The Law Council of Australia’s 2016 President’s Medal has been awarded to eminent barrister, anti-death penalty and human rights advocate, Julian McMahon.
The Medal, now in its tenth year, is awarded to ‘an outstanding example to the Australian legal profession’ who has ‘brought credit to the profession through a commitment to the law which has been both personal and professional.’
Mr McMahon was recognised on Friday night for his work representing Australians facing the death penalty overseas, as well as his extraordinary range of pro bono work more broadly.
For the last 13 years Mr McMahon has worked tirelessly, and pro bono, on behalf of Van Nguyen in Singapore, George Forbes in Sudan, and Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran in Indonesia.
Law Council of Australia President, Stuart Clark AM, said Mr McMahon was a truly deserving winner.
“The President’s Medal is a very special award designed to acknowledge and celebrate the most exceptional achievement in our profession,” Mr Clark said.
“Julian’s willingness to offer himself as an outspoken and dedicated opponent of the death penalty, and a defender of the rule of law, has brought great esteem not just to himself, but to our profession.
“His work has often been accompanied by a massive emotional and personal toll, yet he has never shirked what he considers to be his responsibility.
“His record is a testament to the possibilities of principled advocacy and to the heights of personal sacrifice.
“Among his colleagues, Julian is known widely as generous, humble, considered, and profoundly capable.
“The Law Council is very pleased to be able to recognise the career — still very much in full flight — of a lawyer who represents the best of our profession,” Mr Clark said.
Patrick Pantano: Public Affairs Anil Lambert: Media