Stateless Children Legal Clinic

In 2021, the Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness, in partnership with the Refugee Advice Casework Service (RACS) and the Melbourne Law School (MLS) Clinics at the University of Melbourne is proud to launch the Stateless Children Legal Clinic (SCLC).

There are an estimated 10 – 15 million stateless people in the world; approximately one third are children. Without nationality, stateless children face barriers in accessing education and healthcare; and in Australia, the threat of prolonged immigration detention and removal to a third country such as Nauru.

Child drawing.

The SCLC offers MLS Juris Doctor students the opportunity to develop practical legal skills and directly assist in the delivery of essential legal services to stateless children in their application for Australian citizenship, with potentially life changing outcomes.

The SCLC is the first stateless legal clinic of its kind in Australia, and the third of its kind globally.

The SCLC is coordinated by Katie Robertson. Katie is a lawyer with previous experience in acting for stateless children to successfully apply for Australian citizenship. She is currently a Research Fellow at the Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness and Assistant Director of MLS Clinics at the University of Melbourne where she teaches Public Interest Law. The initial pilot is offered through MLS’ Legal Internship program.

The clinical work conducted by students in the SCLC is supervised by solicitors at the Refugee Advice Casework Service (RACS). RACS’ Stateless Children Legal Project is the only specialized legal clinic in Australia providing targeted assistance to stateless children.

Children drawing.

Further Information

For further information about the SCLC, please contact clinic coordinator Katie Robertson - katie.robertson@unimelb.edu.au

See also:
Melbourne Law School Clinics
The Refugee Advice Casework Service