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Public funding of elections unfair, expensive and probably unconstitutional

Full public funding for NSW election campaigns has immediate appeal.

A case for common funds for class actions

OPINION: Associate Professor Michael Legg, Australian Financial Review, 23 May 2014.

Contingency fees, where a lawyer is paid through receiving a percentage or share of a client’s recovery from a law suit, have been heavily promoted as being needed in Australia.

The debate appears to have arisen due to England and Wales adopting a version of contingency fees.

The Productivity Commission has supported the introduction of such fees to aid access to justice.

Court to weigh dubious evidence

Director of Postgraduate Research, Gary Edmond comments in The Australian, 23 May 2014, on the High Court's consideration of setting limits on the use of questionable scientific evidence in courtrooms.

Gary Edmond, a legal professor at the University of NSW, said body mapping was one of many identification techniques including those used to match bite marks, ballistics, soil, voices and foot, shoe and tyre prints that had never been validated.

He said such techniques were routinely used in courts in ways that no scientific study could support. "The specialised knowledge in this case is the interpretation of images," he said.'

Capturing the imagination

OPINION: Amelia Thorpe, The West Australian, 21 May 2014.

There is a well-rehearsed lament regarding public engagement in planning and design.

We hear that people don't participate. We hear that only vested interests and NIMBY obstructionists get involved. We hear that people only object, they don't contribute to the strategic planning processes where visions for the future can be shaped.

Is the problem not the people, but the processes offered to them?

Dr Joyce Chia on the legal framework for refugees in Cambodia

Dr Joyce Chia (This link is no longer available), Senior Research Associate at the Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law was interviewed on SBS World News on 19 May 2014 regarding concerns of Cambodia's ability to settle refugees under the proposed plan.

Dr Joyce Chia, has studied the legal framework for refugees in Cambodia, she says the country is not suitable for any type of long term resettlement:

June postgraduate coursework personal consultations at the Sydney CBD Campus

Have you been considering an LL.M, Masters or Graduate Diploma in an area of the law?

During the month of June, UNSW Law is offering a personal consultation service on Tuesday evenings at the CBD O’Connell Street campus in Sydney. Drop in or book a personal consultation, and discuss your study options. We have programs for lawyers and for non-law graduates. Learn which program suits you best and ask about entry requirements, the application process, and the learning environment. Find out about our international opportunities, human rights internships, postgraduate external internships, and take a look at the CBD campus. Don't miss out on the opportunity to start your studies in 2014 with a world leader in legal education. 

When: Tuesday 3, 10, 17, 24 June

Dr Greg Weeks joins Australian Journal of Administrative Law

This week Dr Greg Weeks  has been appointed as the new Book Reviews Editor for the Australian Journal of Administrative Law.

Greg is a Lecturer at UNSW Law and a member of the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law and the Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law.

ASIO's new power over asylum seekers needs proper checks

OPINION: Professor George Williams, The Sydney Morning Herald, 20 May 2014.

Last week, government and opposition members voted together in Federal Parliament to confirm that refugees subjected to an adverse security assessment by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) could be detained indefinitely.

Megan Davis features on SBS' Living Black

Professor Megan Davis speaks with SBS' Living Black program at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York (19 May 2014).

View the full episode here.