Human Rights and the Criminal Justice System

PLS are excited to announce that we will be hosting a one-day CPD fundraiser event on 11 June 2021.

As the only community legal centre dedicated to assisting people in prison and their families, PLS has developed unique and important legal knowledge about a range of factors that impact people after they are sentenced to imprisonment, which is of particular relevance to criminal law practitioners. Due to COVID restrictions, this event will be offered both in-person and online.

Attend and earn 6 CPD points.

All money raised will go to supporting PLS, with the ticket prices being as follows:

  • Full Day (In-person): $550 incl. GST
  • Full Day (Online): $440 incl. GST
  • Individual Session (Online): $99 incl. GST
    (discounted rate available for CLC staff attending online, please contact us for details).

Any questions about this event can be directed to Mitree Vongphakdi (

Ticket sales have now closed.

Program: Print-out version

08:30 am – Registration

08:40 am – Acknowledgement of Country

08:45 am – Opening remarks by The Honourable Justice Peter Davis

09:00 am – Session 1: Human Rights and Judicial ReviewPresented by Sam Lane, Barrister at Higgins Chambers

10:00 am – Morning Tea

10:15 am – Session 2: Human Rights and ParolePresented by Paula Morreau, Barrister at 8 Petrie Terrace Chambers

11:15 am – Session 3: Visa Cancellations and SentencingPresented by Victoria Lenton, Principal Lawyer at Lenton Migration

12:15 am – Lunch

01:00 pm – Session 4: What is Solitary Confinement and How Can It Impact Sentencing? – Presented by Helen Blaber, Director & Principal Solicitor at PLS, and Emily Lewsey, Barrister at Halsbury Chambers

02:00 pm – Session 5: Impaired Decision Making in the Criminal Justice System – Presented by Catherine Moynihan, Official Solicitor & Director of Legal Services/Investigations at the Office of the Public Guardian (1 Core CPD Point – Practical Legal Ethics)

03:00 pm – Afternoon Tea

03:15 pm – Session 6: Communication Tips for Indigenous Clients – Presented by His Honour Judge Nathan Jarro (1 Core CPD Point – Professional Skills)

04:15 pm – Drinks

05:00 pm – Event Concludes


Our Presenters:































The Honourable Justice Peter Davis
Supreme Court of Queensland

Since 2017, Justice Peter Davis has served as a judge of the Trial Division of the Supreme Court of Queensland.

Justice Davis was admitted as a solicitor in 1984, and was called to the Bar in 1990. At the Bar, Justice Davis had a general practice, with a focus on crime, quasi crime, disciplinary proceedings, administrative and commercial matters. His Honour was appointed Senior Counsel in 2005.

Justice Davis served as a member of the council of the Bar Association of Queensland from 2008 to 2014 serving as vice president (2012–13) and president (2013–14). His Honour was made a life member of the Association in 2014.

In 2020, His Honour was appointed as President of the Industrial Court of Queensland and the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission.


His Honour Judge Nathan Jarro
District Court of Queensland

In 2018, Judge Jarro was appointed a judge of the District Court of Queensland, becoming Queensland’s first Indigenous judge.

His Honour was called to the Bar in 2004 and has had several recurring sessional appointments to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT), the Mental Health Review Tribunal and the Aboriginal Land Tribunal. Prior to being called to the Bar in 2004, his Honour practised as a solicitor.

His Honour has served as a member of the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Council (2008–2010), QUT Council (2008 – 2012), president of the Indigenous Lawyers Association of Queensland Inc (2007–09), editorial member of the Indigenous Law Bulletin (2007–2011) and as the Bar Association of Queensland President’s Nominee for the Australian Bar Association’s Indigenous Issues Committee in 2016.

In addition, his Honour has sat on the boards of Queensland Theatre (2011–18), Major Brisbane Festivals Pty Ltd (2003–09) and NITV (2010–13).


Paula Morreau
Barrister, 8 Petrie Terrace Chambers

Paula was called to the Bar in 2009 and practices in crime, administrative law and related areas such as inquests, inquiries and professional misconduct, discrimination law and human rights.

She holds a Master of Laws from Harvard Law School and has taught in administrative law, constitutional law, First Nations law and evidence on a sessional basis at QUT, Griffith, Bond University and UNE.

Paula authors the commentary on drugs and police powers contained in Butler & Holt, Indictable Offences Queensland (Thomson Reuters) and co-authored chapters on Human Rights for Caxton Legal Centre’s Queensland Law Handbook and Lawyers Practice Manual (Qld) (Thomson Reuters – forthcoming).

Sam Lane
Barrister, Higgins Chambers

Sam has a general commercial practice, with a focus on insolvency and property disputes. He also has experience in human rights, administrative and criminal law matters.

Sam holds a Master’s Degree in International Human Rights Law from the Institute for Human Rights of Åbo Akademi University in Finland.

Sam sits on the PLS Management Committee and in 2020, he appeared on behalf of one of PLS’ clients in an application for judicial review which considered human rights concerns and solitary confinement.


Emily Lewsey
Barrister, Halsbury Chambers

Emily was called to the Bar in 2020, and practices in criminal, youth justice, family and administrative law. Prior to this, Emily practised as a solicitor for six years.

In 2020, Emily undertook parole casework for PLS during the height of the COVID pandemic in Queensland, playing a crucial role in securing the release of vulnerable people from prison.

Emily is currently completing a Master’s Degree in Criminal Law at the University of Melbourne.



Helen Blaber
Director/Principal Solicitor, Prisoners’ Legal Service

Helen is the Director and Principal Solicitor of PLS. Helen has conducted public interest litigation in superior courts on behalf of people in prison for more than 8 years.

Helen holds a Master of Laws specialising in Human Rights, and has demonstrated expertise in the field of prisoners’ rights. Helen holds a particular interest in conducting research on issues related to prisoners’ rights. She has recently co-authored several publications relating to solitary confinement and is currently engaged in a research project on parole suspensions.



Victoria Lenton
Principal Lawyer, Lenton Migration

Victoria is the Principal Lawyer of Lenton Migration Law & Consultancy, a boutique immigration law firm. She has a unique background for an immigration lawyer, having worked for the Department of Immigration for 13 years, including over six years on diplomatic postings in South America and Africa. Her last major role for the Department was the head of the Visa and Immigration Section at the Australian High Commission in Pretoria South Africa, responsible for the visa program in West and Southern Africa. Since then, she has worked for Minter Ellison, the National Disability Insurance Agency and Legal Aid Queensland as a Senior Lawyer before starting her own immigration legal practice.

She has a Master of Laws in Human Rights and Social Justice from the University of New South Wales, is a member of the Access to Justice/Pro Bono law committee with the Queensland Law Society, and maintains a strong involvement in pro bono migration work, with a particular focus on non-citizens with particular vulnerabilities, including children, women, and persons with disabilities.


Catherine Moynihan
Official Solicitor & Director of Legal Services/Investigations, Office of the Public Guardian

Catherine has practised extensively as a lawyer for marginalised clients, working for a private criminal law firm, a community legal centre and at Legal Aid Queensland. Catherine has also worked in the UK as a lawyer representing a Local Authority (an equivalent of Child Safety) in child protection proceedings.

Catherine has worked as policy officer for the Department of Premier and Cabinet in the area of child protection legislative reform post the 2004 Crime and Misconduct Commission Inquiry and as a ministerial advisor to the Minister for Justice and Attorney General. Catherine was a Director of the research team that supported the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry.

Catherine is a Churchill Fellow. She is also a founding board member of the Child Protection Practitioners Association of Queensland and a member of the Queensland Law Society Childrens’ Law Committee.


Please note that in-person attendance may be affected by any unforeseen COVID-restrictions should they arise.