Just Cause

A podcast highlighting social justice at Sydney Law School
Just Cause is a podcast created by staff and students associated with the Sydney Law School’s Social Justice Advisory Group.

In each episode, students sit down with academics to discuss what social justice means to them, and how their work intersects with social justice goals.

Through these conversations, the podcast explores the meaning of social justice and highlights the range of social justice research carried out by academics working in or affiliated with Sydney Law School.

In season one, topics range from what it means to be a rebellious lawyer, to the relevance of legal and political theory to social justice practice, to global issues such as the war on drugs and the climate crisis. 

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Episode 1 | Teela Reid

Is there a way to use your legal skills for social justice? Can lawyers be part of movements that generate systemic change?

In this episode, LLB IV student Julia Jacobson interviews Teela Reid, a Wiradjuri and Wailwan woman and one of the founders of the rebellious lawyering movement in Australia. Together they discuss the three pillars of rebellious lawyers: lawyering, storytelling and activism.

Episode 2 | Rachel Killean: Podcasting as Pedagogy

Why should law students podcast? Join Just Cause’s student director Juliette Marchant as she interviews Dr Rachel Killean, the staff director of Just Cause. They discuss the pedagogical value of podcasting, why podcasting is so fun, and Rachel’s favourite podcasts.

If you would like to learn more about the thinking behind Just Cause, or if you are thinking about creating a legal podcast of your own, this episode is for you.

Episode 3 | Simon Rice: What is Social Justice?

In this episode, co-directors Juliette Marchant and Rachel Killean sit down with Professor Simon Rice, the Kim Santow Chair of Law and Social Justice at USyd Law, to discuss what social justice means to him.

They discuss the wealth of social justice research happening inside USyd Law School and provide advice to students who would like to get more involved in social justice work. A must-listen for students seeking to expand their legal horizons.

Episode 4 | Juliette Marchant: Sparking Conversation Through Podcasting

In this episode, Rachel Killean interviews her Just Cause co-director, Juliette Marchant, about the value of podcasting as a way of learning more about the world around us.

They discuss how staff-student collaborations can build a sense of community within higher education institutions and reflect on the connections between legal and political theory and social justice praxis.

Episode 5 | Ashwini Vasanthakumar: Injustice, in Theory

Assumed to be having debates in the confines of the ivory tower, legal and political theorists tend to get a bit of a bad rap...

This episode seeks to turn this assumption on its head, as LLB V student Juliette Marchant talks to Associate Professor Ashwini Vasanthakumar about the value of theory in grappling with issues of injustice and promoting the representation of diverse worldviews.

Episode 6 | Ben Saul: International Crimes in Israel and Gaza

In this episode, Professor Ben Saul provides an informed overview of the potential international crimes that have been perpetrated in Israel and Gaza over the last few weeks.

He provides some context to the most recent escalation of violence, and discusses the challenges of navigating the misinformation and highly politicised discourse that can surround conflict in the region.

Episode 7 | Ben Mostyn: The War on Drugs

The war on drugs remains one of the most pressing issues of our time. But how are nations responding to this perceived threat? What are the implications of these responses for individuals and communities?

LLB V student Juliette Marchant talks to Dr Ben Mostyn about the shifting attitudes towards the criminalisation of drug possession, and the tension between legal principles and practice in regulating public behaviours.

Episode 8 | Annie Jin and Charles Hao: Legal Education as a Tool to Change the World

In this episode we hear from law students Annie Jin and Charles Hao about studying post-graduate law in a common law jurisdiction and how their interests in environmental issues were fostered by their study of law.

Annie is a Chinese-born girl who has lived in New Zealand and Australia, and is interested in pursuing social justice through law. Charles Hao is a second-year JD student at the University of Sydney. He is an intern at the Sydney Environment Institute with a passion for how the law can help to protect the natural world. He has chosen to participate in Just Cause to engage with some of the brilliant minds at Sydney Law School and help to bring their idea to the masses.

Episode 9 | Leah Liu: Learning From and With Others

In this episode we hear from Leah Liu, a final year LLB student about her experiences as a Chinese international student studying law in Australia. Leah reflects on the importance of collaboration and friendship to overcoming the competitive nature of law school, and why she believes podcasting is such a valuable medium for engaging with complex ideas.

Leah Liu is in her penultimate year of pursuing a Bachelor of Laws combined with a Bachelor of Arts (Politics). With language proficiencies in both English and Chinese, Leah’s passion is for commercial law, litigation, international relations and public policy. She is currently an intern with Refugee Advice and Casework Service.

Episode 10 | Dolly Zeng and Kevin Zhang: Seeing Social Justice in Private Law

In this series of mini-episodes, Juliette and Rachel spend time with the student teams behind Just Cause. In this episode we talk to law students Dolly Zeng and Kevin Zhang about how their newly acquired podcasting skills have made them more confident to speak out in their second language.

Episode 11 | Julia Jacobson: Finding Your Voice Through Law

In this episode we hear from Julia Jacobson, a fourth year LLB student at USyd Law. Julia shares some insights from her academic journey so far, including why her cultural background and upbringing fostered an early interest in social justice, and why she thinks studying law will help her pursue social justice goals in future.

Episode 12 | Nicole Graham: Legal Education and Climate Change

Join hosts Charles and Annie in this captivating episode of Just Cause as they engage in conversation with Professor Nicole Graham, a property law and environmental law academic at Sydney Law School.

Together, they delve into the intersection of social justice and legal education in addressing the pressing issue of climate change.

Episode 13 | Sharmilla Bargon and Regina Featherstone: NDAs and Sexual Harassment

Non-disclosure agreements (or NDAs) are often key to reaching a settlement in sexual harassment cases. But should they be, and what are the risks of this practice?

In this episode, Juliette Marchant and Dr Rachel Killean interview Sharmilla Bargon and Regina Featherstone, USyd Law’s inaugural Social Justice Practitioners-in-Residence about their research into this practice, and how they hope to advocate for legal reform in the future.

Episode 14 | Louise Boon-Kuo: Race, Migration and the Law

The colonial legal system in Australia has played a significant role in crafting our understanding of race and shaping the lives of racialised communities in Australia and elsewhere.

In this episode, LLB student Leah Liu talks to Dr Louise Boon-Kuo about her experiences working in the refugee law space, and how she strives to facilitate critical thinking and student initiative in learning through her elective unit 'Race and the Law'.

Episode 15 | Garner Clancey: Youth Justice

The juvenile justice system is under constant critique. But in this episode, LLB student Julia Jacobson talks to Associate Professor Garner Clancy about why there is reason to have hope in the future of youth justice in Australia.

With an emphasis on the need for innovation and interdisciplinarity in the study of law, this episode reflects on the relationship between theory and practice.

Episode list


Teela Reid


Rachel Killean


Simon Rice


Juliette Marchant


Ashwini Vasanthakumar


Ben Saul


Ben Mostyn


Annie Jin and Charles Hao


Leah Liu


Dolly Zheng and Charles Zhao


Julia Jacobson


Nicole Graham


Sharmilla Bargon and Regina Featherstone


Louise Boon-Kuo


Garner Clancey