The President is elected by the members of the Society. Elections are held annually, and results are announced at the AGM in September each year.
- Chairs the Executive Committee and oversees the implementation of its decisions.
- Is spokesperson for the Society.
- Responds to enquiries or concerns from members.
- Appoints the members of the Society's Committees.
- Liaises with politicians, government agencies, the Law Council of Australia and its constituent bodies (i.e. other Law Societies and Bar Associations), the media, other professional and industry bodies, and members of the public.
Farzana Choudhury is the current president of the ACT Law Society. Her election was declared at the Society’s AGM on Thursday 27 September 2022.
Farzana is the Disability Law Supervising Solicitor at Canberra Community Law (CCL), where she provides free disability discrimination law and related legal assistance and community education to support people on low incomes and facing other barriers. She was previously the Program Manager and Senior Solicitor with CCL’s Street Law program, where she assisted people facing homelessness in civil and minor criminal matters. Prior to joining the community legal sector, Farzana was an in-house lawyer with the Australian Government.
As a lawyer specialising in disability discrimination and poverty law, Farzana is passionate about human rights lawyering at the local level, using her legal expertise and innovation to improve legal and social outcomes for people facing barriers to justice.
In 2018, Farzana established a health justice partnership to support young people facing homelessness, and in 2019 set up a targeted legal education and advice clinic series for women in prison. In 2022 she established CCL’s Mental Health Justice Clinic, which provides free legal assistance to people with lived experience of mental ill-health. She also coordinated the ACT arm of the Australian Research Council's national study into the criminalisation of poverty and homelessness, and is currently a project partner on a research project on human rights complaints across Australia.
In 2019 Farzana was named ACT Young Lawyer of the Year and in 2020 she was awarded the Australian National University Young Alumna of the Year, in recognition of her professional and community engagement to support people facing disadvantage. Farzana is a member of the ACT Law Society’s Access to Justice & Inclusion Committee and the Society’s nominee director of the Law Council of Australia. She holds a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Arts from the University of New South Wales, and a Master of Laws from the Australian National University.
Former Presidents of the Law Society
- Elizabeth Carroll — 2020-2022
- Chris Donohue — 2018-2020
- Sarah Avery — 2016-2018
- Martin Hockridge — 2013-2016
- Noor Blumer — 2011-2013
- Athol Opas — 2009-2011
- Rod Barnett — 2007-2009
- Greg Walker — 2005-2007
- Bill Redpath — 2003-2005
- Denis Farrar — 2001-2003
- Christopher Chenoweth OAM — 1999-2001
- Gregory Burnett — 1997-1999
- Anne Trimmer — 1995-1997
- Robert Clynes — 1993-1995
- Russell Miller AM — 1991-1993
- Michael Phelps — 1989-1991
- Christopher Crowley — 1987-1989
- Gregory Stretton SC — 1985-1987
- The Hon John Faulks — 1983-1985
- David Crossin AM OBE — 1980-1983
- The Hon David Harper OAM — 1978-1980
- The Hon John Gallop AC QC RFD — 1976-1978
- James O'Neill — 1973-1976
- John Ellis — 1970-1973
- The Hon Kevin O'Leary QC — 1967-1970
- Bryan Meagher — 1964-1967
- Cyril Davies — 1936-1964
- Henry Deane — 1934-1935
- Frederick Woodward — 1933-1934