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GetUp!

Be part of Australia's first public interest fighting fund

"There is little point in opening the doors to the courts if litigants cannot afford to come in." - High Court Justice John Toohey

Critical cases to protect and redefine our rights are going unheard. And they're going unheard for one reason: the people who would bring them are cowed by fear of bankruptcy.

But imagine if there was an organisation that could regularly take on the fights that need fighting in our courts. Imagine if that organisation was backed by leading legal lights like George Williams, Australia's foremost expert in constitutional law, and Tony Fitzgerald, who led the Fitzgerald Inquiry to expose corruption in Sir Joh's Queensland Government.

Today, that's what we're launching. It's called the Grata fund - established by GetUp members. It brings together campaigners, legal advocates, strategic litigators, academics and not-for-profit organisation leaders to enable game-changing litigation paired with large-scale campaigns. Some of the brightest minds in the business are willing to contribute their time. But it won't become a reality unless we back it right now, with the funding to launch cases.

Donate to the Grata Fund now.

The Grata Fund is set up to run on the scent of an oily rag, but we need your support to get it off the ground.

Funds contributed will first be put towards the staff time that can supercharge Grata -- capitalising on the immense goodwill and volunteer support we receive from our members and the legal community, and helping to armour-plate the Grata Fund to make it a resilient organisation. Then, funds contributed will go towards the hard cases that need fighting - legal costs and securing brave litigants against the threat of bankruptcy. The cases Grata can take on depend on how fast we're able to get it started.

Here's a taste of what's at stake now:
  • Citizenship. Peter Dutton could soon have the power to strip citizenship -- the foundation for all our legal rights - from some Australians. Do you trust him with that much power?
  • Pokies. Too many politicians are in the pockets of the gambling industry. But we can take companies to court over the misleading and deceptive design of their poker machines.
  • Digital Privacy. Governments and corporations are intercepting, keeping and using more of our private information than ever before. Who's keeping them in check?
The Board of the Grata Fund decides where the funding will go and which cases the Grata Fund will support. Representatives on the Grata board include:
  • The Honourable Gerald Edward (Tony) Fitzgerald AC, QC
  • Dr Peter Cashman, a barrister and Professor of Law and Director of the Social Justice Program at the University of Sydney Law School
  • Jennifer Robinson, an Australian lawyer
  • Professor David Weisbrot, Emeritus Professor of Law and Honorary Professor of Medicine at the University of Sydney

The Board is assisted by the Policy Advisory Council, a hard-hitting group of litigation lawyers, academics, social impact campaigners, and NGO leaders who encounter systemic issues and public interest challenges every day. They'll discuss case proposals, assess the merits of legal action and who the beneficiaries will be, and then make recommendations to the Board.
The sooner we're able to get set up, the sooner we'll know! Here's some examples of what's at stake right now:
  • Citizenship. Peter Dutton could soon have the power to strip citizenship -- the foundation for all our legal rights - from some Australians. Do you trust him with that much power?
  • Pokies. Too many politicians are in the pockets of the gambling industry. But we can take companies to court over the misleading and deceptive design of their poker machines.
  • Digital Privacy. Governments and corporations are intercepting, keeping and using more of our private information than ever before. Who's keeping them in check?
  • Unchecked Racism. Muslims experience discrimination and verbal slurs at three times the rate of other Australians, yet they're not protected by the Racial Discrimination Act.