    Umer Aba-Omer December 2010

Publications

 

vla-police-powers-your-rights-in-victoria_1Police Powers: your rights in Victoria

This free booklet is a general guide to help you when you deal with the police.  A joint publication with Victoria Legal Aid (VLA).  To order free copies contact Victoria Legal Aid publications unit on 03 9269 0234 or available Online.

 

 

Race or Reason? Police Encounters with Young People in the Flemington Region and Surrounding Areas (2011)

A research report authored by Zrinijka Dolic and funded through the Legal Services Board and Victoria Law Foundation.  Available online here: Race or Reason? Report (PDF)

Police Shootings in Victoria 1987 – 1989

Published by Fitzroy Legal Service (1992). This book covers the accounts by family members who were shot dead by Victoria Police. These four young men were from the Flemington area, the shootings occurred between 1987 and 1989.

$15 copies available. Please contact us on 03 9376 4355 or fklegal@fkclc.org.au