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Eye on Alumni - James Morton (LLB '03)

James Morton (LLB '03) has worked as a defence barrister with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in the NT and Queensland. James has a broad criminal law background and was sworn in as a Judicial officer in May 2017,  serving in Mt Isa, Queensland. James is a lecturer at QUT Law and a member of the Regional Parole Board and the Chair of the Sentencing Advisory Council that has recently been reinstated under Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath.

What inspired you to study law?

IMF Bentham Class Actions Research Initiative Holds First Conference

The IMF Bentham Class Actions Research Initiative (CARI) at UNSW Law held its first conference on 1 June 2017. The conference theme was “Resolving Class Actions Effectively and Fairly”.

The keynote speaker was Justice Michael Lee of the Federal Court of Australia who provided observations on the court’s power to vary litigation funding agreements as part of class action settlements. You can read his speech here

Law Student awarded 2017 NIRAKN essay competition prize

Noah Bedford, a 3rd year Arts/Law student, was awarded one of four undergraduate prizes in the 2017 NIRAKN essay competition for Indigenous students, for his essay entitled Indigenous Incorporation and The Complex Creativity of Self-determination. A winning essay is characterised by its in-depth research, introduction of analysis and original ideas in conjunction with key themes and issues relevant to the work of NIRAKN.

Seven reasons the UN Refugee Convention should not include 'climate refugees'

OPINION: Professor Jane McAdam, The Sydney Morning Herald, 6 June 2017.

Critics of the United Nations Refugee Convention tend to fall into two camps. In one camp are those who think the treaty is too old to respond to the displacement challenges of the 21st century, such as climate change and disasters. In the other camp are those who think the treaty is too generous and somehow responsible for the large numbers of refugees we see around the world today.

Police investigate if siege gunman used escort to lure officers into ambush

Dr Nicola McGarrity appeared on ABC's Lateline (6 June 2017) regarding the recent terrorist attack in Victoria.

Dr McGarrity said, "In my mind there are a number of other factors in play in this particular , including the existence of evidence of drug addiction on the part of the perpetrator, Yacqub Khayre, as well as some evidence that potentially he may have had a mental illness that contributed to these events". 

What's going on with Adani, and Indigenous leaders say they want a treaty

Harry Hobbs appeared on Triple J's Hack program (29 May 2017) speaking about the recent Indigenous leaders meeting at Uluru and their request for more than just symbolic Constitutional Recognition.

Q:  Barnaby Joyce described the Indigenous body as “another chamber in parliament”, is that really what it would be like?

Symbolic constitutional recognition off the table after Uluru talks, Indigenous leaders say

Professor Megan Davis spoke to ABC News (27 May 2017) following her reading of the "Uluru Statement of the Heart" at the closing ceremony of the Uluru convention.

"I think that all of the different regions came together and participated in what was a difficult and structured agenda … it was really inspiring to see the way the mob worked together to get to that common ground at the end of the day," Professor Davis said.

50th anniversary of pivotal 1967 referendum

Professor George Williams AO spoke to SBS Radio News (26 May 2017) regarding the 50 year anniversary of the 1967 referendum and what it really did for Indigenous people.

 "Many people have some myths and misconceptions about what this referendum actually did. It didn't give Aboriginal people citizenship. It didn't give them the vote. In fact, what it did do was change the Australian Constitution, which is the rulebook for the nation."

2017 Allen & Overy Private Law Moot, hosted by UNSW Law

From Saturday 20 May to Monday 22 May 2017, UNSW Law hosted the Allen & Overy Private Law Moot, an intervarsity mooting competition open to competitors from all over Australia and select international universities. This prestigious competition, now in its fourth year, is Australia’s only national moot focussed on private law and commercial topics.

Thirteen teams from universities in Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, the South Pacific and Pakistan travelled to UNSW to compete this year. The 2017 problem raised complex issues on equity and remedies, and was written by Professor Simone Degeling and Jessica Hudson, the academic advisors of the competition.

All competitors and teams performed to a very high standard and are to be congratulated for their participation.

The ongoing legacy of the Mabo decision

OPINION: Professor George Williams AO, The Sydney Morning Herald, 5 June 2017.

Saturday was the 25th anniversary of the High Court's Mabo decision. The impact of this landmark case still reverberates today in debates on Indigenous recognition and disadvantage. It is rarely far from the surface as we struggle to come to grips with our colonial past.