Transparency and accountability key for achieving 2030 Sustainable Development Goals

Transparency and accountability key for achieving 2030 Sustainable Development Goals

Industry leaders share opinions on how to better prepare for future crises

On Wednesday 28 July 2020, the University of Wollongong (UOW) hosted a live stream panel session with six esteemed members from the law fraternity addressing key issues related to ethical inadequacies and accountability mechanisms of dealing with crises.

The notable members on the panel include:

  • The Hon. Michael Kirby, International Jurist, Educator and former High Court Judge
  • Dr Virginia Marshall, Legal Scholar and Practicing Lawyer
  • Mr Edward Muston SC, Barrister
  • Ms Elizabeth Espinosa, Commissioner of the NSW Land and Environment Court
  • Dr Lowell Bautista, UOW Senior Lecturer
  • Dr Niamh Kinchin, UOW Senior Lecturer

The last few months have been challenging for people across the globe dealing with climate crisis, trade wars and then the pandemic that shook the world. In a world with so much uncertainty, the dissemination of credible information, ethical leadership and public trust in governments have all taken centre stage.       

The theme ‘Transparency and Accountability in a 2020 World’ addresses the importance of building trust among the people and advocating for a strong focus on transparent legal systems, promoting gender and racial equality, advancing an Indigenous voice to Parliament and building better international relations.

The panellists touched upon a wide range of research, policy and practice matters which are crucial for achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals amid the global pandemic.

UOW is a signatory to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations. One of these goals is to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development and provide access to justice for all, building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

The University has been preparing students through a variety of courses which are focused on building ethical principles of leadership and accountability while practicing in the real world.

Executive Dean, Faculty of Business and Law, Professor Colin Picker thanked the panellists for their outstanding contributions to the legal world and acknowledged the further need of providing adequate resources and skills required to sustain in the post pandemic world.

“The world is going through a challenging time and creating productive working environments and producing future-proof talents is crucial to building a sustainable workforce,” Professor Picker said.

“UOW is producing the next generation of the leaders that will build and grow careers based on ethical practices and professional accountability as key pillars of their career while serving in different communities.”

UOW Dean of the School of Law, Professor Trish Mundy emphasised the importance of teaching ethical and accountability concepts at an early stage, which allows students to think critically about law and wider societal questions of equality and justice.

“Law is fundamental to all aspects of our daily lives and developing a sound understanding of the law and legal system is highly beneficial in any position,” Professor Mundy said.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted just how fundamental these capabilities are to our contemporary world and workplaces as we see a range of competing rights and interests play out in the public arena.”

At the event Professor Mundy also announced that from 2021 the Bachelor of Laws (Graduate Entry) will be offered at the Sydney CBD campus. The degree is currently offered at Wollongong and South Western Sydney campuses only.

More details about the Bachelor of Law (Graduate Entry) commencing in 2021 at Sydney CBD campus can be found at