Weekend Wrap: Lawyer says detained Kiwis may be signing away their rights

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Making legal news this week, leaked detainee documents reveal no appeal rights for Kiwis facing deportation, Legal Aid announced more regional jobs and one UK firm has revealed plans to create a team of virtual paralegals.
Kiwis detained following Australia’s new immigration laws meaning non-citizens who have served a jail sentence of 12 months or more in Australia may be deported, are signing their rights away according to one lawyer.  This week, leaked documents given to detainees reveal that signing a ‘Request for removal from Australia’ waives all rights to an appeal, contrary to what both governments have previously stated.

“There’s a real oppression and sense of duress which accompanies the signing of this document,” Greg Barns of the Australian Lawyers Alliance said.

Gabrielle Upton is pledging to improve regional access to justice with an announcement this week revealing plans to increase the number of legal aid criminal lawyers in regional areas.

“Appointing more Legal Aid NSW lawyers is a practical solution that will help encourage early guilty pleas, cut the backlog and ensure people get access to justice faster,” Upton said.

Virtual legal roles are likely to shake up the legal industry sooner than was previously expected, following an announcement by UK firm that their virtual paralegals will be rolled out as early as next year.

“They will be able to take on many tasks for lawyers, combining Riverview Law’s legal domain expertise with automation, expert systems, reporting, visualisations and artificial intelligence,” said a spokesperson for Riverview Law.