Obiter Dicta

June 2023

Message from the Dean

Professor Natalie Skead

Callistemon Perth Pink Bottlebrush located in the Law School Courtyard

It has been fantastic to see the Law School campus precinct reactivated this semester. The Law Library, Courtyard, Blackstone Common Room, Oak Lawn and the Ref are once again bustling with law students, staff and visitors. Even the trees are in full bloom.

With travel once again possible, we have welcomed back our interstate and international students and visiting scholars and have hosted a range of academic conferences, public lectures and seminars, book launches and award ceremonies. In March, we launched the Tropical Grove series of salon-style open public conversations in UWA’s beautiful Tropical Grove with a dynamic discussion on ‘ChatGPT: Why is everyone talking about generative AI, and what does it mean for us?’

This semester saw the introduction of our new Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice. The course provides an important nexus between our strength in criminology research, engagement and teaching and has already proven to be very popular with our undergraduate students. 

Student wellbeing has been a priority in the Law School for many years. Generous contributions to the Law School’s Strategic Fund from members of the Dean’s Circle, the Law School’s individual philanthropic initiative, have provided funds to appoint our inaugural Law School Wellbeing Advisor, Sally Stott. Sally’s appointment allows us to offer a much-needed drop-in counselling service for Law School students and staff. 

In September, the Law School will be once again hosting the John Toohey Oration in honour of the career and contribution to public life of the Hon. John Leslie Toohey AC QC. We are delighted that the Hon. Virginia Bell AC, former Justice of the High Court of Australia, will be joining us to deliver this year’s address. 


Blackstone President's Message

Claudia Monterosso, Blackstone President and        Juris Doctor student

The Blackstone Society comprises the President, nine Vice Presidents and 60 General Committee Members across nine portfolios and represents all undergraduate and postgraduate students studying law at UWA. The Society was awarded the Most Innovative Society and Runner up Best Faculty Society by the UWA Student Guild in 2022. In 2023, our vision is to build on these incredible achievements by pursuing the notion of ‘community’  - in all of its meaning.

UWA’s Beasley Law Library is buzzing with life again as more Juris Doctor students return to campus following the pandemic. The courtyard is busy with students and the Common Room’s new football table, sponsored by Norton Rose Fulbright, is adding to the friendly atmosphere in the School. Throughout Semester 1, the Blackstone calendar was packed with events designed to support the breadth of diversity across our student cohort. These included networking opportunities, wellbeing initiatives and educational programs, with some of the standout events being:
•    2023 Perth Law Careers Fair
•    Women in Law Mentoring Scheme (WILMS)
•    Clerkship Buddy System
•    Dinner Debate
•    Free Gym Membership for JD students

These events only scratch the surface of the Society's accomplishments in Semester 1. Through these and many other activities, the Blackstone Society continues to be an integral part of the Law School experience at UWA, and we look forward to seeing what Semester 2 brings.


The UWA Student Free Legal Advice Clinic

The Student Legal Advice Centre Inc. (SLAC) is a recent innovation of UWA law students, the Blackstone Society and the UWA Student Guild.

The vision behind SLAC is twofold. First, to assist students in need of legal assistance. SLAC facilitates legal advice through partnering with an entity that provides pro bono solicitors. Currently, SLAC is in partnership with Circle Green Community Legal (CGCL) and, through this partnership is able to provide legal advice to UWA students in the core areas of tenancy, employment and discrimination. In the three months since its inception, SLAC has assisted over 30 students. Second, to ensure that UWA law students are exposed to diverse areas of the law and to gain experience in the profession. Volunteer paralegals liaise with clients, provide briefs to CGCL lawyers, and sit in on advice appointments. Find out more about SLAC. You'll find its contact details on the webpage.




Dean’s Foundation Launch and New Members

The Dean’s Foundation was formally launched in 2022. The Foundation is a corporate philanthropic program that seeks to ensure the continued success of the School, our programs and our students.

We are delighted to have Ashurst and Gilbert & Tobin join the Foundation as our Founding members. 




National Teaching Award

Congratulations to Aidan Ricciardo who was awarded an Australian Award for University Teaching (AAUT) citation for his outstanding contributions to student learning.

                  Aidan Ricciardo          

    Professor Jacqueline Alderson       

Fulbright Scholarships and Awards 

We congratulate Professor Jacqueline Alderson, Tech Director, UWA Tech and Policy Lab, who was named a 2023-24 Fulbright Future Scholarship (Senior Scholar) and also received the named Fulbright Professional Alliance Scholarship. Jacqueline will undertake her Scholarship at Stanford University in 2024.

Congratulations also to Professor Simon Young, former UWA Law School colleague and UWA Adjunct Professor, who received a Fulbright Scholar Award. 

2023 UWA Fay Gale Scholarship

Associate Professor Fiona McGaughey has been awarded a
UWA Fay Gale Fellowship for a comparative research project on the Australian Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth) and the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015.  The award will support information sharing between the UK and Australia on the implementation of their Modern Slavery Acts and facilitate networking with leading UK research institutions.
Dr McGaughey will visit the Modern Slavery Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC) in London and the Human Trafficking Research Network (HTRN) hosted by the Human Rights Centre at Queen’s University, Belfast. 


Associate Professor Fiona McGaughey


UWA Law School Advisory Board

The Advisory Board provides advice and an external perspective on the Law School’s strategic direction. This year we welcome new members Brahma Dharmananda SC (Western Australian Bar Association) and Ante Golem (Law Society of Western Australia) to the Board. 

International Humanitarian Legal Studies Annual Prize

Congratulations to Dr Emily Camins  who was awarded the Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies Annual Prize for 2022 for the paper, Between Rights, Sovereignty and Cooperation: Responding to Victims of Armed ConflictEmily recently completed her PhD at UWA and received the highest rating available for her thesis from her examiners, resulting in the award of a rare honourable mention on the Dean’s List. 

Dr Emily Camins

L to R Panel Members: Martin Bennett, Sue Chrysanthou SC,
Dr Michael Douglas and Professor David Rolph

Defamation Law Panel Discussion

In December 2022, Bennett & Co and UWA Law School’s Private and Commercial Law Research Cluster co-hosted an event on ‘Current Perspectives on Defamation and Defamation Law Reform’. The event featured speeches from Professor David Rolph (Sydney Law School), Sue Chrysanthou SC and Dr Michael Douglas (UWA Law School), and was chaired by Martin Bennett. The event was well-attended by Perth’s defamation law enthusiasts, including the Hon Rene Le Miere KC, the Hon Justice Kenneth Martin and members of the media. The Communications and Media Law Association subsequently published Michael’s speaking notes.


Upcoming Events

2023 Toohey Oration
The Hon. Virginia Bell AC will deliver an address on 'The work of the High Court in the administration of criminal justice' on Wednesday 6 September, 5.30–8.30pm, at The Supreme Court of Western Australia Courtroom 1. Under the Chief Justiceship of Anthony Mason, and particularly following the appointments of John Toohey and Mary Gaudron to the bench, the High Court evinced an increasing willingness to grant special leave to appeal in criminal cases. This is a trend that has continued. In this Oration, the Hon. Virginia Bell will discuss the Court’s work and notable developments in the administration of criminal justice and the criminal law, and refer to John Toohey’s contribution to the development of this area of the law. For further information and registration, visit
Private and Commercial Law Conference – December 2023

Following the success of the 2022 Private and Commercial Law Conference organised by Dr Felicity Maher and Dr Nicholas Tiverios on the theme of ‘civil remedies,’ the Law School’s Private and Commercial Law Research Cluster will again host its annual conference from 14–16 December 2023.

This year the conference has the broad theme of ‘private and commercial law’. For more information about the conference, presenting and to register, visit    

Student News

International Moot Student Success 

Congratulations to our Jessup International Moot team (Hannah Jackson, Georgina Macri, Eva Marsh, Mako Maruzva and Rory O’Sullivan) on reaching the quarterfinals of the national competition in which they were narrowly defeated by grand finalists, Macquarie Law School.

L to R: Alexander Gibson (Coach), Georgina Macri, Mako Murzavu, Aleasha Sanchez-Lawson (Coach), Rory O’Sullivan, Eva Marsh, Hannah Jackson

Student Prizes, Scholarships and Bursaries

Law School Prizes and Awards night

Our top students from 2022 were recognised for their outstanding academic achievements at our annual Law School Awards Ceremony on Tuesday 9 May 2023. The valedictorian address was given by recent JD graduate Thomas Robins, the keynote address by Jo Feldman, UWA LLB graduate and partner at Norton Rose Fulbright, and the staff address by Law School Associate Professor Meredith Blake. Students in the top 15% of the graduating cohort on the Dean’s List were also recognised. The ceremony also provided an opportunity to present 2023 financial scholarships and bursaries to selected students and to thank all the donors whose generosity allows for recognition and support of deserving students.   

2023 Ciara Glennon Memorial Law Scholarship

The 25th award of the Ciara Glennon Memorial Scholarship Presentation was presented on Wednesday 10 May to Abigail Gregorio, a second year JD student. In accepting the scholarship, Abigail described it as ‘life-changing’ to be the recipient of this memorial scholarship. 

L to R: Dr Denise Glennon, Una Glennon, Abigail Gregorio, Denis Glennon

Award of New Scholarship: the Ian Cochrane Memorial Scholarship

Perenti Limited, in consultation with the Cochrane family, has donated funds to UWA to establish this Scholarship in memory of the late Ian Cochrane, to encourage and assist a high-achieving student to commence the JD at the University. The inaugural recipient, Daisy Hannaford, received this award at a presentation on Tuesday 23 May at the UWA Club.

Emerging Technology Fellowship

Congratulations to JD student Sian O’Sullivan who won the Inaugural Stirling & Rose Emerging Technology Fellowship. This involved researching AI, Digital Currency and public policy developments in Australia with new technology. Congratulations also to fellow JD student Samantha Hopson, who received a Special Commendation in the competition.

Alumni News

We extend our congratulations to the following alumni on their professional and personal achievements. 

Alumni Appointments to the Bench

  • Steven Jones SC (BJuris '82, LLB '83), formerly a barrister at Francis Burt Chambers, was appointed a judge of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFCOA) (Division 1) and the Family Court of Western Australia (FCWA).
  • Magistrate Wendy Hughes (BEc '03, LLB '06) was appointed a judge of the District Court of Western Australia.
  • Laura Christian SC (LLB '96) was appointed a judge of the District Court of Western Australia.
  • Judge Stephen Lemonis (BJuris '88, LLB '89) was appointed judge of the Supreme Court of Western Australia.

King's Birthday Honours

  • Dr Cassandra Goldie, BJuris '86, LLB '87, was recognised with an AO for distinguished service to social justice through leadership and advocacy to promote the rights of people marginalised and disadvantaged in the community.
  • The late Mr Robert Meadows KC, LLB '64, received an AM for significant service to the law and the legal profession in WA.

Appointment to the NACC

Dr Ben Gauntlett (LLB, BCom '03) has been appointed as Deputy Commissioner to the National Anti-Corruption Commission commencing on Saturday 1 July 2023.

Heading Overseas to Study

Congratulations to Larissa Welmans (BA '12, JD '18) who was accepted into the BCL at Oxford and Magdalen College. Larissa will commence her studies this September.

Eurovision Finalist

Daniel (Danny) Estrin (LLB, BA '04) is lead singer of The Voyagers, Australia’s 2023 Eurovision entry and a top 10 Finalist. 

More News from our Law School

Dean’s Circle Thank You Event

Members and friends of the Dean’s Circle joined Associate Professor Ian Murray, other staff and artists, and the curator for a special viewing of the Black Sky Exhibition at the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery at UWA on Thursday 23 February. 

We are delighted to welcome new and renewing members to the Dean’s Circle this year. Learn more about the Dean’s Circle.

Black Sky Perth Festival Tree 

Law School Staff: New Books, Report and Launches

Electoral Lobbying Regulations Event

The UWA Law School, Electoral Regulation Research Network, and UWA Public Policy Institute hosted a forum on ‘Lobbying regulation in Australia: where we are now and options for reform’ at the Law School in December 2022.

Professor Sarah Murray chaired a presentation by University Associate Professor Yee-Fui Ng from Monash University and an interactive discussion about how lobbying regulation can best ensure integrity in government. Read a summary of the event.

New Staff

We are delighted to welcome the following new staff to the Law School this year:

  • Dr Hayley Passmore – Lecturer
  • Dr Jamie Walvisch – Senior Lecturer
  • Dr Emily Camins - Lecturer
  • Liz Mansfield – Lecturer
  • Alvin Yap – Lecturer
  • Ana Philpott - Executive Education/Events Officer 
  • Sally Stott - Law School Wellbeing Advisor

Departing Staff

We farewell a number of academic colleagues this year and wish them all the best in the future as they explore new and exciting opportunities. We are pleased to retain a close association with them in an Emeritus, Adjunct or Honorary capacity.

To all alumni, are your details up to date? 

If you would like to update your details for our UWA records, you may do so via this website.