Obiter Dicta

December 2021


Beasley Medal Awards

On Friday 10 December 2021, the UWA Law School held the biannual Frank Beasley Medal dinner in the newly renovated Beasley Law Library. The Frank Beasley Medal is awarded to distinguished UWA Law School alumni and scholars who have made an outstanding and sustained contribution to the law and the advancement of justice in Western Australia and to legal education at UWA. In 2021, the Medal was awarded to Malcolm McCusker AC CVO QC LLB '60, The Honourable Neville Owen AO LLB '69, Emeritus Professor William Ford LLB '76,  and (posthumously) Enid Russell LLB '30, the first female graduate of UWA Law School to be admitted to practice in WA. Valerie French LLB '72 accepted the Medal on behalf of Ms Russell. The Medals were awarded by the WA Attorney General, The Hon. John Quigley MLA LLB '74. Read more about the Frank Beasley Medal






First two Indigenous students participate in SSO Internship

Two of our Juris Doctor students, Tyson McEwan and Andrew Dhu, were the inaugural Indigenous law students to participate in the recently established State Solicitor’s Office Indigenous Legal Internship Program (ILI). The ILI is a recognised academic program at UWA that provides an opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander University JD students to undertake paid work experience within the SSO. The program seeks to give the law students an understanding of legal work and the role of the SSO, and insights into a career in the law.  


New Judge in Residence for 2022

We are delighted that The Honourable David Newnes (LLB ‘78), former Judge of the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Western Australia, will commence as our Judge in Residence at the Law School in 2022. Mr Newnes succeeds The Honourable Antony Siopis who was our Judge in Residence for 2021/2022. The Judge in Residence program encourages and fosters engagement between sitting and retired members of the judiciary and Law School staff and students.  

Toohey Oration held at Supreme Court

On Thursday 19 August 2021, the Law School held the biannual Toohey Oration at the Supreme Court of Western Australia. The Honourable Robert French AC LLB '71, delivered the Oration entitled, A True Australian Republic: True to our history, fit for our future. Romanie Hollingworth LLB ‘92 provided comments on Mr French’s excellent paper. A copy of the paper is available on the UWA Research Repository.


Australia New Zealand Intervarsity Moot on Animal Law - UWA team wins grand final

In September 2021, the UWA Law School mooting team comprising JD students Rachael Griffiths-Szeto, Joseph Waters and Yasmin Kirkham (pictured), won the national Grand Final of the Australia New Zealand Intervarsity Moot on Animal Law. Joseph Waters was awarded the Best Oralist out of all competing teams. Congratulations to all and a big thank you to Dr Renae Barker for her coaching.


Law School academics make an impact  

Under the Commonwealth ‘Discovery Early Career Researcher Award’ scheme for 2022, Associate Professor Tamara Tulich (pictured) has been awarded $445,125 to deliver the first legal history of preventive justice in Australia, detailing the origins, scope and justifications for preventive justice in the Australian settler colonial context. Professor Sarah Murray was co-author of a report of the independent Ministerial Expert Committee on Electoral Reform. The reforms in the recently enacted Constitutional and Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Equality) Act 2021 (WA) were based on this report.


National Teaching Award for UWA Law School Academic 

Lecturer Aidan Ricciardo received the national Award for Excellence in Teaching (Early Career) in the inaugural Australian Legal Education Awards. The award is for ‘instilling self-confidence in his students and supporting them to be the best learners they can be by making legal studies accessible and inclusive.’

COVID myth-busting panel

On Wednesday 27 October 2021, the UWA Public Policy Institute, UWA Law School, and the Australian Association of Constitutional Law hosted the public event, ‘COVID myth-busting: power, rights and the law'. Professor Sarah Murray, Associate Professor Meredith Blake and Dr Murray Wesson formed an ‘Ask the Experts’ panel to answer questions about government emergency measures during the pandemic.

New law books by our academics

Professor Michael Blakeney, with co-editor Kadambot Siddique, recently published the collection Local Knowledge, Intellectual Property and Agricultural Innovation (Springer) and Professor Elise Bant, with co-editors, Wayne Courtney, James Goudkamp, and Jeannie Marie Paterson, recently published the collection Punishment and Private Law (Bloomsbury). 


New members of UWA Law School Advisory Board

Corrs Chambers Westgarth Partner in Charge (Perth), Kirsty Sutherland LLB '89, has agreed to be the Corporate Law Association of Perth’s representative on UWA Law School’s Advisory Board. Also joining the Board is Rebecca Lee LLB '93, in her role as 2022 President of the Law Society of Western Australia. The Advisory Board provides advice and an external perspective on the Law School’s strategic direction.  

Upcoming events for 2022

UWA Law School CPD events

UWA Law School offers the following CPD accredited webinars in the remainder of the 2021/2022 CPD year:

  • Wednesday 9 February 2022 - Professor Elise Bant, ‘Systems Intentionality’: revolution and evolution in corporate regulation
    Register here
  • Wednesday 16 February 2022 - Senior Lecturer Jacinta Dharmananda, ‘The meaning of meanings: use of defined terms in statutory interpretation’.
    Register here
  • Wednesday 2 March 2022 - Dr Felicity Maher, ‘Unjust enrichment: a primer’.
    Register here
  • Wednesday 30 March 2022 - Dr Marco Rizzi and Professor Natalie Skead, ‘Algorithmic contracts and the equitable doctrine of undue influence: adapting old rules to a new legal landscape’ 
    Register here
Conference on Causation: Friday 25 March 2022

UWA Law School, in conjunction with the Australian Academy of Law and Herbert Smith Freehills, Perth, will hold a conference on ‘Causation’ on Friday 25 March 2022. The conference marks the publication of the UWA Law Review Special Edition on Causation (forthcoming) and features specialist papers by eminent judges, expert jurists and leading practitioners, from across the globe. The conference will be in person and online, with the in-person component to be held at the offices of HSF, Perth. For information on CPD points available and registration

More alumni news


Lady Katherine Day (née Ainslie) 1940 to 2021, LLB '62

Katherine Mary Ainslie was born on 15 July 1940. Attending UWA Law School from 1958 to 1961, she was a distinguished law student, being only the second Law School graduate to achieve distinctions in all 17 Law subjects (all units were compulsory at that time). She graduated from the Law School in 1962 with first class honours. Ms Day then went to Oxford University to study for the BCL: she would undoubtedly have won a Rhodes Scholarship had women been eligible for this award in that era. She continued her trajectory of excellence by becoming a Tutor in Law at St Anne’s College, Oxford, and then practised at the English bar.  She gave up her practice following her marriage to BBC broadcaster Robin Day; when he was knighted in 1981, she became Lady Katherine Day. 

In her last decades, Lady Day lived in the United Kingdom. She passed away in London at 81 years of age in October 2021.  The Law School extends its sincere condolences to the late Lady Day’s family.

Alumni appointment to the Supreme Court

In July 2021, barrister Marcus Solomon SC LLB '91 was appointed as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Western Australia.

Alumni appointment to the Australian Human Rights Commission and the State Administrative Tribunal

Alumnus Lorraine Finlay LLB '03 was appointed as Human Rights Commissioner for the Australian Human Rights Commission in September 2021. In the same month, Carol Conley LLB '96, was appointed to the State Administrative Tribunal.

Alumni appointments to Senior Counsel

In October 2021, four of our alumni were appointed as Senior Counsel in Western Australia:
  • Terry Palmer LLB '97
  • Geoff Bourhill LLB '81
  • Steven Jones LLB '83
  • Darren Renton LLB '93

Kathleen Foley Lowe LLB '03 was appointed Senior Counsel in Victoria in November 2021.

2022 Law Society President

Congratulations to Rebecca Lee LLB '93, for her election to President of the Law Society of Western Australia for 2022.  

More on our students


Alfred Deakin International Commercial Arbitration Moot 2021

The UWA team of JD students, Mitchel Davis, Samha Khan and Kate Koh ranked 8th in the Alfred Deakin International Commercial Arbitration Moot, and Mitchel Davis was ranked amongst the top ten oralists of the general rounds. In the 2021 moot, there were 43 teams from 22 countries. Many thanks to Professor Camilla Andersen for coaching the UWA team.

Election of the 2022 Blackstone Society President

Congratulations to Juris Doctor student Jihoo Lee on his election as the President of the Blackstone Society for 2022.

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