L to R: Kenneth Richards, Professor John McMillan (Australian Information Commissioner), Sarah Day and Peeta Hutson
Over summer, three Adelaide law students got first-hand experience in dealing with Commonwealth freedom of information laws by undertaking an internship with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) in Canberra as part of the Law School’s Public Law Internship course.
Of the experience, two of the interns, Sarah Day and Kenneth Richards, wrote:
“We would certainly recommend this opportunity to students who enjoyed Administrative Law. An internship with the OAIC is a great way to meld academic principle with real world application to people and cases. As interns, we started small, but by the end of the five weeks, we were all writing draft decisions for the Commissioners. As an unexpected bonus, on completion of internship, we received an offer of summer employment. We are really looking forward to further developing our skills and understanding in this extended period.”
The internships were partly made possible by the financial assistance provided by the SA Chapter of the Australian Institute of Administrative Law (AIAL). The Chair of the AIAL (SA Chapter), Justice Greg Parker, stated:
“The AIAL Executive was delighted that the Adelaide Law School had put forward such a practical and student focused proposal with a clear focus on administrative law. I am sure that the students will have benefitted greatly from the internship.”
The OAIC is one of 7 host offices of the Public Law Internship course in which 18 students are participating over the summer semester and semesters 1 and 2 in 2014. Apart from the OAIC, these offices include the State Ombudsman, the Office of the SA Solicitor-General, the SA Crown Solicitor’s Office, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, the SA Attorney-General’s Department’s Office for Legislation and Legal Policy and the Australian Human Rights Commission. The Law School would like to thank all these host offices as well as the AIAL (SA Chapter) for their support for the Public Law Internship course.