Message from the Dean
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
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:
• 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.
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 Conflict. Emily 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.
- 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 https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/john-toohey-oration-2023-tickets-668026885397
- 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 https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/private-and-commercial-law-annual-conference-2023-tickets-619519247747.
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.
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.
Award of New Scholarship: the Ian Cochrane Memorial Scholarship
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.
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.
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
- The Culpable Corporate Mind, E. Bant ed., (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2023) was launched at The University Club of WA and online on Thursday 1 June by the Hon. Justice Gordon of the High Court of Australia. The launch was followed by presentations and a discussion with expert panellists Mr Joseph Longo, Chair of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, Professor Elise Bant, Professor Fiona McGaughey, and other eminent contributors to the collection.
L to R: Associate Professor Fiona McGaughey, Professor Jeannie Marie Paterson and Professor Elise Bant.
- Melanie O’Brien, From Discrimination to Death: Genocide Process through a Human Rights Lens (Routledge, 2023). A talk by Associate Professor O'Brien about her book is available on YouTube.
- Jani McCutcheon, Literary Characters in Intellectual Property Law (Edward Elgar, 2023).
- Jeffrey Barnes, Jacinta Dharmananda and Eamonn Moran PSM KC, Modern Statutory Interpretation: Framework, Principles and Practice (Cambridge UP, 2023). The book was launched by her Honour Justice Katrina Banks-Smith at an event at the City of Perth Library attended by Judges of the Federal Court and Supreme Court of Western Australia, the WA Solicitor-General, members of the UWA Law School and the Bar, and the broader profession.
L to R: Jacinta Dharmananda, Eamonn Moran PSM KC, Justice Katrina Banks-Smith and Professor Natalie Skead
- Ian Murray, Natalie Skead, Robyn Carroll, Marco Rizzi, Jeanette Jensen, Robyn Honey and Donovan Castelyn, Building Resilience by Helping WA Charities Access their Reserves: Report and Guidelines for Charities. The Report and Guidelines, which were made possible with the help of a Research Advisory Group and funding support from Lotterywest, were launched at the Law School on Wednesday 24 May.
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.
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
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.