Obiter Dicta

June 2022

Message from the Dean


Despite the infiltration of COVID into the community in the first half of 2022, Semester 1 progressed smoothly and with minimal disruption to student learning, all thanks to the patience and cooperation of our students, and the hard work and commitment of our academic staff.

We once again achieved national recognition of teaching excellence in the Law School, with Dr Ambelin Kwaymullina receiving two Australian Awards for University Teaching Excellence.  


Our students have excelled in and out of the classroom. The Philip C Jessup International Law Moot team put on a superb performance in the national competition. Congratulations to the team, and many thanks to our dedicated coaches, alumni who judged the practice moots, and the Friends of Jessup UWA community for their ongoing support.

UWA Law School researchers have continued to produce outstanding research. Most notably, researchers in the Law School’s Minderoo Tech and Policy Lab, in collaboration with the Australian Academy of Science, released a ground-breaking discussion paper on the ubiquitous and largely unregulated use of personal data in sport. 

Thanks to the support of our alumni, the Law School’s philanthropic scheme, the Dean’s Circle, has continued to expand with an additional three donors joining the scheme in recent months. The Law School looks forward to launching its corporate philanthropic scheme, the Dean’s Foundation, later this year.

In March, we were very pleased to formally open the Paul Bendat Reading Room in the Beasley Law Library, made possible by the very generous sponsorship of the Bendat Family Foundation.

As we head deep into the Winter months and many begin to travel to reconnect with family and friends, I wish you good health, safe travels, and happy reunions.


2022 Ciara Glennon Memorial Law Scholarship

On Thursday 19 May 2022, Demi Bradford, a second year Juris Doctor student, was awarded the 2022 Ciara Glennon Memorial Law Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to a full time law student who demonstrates a significant contribution to the community, an active interest in an area outside law, and a genuine concern for others. Demi has a passion for rural and remote education, reflected in her volunteer work with Teach, Learn and Grow, a not-for-profit organisation that provides free tuition and mentoring to rural and Indigenous students. The Ciara Glennon Memorial Law Scholarship is sponsored by Ashurst (formerly Blake Dawson Waldron), Ciara’s former employer.

The presentation ceremony included an address from the Hon. Chief Justice of Western Australia, Peter Quinlan SC (LLB ‘95) and a speech by Denis Glennon, Ciara’s father. Also in attendance were Ashurst partner Adrian Chai (LLB ‘96) (who worked with Ciara), Ciara’s mother Una Glennon, Ciara’s sister Denise, Ciara’s niece Ailish (current JD student), the Hon. Justice Carmel Barbagello, UWA Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) Professor Anna Nowak, Law School Dean Professor Natalie Skead and numerous UWA Law School staff and students. 



Senior Lecturer recognised in Australian Awards for University Teaching

In March 2022, Senior Lecturer Dr Ambelin Kwaymullina, was awarded two 2021 Australian Awards for University Teaching (AAUT) for teaching excellence: the Neville Bonner Award for Indigenous Education and a Teaching Excellence Award in the Society and Culture category.
The Neville Bonner Award is named after Neville Bonner AO, who was the first Indigenous Australian to sit in Parliament, and an elder of the Jagera people. These highly competitive awards, administered by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment, celebrate quality teaching practices that contribute to a change in learning and teaching through ongoing knowledge sharing. It is an incredible achievement to receive two AAUT awards in the same year. Dr Kwaymullina has been at the forefront of developing and delivering the Indigenisation of the Law School’s Juris Doctor project, which incorporates Indigenous cultures, knowledge and perspectives throughout the JD degree. 


Partnership with WA Department of Premier and Cabinet on emerging technologies

UWA Law School and the Office of Digital Government (DGov) within the Department of Premier and Cabinet of WA have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create a collaborative and mutually beneficial partnership to accelerate regulatory innovation around emerging technologies. The Minderoo Tech & Policy Lab within the Law School and DGov’s Cyber Security Unit will work together to identify and advance strategic research projects and policy objectives that help position Western Australia as a best-practice leader in the regulation of emerging technologies.  This exciting collaboration will be led by Associate Professor Julia Powles, Director of the UWA Minderoo Tech & Policy Lab, and Dr Roberto Musotto, DGov Cyber Security Director.  

Image: DGov Chief Information Security Officer Peter Bouhlas and Dean of the UWA Law School, Professor Natalie Skead


Minderoo Tech & Policy Lab at UWA Law School works with Australian Academy of Science 

The Minderoo Tech & Policy Lab at UWA Law School and the Australian Academy of Science have developed the discussion paper, Getting Ahead of the Game: Athlete Data in Professional Sport.
UWA Law School’s Associate Professors Julia Powles and Jacqueline Alderson led this 18-month project for the Lab, which they launched alongside 10 other experts at the Australian Academy of Science in April 2022. The paper highlights that the rapid adoption of monitoring and tracking technologies by professional sports over the past decade has outpaced legal and ethical protections for athletes. It aims to catalyse improvements in the regulation and governance of athlete information. The paper was produced with support from the Frontier Technology initiative of Australian charitable organisation, Minderoo Foundation. Associate Professors Powles and Alderson and their team at the UWA Minderoo Tech & Policy Lab continue to lead work in the sector. They currently have a collaborative grant with the Australian Institute of Sport and all eight State and Territory institutes of sport, to establish best-practice data governance across the national high performance system.

Opening of the Paul Bendat Reading Room in Beasley Law Library

The opening of the Paul Bendat Reading Room in the refurbished Beasley Law Library was celebrated at the Law School on Monday 14 March 2022. Paul Bendat was an alumnus of the Law School (LLB ‘72). The Bendat family is known throughout Australia for their philanthropy. Among their many significant philanthropic contributions, the Bendat Family Foundation has, in honour of Paul Bendat, endowed the Paul Bendat Memorial Indigenous Scholarship in Law, and generously donated to refurbish the Paul Bendat Reading Room in the Beasley Law Library. The Paul Bendat Reading Room houses the Law School’s  book collection and is an area for individual quiet, reflective study. The opening was attended by Paul Bendat’s widow Amanda Bendat, daughter Georgia Bendat, son Sam Bendat, UWA Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Tim Colmer, Law School Dean Professor Natalie Skead and numerous distinguished guests and members of Law School staff.  The inaugural recipient of the Paul Bendat Memorial Indigenous Scholarship in Law, third year JD student Tyson McEwan, gave an address. 



CLWA and Law School launch new chatbot

Community Legal Western Australia (CLWA) has worked with a dedicated group of UWA law students and the Law School’s Director of Applied Innovation Senior Lecturer Kate Offer to create a new chatbot to assist people to find the community legal centre that will be most able to help them. The idea for the chatbot emanated from the winning team of the Law School’s first Disrupting Law Hackathon in 2018.  Students from the Hackathon team, and other law student volunteers, worked to further develop the idea with CLWA and a chatbot software provider. The chatbot was launched by CLWA on Thursday 30 June 2022.


Dean’s Circle thank you event 

The Dean’s Circle is an ongoing initiative that seeks to create long-term partnerships between UWA Law School and its alumni. On Wednesday 9 March 2022, Law School Dean Professor Natalie Skead held a cocktail event in the Law School courtyard to thank current members for their ongoing support. The event also welcomed three new members: Professor John Tarrant (SJD ‘05), Kanaga Dharmananda SC (LLB ‘88) and the Hon. Daryl Williams AM QC (LLB ‘64). Members of the Dean’s Circle can contribute to the Law School through scholarship endowments, teaching spaces, research projects or strategic funding. Learn more about joining the Dean's Circle.



New academics

We were delighted to welcome two new Indigenous scholars to UWA Law School in March - Lecturer Aurora Milroy and Lecturer Karinda Burns.


Law School and Blackstone Law Access Walk

A combined UWA Law School student and staff team participated in the Law Access Walk for Justice 2022, which raises funds for state-wide charity Law Access. The ‘UWA Law School Student and Staff Team’ raised over $5,300 and was the top university fundraising team. Many thanks to Senior Lecturer Dr Marilyn Bromberg on her fabulous fundraising leadership and to all who donated or attended the walk.  


Upcoming events 2022

Address by Chief Justice of Singapore, Sundaresh Menon - Wednesday 27 July
UWA Law School and the Supreme Court of Western Australia are delighted to invite you to attend an address by Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Singapore on Wednesday 27 July 2022 at 6pm at the WA Supreme Court.

The topic of the Chief Justice’s address is 'The Law of Commerce in the 21st Century: Transnational Commercial Justice Amidst the Wax and Wane of Globalisation'. Registration is free and essential. For more information and to register
Causation Conference - Friday 9 September
On Friday 9 September 2022, UWA Law School will bring together a remarkable group of experts to discuss causation and to debate, elucidate and resolve some of the law’s most pressing, and persistent, causal challenges. This group of experts is drawn from contributors to the University of Western Australia Law Review’s 2022 special issue on causation. For more information and to register.
Unjust Enrichment Online Symposium - Wednesday 14 September

UWA Law School and the Law Faculty of the University of Auckland will host an online symposium ‘Rethinking Unjust Enrichment: History, Sociology, Doctrine and Theory’ on Wednesday 14 September 2022, 10am-2pm. Join Professor Warren Swain (University of Auckland), Dr Sagi Peari (UWA) and other leading academics from across the globe as they contemplate the current coherency of private law and seek to challenge the dominant position of the global movement of unjust enrichment. Registration is free and available via the Law School webpage soon.

Rethinking Unjust Enrichment: History, Sociology, Doctrine and Theory 14 - 16 September

Join Professor Warren Swain (The University of Auckland) and Dr Sagi Peari (The University of Western Australia) and other leading academics from across the globe from Wednesday 14 September – Friday 16 September as they contemplate the current coherency of private law and seek to challenge the dominant position of the global movement of unjust enrichment. In order to capture the audiences across the globe, the organisers have split the symposium into three parts: (1) Australia/China/India/Hong/Kong/Singapore (14 September); (2) Europe (15 September); (3) USA/Canada/Latin America (16 September). For more details including the symposium detailed program, please see:

Free registrations available via Eventbrite 

French Dialogues - Thursday 6 October

Save the Date! UWA Law School and the Minderoo Tech & Policy Lab in the Law School, will hold the inaugural French Dialogues in Perth on Thursday 6 October 2022 at 6pm. The French Dialogues is a panel of experts from various disciplines, including law, who will discuss a cross disciplinary topic. This year’s topic is 'The Future of Artificial Intelligence and Humans: Should we unplug the machines?'. The expert panel will examine if, and how, humanity and AI can co-exist together, with a focus on the next 50 years. The French Dialogues honours the Hon. Robert French AC, a UWA Law School alumnus (LLB ’71), former Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia and current Chancellor of UWA. Registration is free and available via the Law School webpage soon.

Book Launch The Culpable Corporate Mind - Wednesday 7 December

You are invited to the book launch of Professor Elise Bant’s edited collection The Culpable Corporate Mind (Hart Publishing, Oxford) on Wednesday 7 December 2022 at 3:30pm (AWST) in person at The University Club of WA or 4.00pm (online). The book will be launched by the Hon. Justice Michelle Gordon (LLB ‘87) of the High Court of Australia, followed by a panel discussion with Mr Joseph Longo (LLB ‘82), Chair of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, alongside a range of eminent contributors to the collection. For more information and to register:

Conference Civil Remedies - 8-9 December
The Private and Commercial Law Research Cluster of UWA Law School will again host the annual private law conference previously hosted by the Obligations Group at Melbourne Law School. The theme of the conference will be Civil Remedies. The conference will be held on Thursday 8 and Friday 9 December 2022 using a ‘blended’ format, allowing in-person and remote presentations and attendance. For more information and to register.

More news

Alumni appointments to the Bench

Congratulations to the following UWA Law School alumni appointed to the Bench in WA this year:

  • Michael Feutrill SC (LLB ‘96), formerly a barrister at Quayside Chambers, was appointed a judge of the Federal Court of Australia.    
  • Amanda Forrester SC (LLB ‘95), formerly the Director of Public Prosecutions for Western Australia, was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court. 
  • Henry Jackson SC (LLB ‘97), formerly a barrister at Francis Burt Chambers, was appointed District Court Judge and Deputy President of the State Administrative Tribunal.
  • Michael Berry SC (LLB ‘97), formerly a barrister at John Toohey Chambers, was appointed a Judge of the Family Court of Western Australia.

Recent UWA Law School graduate to study at Oxford

Congratulations to recent Juris Doctor (JD) graduate Joseph Sabbagh (JD 2020) who was accepted into the BCL at Oxford University. Joseph was also awarded a William Asbrey scholarship. The scholarship is jointly funded by St Edmund Hall and the Oxford Law Faculty and is open to all BCL applicants. Joseph will commence his studies in October.

In memoriam - Valerie Kerruish and Neville Crago

It is with sadness that we learned of the passing of two former Law School colleagues, one also an alumnus - Valerie Kerruish (LLB ’65) and Neville Crago. Both taught many generations of law students. Neville Crago was an academic member of Law School staff for over 3 decades (1967-2002). Val Kerruish was our first female full-time law academic and a member of Law School staff for 25 years (1967-1992). Our condolences and deepest sympathy to both Val’s and Neville’s family and friends.  


Opportunities for engagement

Blackstone Society needs practitioner volunteers
Between July and September 2022, the Blackstone Society is holding a number of law student competitions including the Herbert Smith Freehills Negotiation Competition (August/September), the King & Wood Mallesons Open Moot (July/August) and the Allen & Overy First Year Moot on Contract Law (August/September). The Blackstone Society is keen for legal practitioners to volunteer as judges for these competitions. If you are a practitioner interested in volunteering, please contact Jake Alderson, Vice-President (Competitions) by email: [email protected] 
Expressions of interest for law student internships
UWA Law School offers law students an elective unit in the JD that places them as an intern in a legal environment. The students spend one day per week for a semester or an intensive period over 2-3 weeks in the summer semester, working with a law firm, corporation, government organisation or other relevant workplace. If your organisation is interested in offering an internship to a law student, to find out more please refer to our ‘Internship Expressions of Interest’ webpage.
New philanthropic Deans Foundation
Later this year, UWA Law School will launch its corporate donor program, the Dean’s Foundation. The aim of the Dean’s Foundation is to create long-term partnerships between the Law School and law firms and corporate organisations to ensure and enhance our continued success through philanthropy. This is a separate initiative to the Dean’s Circle, which creates partnerships with our individual alumni. We look forward to providing you with more information on the Dean’s Foundation soon.

To all alumni, are your details up to date?
To update them, please visit: