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Obiter Dicta
Obiter Dicta
December 2018
Message from the Dean, Professor Natalie Skead

Dean, Assoc/Prof Natalie Skead

On 1 September we wrapped up our 90th anniversary with a gala dinner. Under the expert and eloquent stewardship of our fantastic MC, Professor Stephen Smith, the evening was a fitting celebration of our past, present and future. Many thanks to our guest speakers Joshua Sanchez-Lawson, Ian Viner, Rabia Siddique and Nicholas Van Hattem, and congratulations to the recipients of the Frank Beasley Medal for their outstanding career contributions to legal education and the legal profession: The Honourable Robert French AC; Dr Sue Gordon; Emeritus Professor Richard Harding; The Honourable David Malcolm AC QC (awarded posthumously); The Honourable Wayne Martin AC QC; and The Honourable Christine Wheeler AO QC. Visit our Facebook page for photos of the evening.

On behalf of the Law School, I wish you all the best for the holiday season and look forward to working with you in the year ahead.

 
News

Indigenisation of the Juris Doctor

On 26 September, the Vice-Chancellor launched the Indigenisation of the Juris Doctor project as part of the National Indigenous Legal Conference. A joint initiative between the UWA Law School and the School of Indigenous Studies – led by Dr Ambelin Kwaymullina and overseen by a reference group comprising legal and cultural experts – the project will see Indigenous law, knowledges, cultures and experiences embedded throughout the JD program.
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Disrupting Law

The UWA Law School held its inaugural Disrupting Law Hackathon last month, with 35 students working over 54 hours to create software solutions for the legal industry.

Seven teams of students were mentored by lawyers from leading law firms and community legal centres. In the space of one weekend, they brainstormed an idea, validated it and built a business model to present to judges.

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Student Achievements

Supporting community legal centres

Community legal centres (CLCs) perform a vital function, providing free legal help to people experiencing vulnerability or disadvantage, and who would otherwise not have legal assistance. As independent, not-for-profit organisations, CLCs rely heavily on government funding and support from the private sector.
Recognising that the demand on these centres cannot be fully supported by this funding, Juris Doctor student Kylie Hansen investigated ways in which law firms can provide non-traditional legal support or non-legal support, so as to understand the diversity of assistance that may be possible and the potential barriers to expanding such assistance.
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Mooting success

Congratulations to our Kirby and Gibbs mooting teams on their excellent results in the two competitions held in Melbourne earlier this semester.

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Law Graduates Awarded John Monash Scholarships

The Law School congratulates Zoe Bush and Ashlee Uren who were awarded the Zelman Cowen John Monash Scholarship and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia John Monash Scholarship, respectively.  

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Blackstone Society

The Blackstone Society – in its 90th year – picked up honours in every category of the UWA Student Society awards, including the Most Innovative Faculty Society Award, the FacSoc’s Choice Best Faculty Society, Best New Event (for the Love is Love SSM Wedding Celebration), and runner-up for Best Faculty Society. This is an excellent result, and a testament to Blackstone’s hard work, inclusivity and effective student advocacy. 

 
Staff News

Congratulations to Professor Natalie Skead for her promotion to Level E (Professor), recognising her outstanding contributions to the Law School and the University, and to learning, teaching and research in law.

Dr Penny Carruthers recently completed her PhD, The Australian Torrens system principle of immediate indefeasibility: is it ‘fit for purpose’ for the 21st century?. Congratulations, Penny!

Congratulations to Dr Ian Murray, who was awarded his PhD by the University of Tasmania on the topic Accumulation by charities: do Australian legal restraints maintain an intergenerational balance?.

Harry Blagg and Tamara Tulich have been funded by Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety Limited (ANROWS) for their project Understanding the role of law and culture in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in responding to and preventing family violence. Harry has also received a grant from The Healing Foundation for his project Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander framework for violence prevention with men and boys.
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The following Law School staff received University teaching awards at the University Learning and Teaching Awards Ceremony in November:
  • Meredith Blake - Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning
  • Liam Elphick - Excellence in Teaching (Early Career)
  • Kate Offer - Excellence in Teaching Kate was also selected as one of three UWA nominees for the 2018 Australian Awards for University Teaching. Good luck Kate!
Stella Tarrant received the 2018 Blackstone Teacher of the Year Award. The award is due recognition and acknowledgement of Stella's personal connection with students, her passion, knowledge and willingness to go above and beyond to enrich the student experience at UWA.

Dylan Lino’s book, Constitutional Recognition: First Peoples and the Australian Settler State (Federation Press, 2018) was launched at the National Indigenous Legal Conference in September.
 
Law School Spotlight

Meet our new Law School Staff

Nicole Wilson-Rogers

 

Dr Joe Clare

What path have you followed since leaving law school?
I have worked in private practice in taxation in both legal and accounting firms. I have also worked in academia, at the Office of State Revenue, and as a content specialist for publisher Wolters Kluwer.

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Sagi Peari

Michael Douglas

What are your areas of research interest?
My primary area of interest is private law theory. It was this interest that led to my decision to pursue graduate studies at the University of Toronto, to write my master’s thesis

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Julie Falck

Dr Melanie O’Brien

What are your aspirations for the Law School in the lead up to the 100th Anniversary?
I’m really happy to be back at UWA, and am excited to see everything that’s going on at the Law School. As we head toward the 100th Anniversary, I’d like to see the Law School maintain its focus on serving and connecting with communities.

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Meet PhD student

Natalie Brown

Jeanette Jensen

You recently completed your PhD at UWA. How would you describe the research you undertook?
It was a privilege to be offered a funded PhD at the UWA Law School to research an important topical issue, the regulation of Pilbara iron ore mine dewatering through State agreements (that is, contracts between the industry proponent and the State government that are ratified by Parliament).

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Alumni News

Jeanette Jensen

The Hon Chief Justice Peter Quinlan
The Hon Chief Justice Peter Quinlan was appointed as the State’s 14th Chief Justice on 13 August 2018. He obtained a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours) from the UWA Law School before working at the Crown Solicitor’s Office and as an Associate to the Hon Justice Parker.
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Joshua Thomson SC
The Law School congratulates Joshua Thomson SC on his recent appointment as the Solicitor-General for Western Australia. He obtained a Bachelor of Laws (with First Class Honours) from UWA before undertaking the BCL at Oxford in 1996.

Jeanette Jensen
Dr Andrew Lu OAM
Dr Andrew Lu was recently elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law. This is a very prestigious appointment, acknowledging “persons of exceptional distinction in the discipline of law who are demonstrably committed to the objects of the Academy”.

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