Acting Head of Strategic Litigation
Maria Nawaz is a human rights lawyer and academic with expertise in human rights, discrimination law and women’s rights.
Maria is an experienced public interest advocate, having advocated for stronger human rights protections with individual clients and the community at the NSW, Commonwealth and international levels. She is currently a Lecturer at UNSW Law, where she co-teaches the UNSW Human Rights Clinic.
Maria was previously the Law Reform and Policy Solicitor at Kingsford Legal Centre, where she led the centre’s law reform work on human rights, discrimination law, women’s rights, employment rights, and housing rights. Maria has experience leading civil society engagement with United Nations review processes, including at the UN Human Rights Committee and the UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
Prior to this, Maria was KLC’s Employment Solicitor where she ran many discrimination cases focussing on sexual harassment, disability discrimination and race discrimination. She has also worked in the Human Rights Team at Legal Aid NSW where she focussed on police torts and visa cancellations, and as a Legal Officer at the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department.
Maria is the Deputy Chair of the Law Society of NSW’s Human Rights Committee and an Executive Councillor of NSW Young Lawyers. She was previously a co-convenor of the Community Legal Centres NSW Law Reform and Policy Network, and Chair of the NSW Young Lawyers Human Rights Committee.