The #Nauru19 fight for justice
$22,502 raised
45% of $50k goal
128 contributors
91 Weeks running

The #Nauru19 are a group of 19 people accused of public order crimes following a protest against the Nauru Government in June 2015. They were protesting the indefinite suspension of the Parliamentary opposition and the unlawful expulsion of the entire judiciary. Over a year before the protest, a total of five elected opposition MPs (of a Parliament of 19) were suspended from Parliament, three intially for criticising the judicial expulsions in the media and a further two for conduct described by the Speaker as "unparliamentary tantrums". The MPs had been prohibited from participating in Parliamentary debate since that time.

On the day of the protest, the #Nauru19 were demanding that their democratically elected MPs be allowed to enter Parliament on budget day. Police disrupted the protest using a law that bans the association of three or more people without a permit from the Commissioner of Police.

The #Nauru19 are being represented in Nauru pro bono by Principal Solicitor, Christian Hearn of Hearn Legal and four counsel Mark Higgins, Stephen Lawrence, Felicity Graham and Neal Funnell. Their first lawyer Jay Williams was banned from the country. The group were refused legal representation by the Nauruan Public Defender and there are no other lawyers on the island to defend them.

Three of the group have also sought leave to appeal to the High Court of Australia from the decision of Acting Chief Justice Shafiullah Khan in the Nauru Supreme Court.  Khan ACJ dismissed the appellants' sentence severity appeals and instead increased their sentences in some cases by over 700% without making a finding that the original sentences were manifestly excessive or tainted by error. Bret Walker SC will be appearing pro bono in the High Court proceedings.

They are being prosecuted by the Nauru Government represented by Ashurt Australia, Peter Davis QC and a team of junior counsel from Brisbane. 

They are struggling to meet even the travel costs of their pro bono legal team.

They need your assistance to fight for justice!

You are invited to support the fight for justice in Nauru by donating here. We will also be holding a fundraising event for the #Nauru19 on Friday 15 September from 5.30pm at Sir Owen Dixon Chambers - Level 64, MLC Centre, 19 Martin Place, Sydney. Get your ticket by making a donation of $100 to this campaign.

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