Jonathan Hall Spence
Jonathan was appointed Principal Solicitor in February 2023 and has been a Senior Solicitor at PIAC since December 2020.
Jonathan works on PIAC’s Asylum Seeker Health Rights Project and on PIAC’s strategy developed in partnership with the Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT to achieve better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, families and communities in the NSW child protection system. Jonathan has worked as a litigator at Allens in Sydney, where he was heavily involved in the firm’s pro bono work for asylum seekers and refugees. This included a six month secondment to the Refugee Advice and Casework Centre and working for two weeks in Wickham Point Immigration Detention Centre in the Northern Territory, assisting detained asylum seekers to lodge and argue their cases for asylum.
In 2017, Jonathan moved to the Northern Territory where he worked as a civil lawyer with the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency. In that role Jonathan advised and represented Aboriginal clients on a broad range of civil issues, with a particular focus on representing parents in child removal proceedings and representing young people in complaints and litigation against Northern Territory Police.
Jonathan has a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws (Hons I) from the University of Sydney and a Master of Laws from Columbia University in New York. Jonathan was awarded a Public Interest Fellowship while at Columbia, enabling him to complete a post-graduate project with the Juvenile Law Center, advising on their strategy to advocate for the elimination of financial penalties from the juvenile legal systems of the fifty states and the District of Columbia.