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A Message from the Deans…

It’s been a big year the Adelaide Law School. Despite being in ‘caretaker mode’ in the absence of our Dean, Professor John Williams on sabbatical (with two Acting Deans, Melissa de Zwart (Semester 1) and David Brown (Semester 2) ), we have not let the grass grow.

Below are some of the notable aspects of the year. (It goes without saying that there is always the regular but crucially important business of teaching and supervision of students at all levels, plus a vast and growing array of research by our staff.)

The low point of the year was the sad and sudden passing of Helen Wighton, Deputy Director of the SA Law Reform Institute, in August. Helen’s cheerful and energetic presence is sorely missed by all.

Some of our highlights from throughout the year include….

  • Three new permanent Lecturers : Anna Olijnyk, Adam Webster, and Wendy Ng (the latter from Melbourne)
  • Public orations by William Smith Deputy Co-Prosecutor at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia;the Crawford Oration given by Professor Anne Orford, partnering with the Red Cross in the first Red Cross Oration given by Naz Modirzadeh, Geoffrey Robertson QC (in partnership with the Howard Zelling Trust and Law Society of SA), and the John Bray Oration given by Hon Margaret White.
  • Our employment law team continued to be in the public spotlight with their research and consulting on Unpaid Work, ending the year with the announcement of a major Australian Research Council Discovery grant (Professors Owens and Stewart, Associate Professor Anne Hewitt and Dr Joanna Howe). The Law School was also successful as a collaborator in another ARC ‘LIEF’ grant on Austlii, the legal database.
  • Awarding of PhDs to a number of our staff: Francesco de Zwart, Rebecca la Forgia, Adam Webster, Wendy Ng, Mark Giancaspro (Adjunct) and Dale Stephens
  • Duncan Basheer Hannon Scholarship awarded to Cathryn Somerville, John Bray Scholarship to Jack Rabl, and Johnson Winter & Slattery Scholarship to Susan Dixon
  • The continued growth of the Dean of Law’s Fund to assist students in hardship
  • Successful Alumni events including the annual John Bray quiz night on 12 July, the proceeds of which go to the John Bray Scholarship.
  • The successful first year of our Small Group Discovery Experience classes in the first year Principles of Public Law course, part of a University strategic priority to be rolled out over all years of the undergraduate programme
  • The successful ‘Next Steps’ seminar series for students, in conjunction with the Law Students Society, to assist students with career readiness.
  • The appointment of University Distinguished Alumni Professor James Crawford AC SC, friend and benefactor of the Law School, to the International Court of Justice, as only the second ever Australian elected to the Court.
  • Our undergraduate student, Dwayne Coulthard, who was awarded the 2014 South Australian NAIDOC Scholar of the Year award
  • Our PhD student, Manuel Solis, receiving a Governor’s Postgraduate International Student Award; our PhD student, Tamsin Paige, receiving a Fellowship to study at Columbia University in 2015.
  • A successful first International Law Study tour to the United States.
  • Signature of Memoranda of Understanding for staff and student exchange and other cooperation between us and the respective leading law schools of University of Alberta, University of Montreal, Peking University, and Shanghai Jaitong University.
  • The Golden Jubilee for the graduating 1964 students across the University, with the address given by Hon Margaret Nyland, Chair of our Dean’s Hardship Fund; the marking of 50 years since the arrival (and continuing presence) of Adjunct Associate Professor John Keeler;
  • The commencement of major (and of course temporarily disruptive!) building renovations, including loss of electricity the week before Christmas, but which by April will see us as the sole occupant of all five floors of Ligertwood, with improved and flexible facilities for staff, students and visitors.

Wishing you all a happy and safe festive season.

David Brown and Melissa de Zwart
Acting Deans, 2014

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