2006 News Archive

Paying a Visit to Death Row

A Sydney Law School student has won an exchange scholarship to study the workings of the death penalty in Texas, the execution capital of America. For the full story please click here.

Sydney Law School Students Win Negotiation & Arbitration Competition in Japan


An Australian team of ten students, including six from the Sydney Law School, won a large arbitration and negotiation competition held in early December 2006 in Tokyo, Japan.

"Team Australia" organised by the Australian Network of Japanese Law (ANJeL) defeated teams from Japan's top fifteen universities in two intensive and challenging days of dispute resolution.

The English language group comprised five students or graduates of the University of Sydney: Chris Grey (5th year, Captain), Adrian Bright (5th year), Showhey Matsui (3rd Year), Wan Sung (2nd Year), Melanie Tresize ( completing an LLM at Kyoto University). The Japanese language group included Joel Rheuben (4th Year), with remaining students from ANU.

The Japanese language group was required to be fluent in Japanese, and the Australian team received special permission to compete as the competition is normally only open to Japanese universities.

Their first day consisted of a five-hour arbitration between two companies applying the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts. The second day required the teams to negotiate in four hours a new contract between the two companies.

The standard of competition was extremely high, with many of the universities ranked within the top 50 universities worldwide. Adjudicators included leading international dispute resolution professors and practitioners from Japan and abroad.

ANJeL Co-director Dr. Luke Nottage, one of the team coaches, remarked that: “This was a terrific way to round off Sydney Law School’s contributions to the Australia-Japan Year of Exchange. Following success in the WTO Moot last year, it also confirms that our students can lead the world in these educational opportunities. We are grateful to our various sponsors, especially Blake Dawson Waldron and the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Sydney, for having faith and foresight in supporting the team’s participation.”

Sydney Law School makes history by securing another two Rhodes Scholars

Students of the Sydney Law School won all available Rhodes Scholarships in 2007 - Australia-at-large and NSW Rhodes Scholarships.

Sydney Law School graduate Angela Cummine (BA 2005, LLB 2006) and student Eric Knight (BA 2006) won the remaining 2007 Australia-Wide Rhdoes Scholarships.

"On behalf of the Sydney Law School, we are truly delighted by this success and we wish Angela and Eric every happiness for the future," said the Dean, Professor Ron McCallum.

Please click here for the full article.

The achievements of Angela and Eric follows that by fellow Sydney Law School student, Kate Brennan (BA 2004) who won the 2007 New South Wales Rhodes Scholarship in October this year (Full story available here).

For the complete list of Sydney Law School Rhodes Scholars click here

For further information on the Rhodes Scholarship, please visit here

Professor Jennifer Hill member of research team in consortium awarded major EU contract

Professor Jennifer Hill is a member of a European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) Legal Scholar Network, that is part of a consortium, which was recently awarded a major European Commission contract to study ownership and control in EU listed companies. Full details of the One Share One Vote (OSOV) project are available here.

University of Sydney to host US Studies Centre

The University of Sydney won the right to host Australia's new US Studies Centre.

The Sydney Law School played a significant role in the bid which edged out those from the University of Melbourne and the Australian National University.

Please click here for the full article.

Obesity: Should there be a Law Against it?


  SydneyLaw School hosts international public health law conference on law and obesity

On 28th September 2007 the Law School's Centre for Health Governance, Law & Ethics, in conjunction with the Australian & New Zealand Institute of Health Law & Ethics, hosted an international conference entitled, Obesity - should there be a law against it?

According to Associate Professor Roger Magnusson of the Law School, who convened the conference, "Overweight and obesity are major risk factors for many of the diseases that Australians overwhelmingly get sick and eventually die from.

"Obesity is a risk factor for hypertension, raised cholesterol levels, a range of cancers (including colon and breast cancer), type two diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke and osteoarthritis".

Data from 1999-2000 suggest that 67% of men and 55% of women are either overweight or obese, while a recent survey of school-age children shows that rates of overweight and obesity have climbed from 11% in 1985 to 25% in 2004.

Professor Robyn Martin, University of Hertfordshire

Obesity is therefore a serious public health concern and the role that law might play in obesity prevention is a legitimate question for health lawyers to consider.  At the same time, law and obesity is also an area where rhetoric runs wild, partly because the link between obesity and the over-consumption of high-fat and high-sugar foods (and beverages) has transformed the public health response to obesity into a serious economic issue for the food industry.

A/Professor James Hodge, Johns Hopkins University

International keynote speakers at the conference were Associate Professor James Hodge from the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, and Professor Robyn Martin from the University of Hertfordshire, both leading experts in public health law.  Professor Boyd Swinburn of Deakin University, a leading expert in obesity prevention, opened the conference.

Also presenting were Associate Professor Magnusson, Dr. Chris Reynolds and Associate Professor Elizabeth Handsley, both from Flinders Law School.  Professor Richard Ingleby from Deakin University and Ian Caterson, Boden Professor of Human Nutrition at the University of Sydney, chaired sessions.

Many stakeholders and agencies active in obesity and health policy were represented at the conference, which forms part of the program of events under Associate Professor Magnusson's ARC Discovery Grant on: "Lifestyle Wars: Law's Role in Responding to the Challenge of Non-Communicable Diseases".

Dr Chris Reynolds, Flinders Law School

Not everyone who heard about the conference appreciated its title. "I fielded a number of e-mails taking me to task about that", said Associate Professor Magnusson,"both from Australia and beyond.

"The problem in this area is that people think that law is necessarily about coercion: a militaristic, jackboot-style legal response that tramples on economic freedoms, is anti-libertarian, and ignores personal responsibility. 

A/Professor Roger Magnusson, Conference convenor

"While obesity is a real public health problem, we wanted to begin to explore what law might do to influence the social and environmental causes of weight gain: no one thinks that law should be used to discriminate or victimise people.

"The "conceit" of public health law is that health challenges within populations can be framed as legal challenges and that law -acting as an instrument of public health policy - can play a constructive role."

Professor Richard Ingleby, Deakin Law School

Sydney Law School Alumni Appointments to Senior Counsel (SC)

The Sydney Law School would like to congratulate the following alumni on their appointment to Senior Counsel (SC) (in no particular order):

  • Dr. Andrew Bell SC (BA 1988, LLB 1990)
  • Dr. Mark Leeming SC (BA 1991, LLB 1993)
  • Mr. Adrian Galasso SC (LLB 1987)
  • Mr. David Dalton SC (LLB 1986)
  • Mr. Gregory Nell SC (LLB 1983, LLM 2000)
  • Mr. Ian Neil SC (BA 1982, LLB 1985)
  • Mr. Michael King SC (BA 1972, LLB 1976)
  • Mr. Nye Perram SC (BA 1990, LLB 1992)
  • Mr. Richard McHugh SC (BA 1991, LLB 1993)
  • Mr. Roger Hamilton SC (MTax 1994)
  • Ms. Leonie Flannery SC (BA 1983, LLB 1985)

Investment Banking Discussion Forum

On 1 August the Parsons Centre of Commercial, Corporate and Taxation Law hosted a discussion forum, "Investment Banking in Australia: Immediate Challenges and Future Directions". Convened by Sydney Law School lecturer Andrew Tuch, the forum involved a panel of senior industry figures, advisers and scholars, reflecting diverse expertise and perspectives, and was held against the backdrop of high profile litigation recently brought by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission against a major investment bank.


The panel comprised Peter Hunt, the Executive Chairman of corporate advisory firm Caliburn Partnership; Mark Grolman, Asia Pacific General Counsel of the Deutsche Bank Group; Chris Madden, General Counsel of Investment Bank UBS Australia; Kate Mills, a partner in the Dispute Resolution Group of Mallesons Stephen Jaques; and Andrew Tuch. Professor Jennifer Hill chaired the forum.


The  two - hour discussion traversed many,  wide - ranging  issues,  including regulatory uncertainty in the  industry,  client perceptions of the  incidence of conflicts of interest, and the growing market presence of  independent advisory firms. The sensitive  question of whether the relationship  between an  investment bank and  its corporate  advisory client  is fiduciary in  character  attracted considerable comment, and views  diverged  widely on this  and other  questions.


The forum provided an opportunity for issues of relevance to the industry to be freely and openly discussed, and the Chatham House Rule was applied to the event in order to facilitate this. It attracted over 140 registrants, including financial regulators, members of investment banks and law firms, and industry representative bodies.

NSW Law Reform Commission Report 109: Expert Witnesses: The Future

A most successful symposium was held on Monday 26 June 2006 on the topic "NSW Law Reform Commission Report 109 - Expert Witnesses: The Future".

Professor Richard Chisholm

The symposium examined recent changes and current reform proposals following upon the NSW Law Reform Commission's investigation into the operation and effectiveness of the rules and procedures governing expert witnesses in New South Wales.

An audience of 165 persons attended this Symposium held in the Parliamentary Theatrette and jointly conducted by Sydney Law School and the Expert Witness Institute of Australia.

The keynote speaker was Professor Richard Chisholm, Part-Time Law Reform Commissioner and Head of Division of the NSW Law Reform Commission for the purpose of conducting the reference from the Attorney-General to inquire into and report on the operation of the rules and procedures governing expert witnesses in New South Wales.

Panel members were: A/Professor Peter Cashman, Barrister and Associate Professor Sydney Law School , University of Sydney; Mr Chris Hodgekiss SC, Senior Counsel and Barrister at the NSW Bar; Mr Wayne Lonergan, Managing Director, Lonergan Edwards & Associates; and Associate Professor Roy Beran, Consultant Neurologist, Conjoint Associate Professor of Medicine UNSW.
Panel Chair was His Honour Judge Anthony Garling, Judge of the District Court of NSW.

Annual Clayton Utz Lecture in International Commercial Arbitration

Emeritus Professor Dr. Karl-Heinz Boeckstiegel of the University of Cologne will deliver the 2006 Clayton Utz Lecture in International Commercial Arbitration on Wednesday, 27th September 2006.

Professor Boeckstiegel is the President of the German Institution of Arbitration. He was formerly president of the London Court of International Arbitration, and of the Iran-US Claims Tribunal.

In this latter role, he initiated efficient case management techniques which eventually carried over into regular commercial arbitrations in the ICC and beyond.

The Lecture will take place at 5:30pm in the Banco Court, located in the Supreme Court of New South Wales, Queens Square, Sydney.

To register, please visit the Clayton Utz website.

Dean of Sydney Law School, Professor Ron McCallum, awarded Order of Australia

Professor Ron McCallum, Dean of Sydney Law School, has been awarded the title of an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO).

Head of School, Professor Patrick Parkinson stated, "Ron's award is recognition not only of his extraordinary achievements, but also of his major contribution to Australian society through his work in industrial relations law, social justice and advocacy for people with disabilities."

Please click here for the article from the Sydney Morning Herald.

The Sydney Law School would also like to extend its congratulations to its former Dean Professor Emeritus David Weisbrot who was also made a member of the Order of Australia (AO) in the Queen's Birthday honours list.

Emeritus Professor Weisbrot is currently serving his second five year term as the President of the Australian Law Reform Commission.

Sydney Law School alumnus secures prestigious PhD Scholarship

Sydney Law School alumnus, Peter Turner (BSc 1999, LLB 2002), received the prestigious WM Tapp Studentship in Law recently.

Awarded by the Council of Gonville and Caius College at Cambridge University UK, the scholarship will enable Peter to study for a PhD in Law at Cambridge.

"Our valued member of staff, Dr. Kristin Savell, is a previous winner of this scholarship," said the Dean, Professor Ron McCallum.

"We congratulate Peter on this achievement and wish him the best in his studies."

The WM Tapp Studentships in Law are open to candidates who are not already members of Gonville and Caius College but who propose to register as graduate students in the University of Cambridge and follow a course in the Law Faculty.

Successful candidates pursue either an LLM or a PhD in Law.

Sydney Law School wins grand final of European Law Students Association Moot Court Competition in WTO Law

The Sydney Law School team consisting of Odette Murray, Rebecca Mann, Lucas Bastin and David Coleman has won the Grand Final of the ELSA (European Law Students Association) moot court competition on the law of the World Trade Organisation.

After having won the South Asia Pacific regional round in Adelaide in March, the team made the trip to the finals as a result of the generosity of Moulis Legal, Freehills, Baker & McKenzie, Corrs Chambers Westgarth and Mallesons Stephen Jaques.

The Law School sent coach and Faculty member, Dr. Brett Williams to accompany the team to Geneva to assist them and the team did everything to justify the confidence placed in them by their sponsors and the Law School.

The Grand Final was contested against the London School of Economics and Political Science in the General Council Room of the World Trade Organisation secretariat building in Geneva on Saturday 29 April 2006.

A prestigious panel of seven judges including the Deputy Director of the WTO, Mr. Alejandro Jara and the Director of the WTO Appellate Body Secretariat, Mr. Werner Zdouc, heard the case in the Council room, packed with all of the members of the other teams who had come from around the world to compete.

The Chair of the Judging panel, Professor Jacques Bourgeois (of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld) explained the judges decision by saying that both teams were confident and persuasive, sometimes more so than real counsel acting for WTO Members in real WTO disputes but that the University of Sydney team had demonstrated better argumentation and analysis, in particular an ability to think outside the box and a better effort to connect arguments to the object and purpose of the provisions.

The finals of the competition were conducted between 25th and 29th April 2006.

University of Sydney's preliminary rounds were against National Taiwan University in Taipai and Howard University from Washington DC.

After the preliminary rounds, West Bengal National University of Juridical Science led by a significant margin over the second placed Sydney team, while the 3rd and 4th ranked teams were Kings College, London and London School of Economics.

"In the semi final against West Bengal, prepared presentations were swept aside by a torrent of questions from an interventionist bench and our team handled the pressure of questioning better than the other side," said Dr. Williams.

"In the Grand Final, the team argued for the Respondent and the members were a credit to the Sydney Law School and to the University of Sydney.

"The team members departed from prepared submissions to attack LSE's arguments, answered all questions well to demonstrate their superb understanding of the law and used every last second of their allotted time to great effect - even the deliberate pauses."

The members of the team have won tuition scholarships to the summer school in WTO law at the World Trade Institute in Berne.

Team captain Odette Murray summed up the teams jubilation as recorded in the ELSA official press release "5 months, 40 cases. 45 practice moots. Finally it is over and we are so thrilled to have won." Visit the ELSA website for full details.

The Sydney Law School would like to thank the above mentioned sponsoring law firms, the student organising committee of the European Law Students Association (ELSA), the academic supervisors, the many judges and all of the other teams that participated in the competition.

Sydney Law School graduate wins prestigious Frank Knox Memorial Fellowship

Recent Sydney Law School graduate, Ms. Kathryn Simon (BA 2003, LLB 2005) secured the Frank Knox Memorial Fellowship in April 2006.

This prestigious scholarship enables the recipient to undertake graduate study at Harvard University.

Pro-Dean (Staff Development), Associate Professor Julie Stubbs, who acted as one of Kathryn’s referees stated, “Kathryn held a very fine academic record in Law and Ancient History.

“She undertook an exchange at one of our Law School specific exchange partners, Cornell University in New York USA, where she specialised in International Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.

“Recently she worked as an intern for Judge Sang-Hyun Song of the International Criminal Court in the Hague.”

The Frank Knox Memorial Fellowship is awarded to students from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom to conduct graduate study at Harvard University.

It is guaranteed for up to two years of study at Harvard in degree programs requiring more than one year of study.

In establishing the Frank Knox Memorial Fellowship program, his wife, Mrs. Annie Reid Knox, sought to honour her late husband and his rich and varied career – as newspaper publisher, soldier, vice-presidential candidate and Secretary of the Navy during World War II

Knox insisted that America play an active role in global affairs and during World War II he tirelessly promoted American and Commonwealth relations, maintaining that cross-cultural exchange between the two was vital to international peace.

According to the wishes of Mrs. Knox, Fellows are selected on the basis of "future promise of leadership, strength of character, keen mind, a balanced judgment and a devotion to the democratic ideal."

Sydney Law School wins South East Asia and Pacific Round of European Law Students Association Moot Court Competition

The Sydney Law School secured the South East Asia and Pacific Regional title of the European Law Students Association Moot Court Competition on the Law of the World Trade Organisation.

Ranked first after the prelminary rounds, the team defeated Bond University in the semi-final, then booked a passage to the finals in Geneva by eliminating Macquarie University.

The team consisted of Odette Murray (team captain), Lucas Bastin, David Coleman and Rebecca Mann.

Writes coach, Dr. Brett Williams of the Law School, "The judges rigorously questioned all mooters.

"Our team performed better under questioning and importantly used the Rebuttal well."

Odette Murray won the award for best oralist in the preliminary rounds and Rebecca Mann received third prize for the same award.

The finals in Geneva take place between April 25 and 30 and the team are doing their best to obtain funding to enable them to participate.