KWM provides pro bono assistance to establish CNS

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King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) has provided extensive pro bono legal services to the Aboriginal Legal Service of WA (ALSWA) to assist in the establishment of the Custody Notification Service (CNS).

The CNS will provide a much needed 24 hour welfare and legal advice phone line for Aboriginal people taken into police custody.

From mid-March, a team of 35 KWM volunteers (including Partners, Senior Associates, Solicitors and human resources staff) have provided more than 500 hours of pro bono work, to the value of $219,903.

Led by Dan Creasey, Head of Pro Bono & Community Impact, and Stephanie Puris, Senior Associate, the dedicated team, spread across the firm's five national offices, assisted ALSWA with the following:

  • Providing advice to regarding aspects of the Grant Agreement with the Commonwealth Government
  • Drafting CNS specific employment contracts
  • Drafting relevant policies required under the Grant Agreement including a conflict of interest policy, remote working policy, fraud control policy and complaints policy
  • Providing advice about rostering tools to assist with the mechanism for rostering a 24 hour 7 day per week service
  • Drafting over 40 discrete sections covering with relevant areas of law for CNS staff including the different circumstances in which an Aboriginal person may be arrested or apprehended by WA Police and held in custody in a Police Facility
  • Assistance with training by offering volunteers to role play for mock CNS calls

ALSWA commented that the organisation are extremely grateful for KWM's invaluable assistance with the project and believe that their contribution has helped to ensure that the WA CNS is implemented to the highest standard.

The CNS will be launching in the coming months.