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CALD Executive Committee Statement: Responding to Humanitarian Crises – Upholding the Rule of Law and Respect for Human Rights

By | Press Release

 The Council of Australian Law Deans (CALD) is the peak body representing Australia’s 39 university law schools, and the CALD Executive Committee is comprised of eight Australian law deans. This statement in response to contemporary humanitarian crises has been drafted and endorsed by the members of the CALD Executive Committee as well as the CALD members listed below. 

A public trust is placed upon the shoulders of Australian law schools to educate and inspire the next generation of legal minds. Legal scholars and law students are called upon to wrestle with ideals that are ‘fundamental’ to the legitimacy of legal orders including foremost upholding the rule of law and respect for human rights. We teach law students that the definitions and scope of these ideals are never beyond contestation, subject to qualifications, limitations, and reservations. While contestation is to be expected, disputes should be resolved peacefully where possible or fought respectfully with legal rules in open forums and tribunals, rather than with lethal weapons on battlefields. 

Upholding the rule of law and respect for human rights are critical to conferring legitimacy on our systems of governance, as well as holding out the prospect that those who abuse power and act unlawfully and without justification may be held ultimately accountable. Fidelity to these ideals serves to prevent abuses of power within both domestic and international legal orders. In recent months, the humanitarian crisis in Europe has witnessed these twin commitments to legality and human rights being placed under grave threat. 

The law schools of Australia form part of the global and local communities they serve. The signatories to this statement first express their deep concern for the human impacts on civilian populations caused by the armed conflict continuing to rage in Ukraine. International laws have been invoked, challenged and infringed, and untold human rights abused. Casting aside respect for international law and legal institutions for resolving disputes – whether bearing on contentious issues of territorial sovereignty and self-determination – is a perilous route that subverts the rule of law and human rights domestically and internationally. 

Humanitarian crises are not solely caused by armed conflict. Over recent weeks, Australia has been adversely affected by extreme weather events, which have wreaked destruction and disruption on countless lives, property and communities. Following catastrophic bushfires in 2019-20, the current floods demand immediate humanitarian responses, and also underscore the key role of new national laws enacted for the purpose of more effectively coordinating natural disaster responses at the local, state and national level. 

The signatories to this statement join those leading scholars and other concerned members of law schools calling for respect of international norms and institutions, and renewed efforts 

by all nations to cease violent conflict and to avert, or as a minimum, mitigate the effects of humanitarian crises. To that end, the signatories to this statement express the following: 

  • • We affirm our solidarity and deep concern for those whose lives have been disrupted and communities displaced by the turmoil now engulfing parts of Eastern and Central Europe. 
  • • Law and legal institutions at all levels have a vital role in averting and responding to humanitarian crises, as well as creating conditions for effective reconstruction. 
  • • Averting humanitarian crises, whether related to rising geopolitical global rivalries or the climate emergency, requires co-ordinated action at the local, national and global levels. 
  • • Legal scholars play an important role in assisting the community to better understand the legal and constitutional implications of these crises, mindful of proper bounds of their professional expertise, and rights and duties associated with academic freedom on campus. 

The signatories to this statement recognise that the legal academic community, in speaking up against injustice and abuses of power whether at the local or international level, will not always be in a popular position among political or civil society circles. To be ‘frank and fearless’ in defence of legal ideas and human rights sometimes comes at a personal and professional cost. 

The signatories to this statement join those leading scholars and concerned members of law schools calling for respect of international norms and institutions, and renewed efforts by all nations to cease violent conflict and avert humanitarian catastrophe. 

The CALD Executive is committed to advancing and promoting open and respectful debate and discussion on matters of legal concern both local and global. 


CALD Executive Committee: 

Professor Tania Sourdin (CALD Co-Chair), The University of Newcastle 

Professor Nick James (CALD Co-Chair), Bond University 

Professor Natalie Skead (Deputy Chair), The University of Western Australia 

Professor Simon Bronitt (CALD Treasurer), The University of Sydney 

Professor Tania Leiman (Vice-Chair Legal Education), Flinders University 

Professor Sally Wheeler OBE (Vice-Chair Legal Research), Australian National University 

Professor Pip Nicholson (Vice-Chair International Matters), The University of Melbourne 

Professor Jenni Lightowlers (Vice-Chair Standards, Accreditation and the Legal Profession), Deakin University 

Australian Law Deans: 

Professor Trish Mundy, Dean of Law, University of Wollongong 

Professor Michael Quinlan, National Head of School, Law and Business, University of Notre Dame Australia 

Professor Fiona Kelly, Dean, School of Law, La Trobe University 

Professor Patrick Keyzer, Dean of Law, Australian Catholic University 

Assoc. Professor Alan Berman, Dean of Law, Charles Darwin University 

Professor Michael A. Adams FAAL, Head of School, UNE Law School, University of New England 

Professor Reid Mortensen, Head of School, School of Law and Justice, University of Southern Queensland 

Professor Anita Stuhmcke, Dean of Law, University of Technology Sydney 

Professor Therese Wilson, Dean of Law, Griffith Law School, Griffith University 

Associate Professor Joshua Aston, Associate Dean of Law, School of Business and Law, Edith Cowan University 

Professor Andrew Lynch, Dean of Law and Justice, University of NSW Sydney 

Professor Jay Sanderson, Head of School, School of Law and Society, University of the Sunshine Coast 

Professor Vicki Waye, Dean of Law, University of South Australia 

Professor Michael Stuckey, Dean of Law, University of Tasmania 

Ms Sonia Walker, Head of Law and Criminology, Murdoch University 

Professor Tania Leiman, Dean of Law, Flinders University 

Professor Lise Barry, Dean of Law, Macquarie University 

Associate Professor Alison Gerard, Head, Canberra Law School, University of Canberra 

Professor Anna Cody, Dean of Law, Western Sydney University 

Professor Bryan Horrigan, Dean of Law, Monash University 

Professor Robert Cunningham, Dean of Law, Curtin University 

Dr Jamie Fellow, Head of Law, James Cook University 

Professor Simon Bronitt, Head and Dean, Sydney Law School, University of Sydney 

Announcing the winners of the 2021 Australian Legal Education Awards

By | ALEAs

Australian Legal Education Awards
Celebrating excellence in Australian Legal Education

The Council of Australian Law Deans (CALD) and the Legal Education Associate Deans (LEAD) network are delighted to announce the successful recipients of the inaugural Australian Legal Education Awards (ALEAs)!

The Award Panels, comprising Deans and Associate Deans (Teaching & Learning) (or equivalent) from around the country, were impressed by the quality of the nominations put forward for the year’s ALEAs and the significant contributions being made to the scholarship of teaching and learning in the discipline of law.  A total of 34 nominations were received across the award categories, which was an amazing effort from nominees given the significant challenges presented by the pandemic during the year.

The winners of the 2021 ALEAs are:

Excellence in Teaching

Dr Kerstin Braun and Associate Professor Noeleen McNamara, University of the Southern Queensland, for developing compulsory law-specific academic integrity resources which provides students with a clear understanding of academic misconduct, thereby eliminating breaches in two first-year core subjects

Excellence in Teaching (Early Career)

Mr Aidan Ricciardo, University of Western Australia, for instilling self-confidence in his students and supporting them to be the best learners they can be by making legal studies accessible and inclusive

Excellence in Teaching (Sessional)

Mr Alexander Chan, University of Adelaide, for fostering an engaging learning environment that motivates students to learn collaboratively and makes learning fun through real-life cases, multi-media games and popular culture references

Excellence in Teaching (Engagement)

Dr Linda Steele, University of Technology Sydney, for transforming students’ understanding of disability and mental health law and empowering them to become agents of disability justice through engaging with communities

Excellence in Research Supervision

Professor Paul Babie, University of Adelaide, for leading the Adelaide Law School in supervision to completion, with students frequently receiving university and faculty awards for thesis excellence and obtaining academic and research positions

Outstanding Career Achievement Award

In addition, the ALEAs seek to honour sustained contribution to legal education over a period of at least 25 years through the Outstanding Career Achievement Award, which is assessed by CALD.  The recipient of this award in 2021 is:

Professor Emeritus Ian Malkin, Melbourne Law School

Professor Malkin’s teaching has inspired and had a lasting impression on colleagues and students over 35+ years at Melbourne Law School (MLS). Professor Malkin has developed, coordinated and delivered a range of law units and has been involved in broader curriculum development and review. His teaching and learning service, leadership and impact extends well beyond MLS, to the whole of the University of Melbourne, and he has also provided leadership in legal education more broadly at a national level. Professor Malkin’s curriculum development is innovative and he has co-authored leading textbooks in his area of expertise, along with co-authored articles that are a valuable contribution to legal education scholarship. The nomination for this award demonstrates a singularly student-centred approach to teaching which has influenced generations of law students at MLS.

CALD and LEAD offer their sincere congratulations to the successful recipients of the ALEAs this year and thank all nominees for their nominations, which inspired the Award Panels with their contribution and commitment to teaching and learning!

A virtual ceremony will be held in early December to acknowledge the winners.

Winner of the CALD Logo Design Competition

By | Logo Design

It gives us great pleasure as the Council of Australian Law Deans to announce that Ms Jiaying Qian, a second year Bachelor of Design student at UNSW Sydney, is the winner of the Logo Design Competition!

Jiaying’s entry was overwhelmingly voted by Australian law deans as the winner of this competition and the winning entry was quoted numerously as being of a ‘clean and modern design’.  Below are some samples of the winning entry:


It is clear that Jiaying has a bright future ahead of her in the world of graphic design.  Jiaying Qian is currently an undergraduate student at UNSW Sydney’s School of Art and Design.  Her design works cover a wide range of fields, especially graphic design.  Through her constant exploration, Jiaying said that she “loves to find aesthetics of geometric shape and modernity, while matching them properly”.

The Council of Australian Law Deans also expresses its deep gratitude to all of the entrants in this competition for their time and effort in creating and submitting their designs.

We are thrilled that we now have a logo that can be used by Australian Law Schools that have been independently certified by the Australian Law School Standards Committee under the Australian Law School Standards.




Logo Design Competition – Australian Law School Standards

By | Logo Design

Calling all graphic art students and graduates!

The Council of Australian Law Deans is in search for a logo design to identify Australian law schools that comply with the Australian Law School Standards.

The logo will be used by law schools/faculties on their websites after receiving certification from the Australian Law Schools Standards Committee.

The competition is open to all Australian graphic art students and graduates nationally and the winner will receive a cash prize of $400.

 Logo Requirements
  • The logo is required to have one of the following phrases:   Certified under the Australian Law School Standards or Australian Law School Standards Certified
  • All artwork must be original and not sourced from open access images or programs available on the internet
  • A high resolution logo set must be produced in full colour, mono and reverse mono and for digital and print formats (JPG/PNG and EPS).
Your Application

To apply, email Vi Kacevska, CALD Executive Officer, at with the following information:

  • Your Full Name
  • Mobile number
  • Email
  • Whether you are a current Student or Graduate Student
  • The name of the graphic art course you are currently enrolled in or have recently graduated from
  • The current year of the course you are completing (if student) or the year you completed the course (if graduate)
  • The name of the university where you are currently studying as a graphic art student or have recently completed study
  • Your original artwork – if your artwork is over 10MB, please provide an access link to your cloud storage folder.

Applications close:  Tuesday 15 June 2021

Selection of Winner

If the volume of applications is high, a shortlist of applicants will be decided by the members of the CALD Executive Committee.  The winner will be selected from the shortlisted applicants by the Deans of Law Schools across Australia.

The winner is expected to be announced on or about 20 July 2021.


Should you have any questions not answered above, please contact Vi Kacevska, CALD Executive Officer, at or 0438 422 919.

CALD Statement on Australian Law’s Systemic Discrimination and Structural Bias Against First Nations Peoples

By | First Nations Peoples

The Council of Australian Law Deans (CALD) condemns the systemic discrimination that permeates the Australian legal system with respect to First Nations peoples. Structural, unconscious or explicit bias manifests itself in the on-going deaths in custody of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and is directly attributable to the criminal justice system’s pervasive police brutality, persistent want of care, and repeated failures to follow process or, even, the dictates of common humanity.

Without limiting the possibility of other actions and as a first response, CALD calls upon all Australian governments – both state and federal – to implement all of the 339 recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, as well as the recommendations of other relevant reports.  Further, CALD urges all Australian law schools to work in partnership with First Nations peoples to give priority to the creation of culturally competent and culturally safe courses and programs.  In so doing, CALD acknowledges the part that Australian legal education has played in supporting, either tacitly or openly, the law’s systemic discrimination and structural bias against First Nations peoples.  At the same time, CALD affirms the positive contribution Australian law schools can, should and will make, in full partnership with First Nations peoples, in exposing, critiquing and remedying all forms of institutionalised injustice.

CALD unequivocally endorses its commitment to a legal system free of systemic discrimination and structural bias.

For context to this Statement, please refer to

Congratulations to the Australian Legal Research Award Winners!


It is with great admiration and pleasure that we announce the winners of the inaugural Australian Legal Research Awards!  Following the virtual ceremony this evening that was attended by almost 90 academics from all over Australia, here are the winners in each category:

Article/Chapter (ECR) Award

Article/Chapter (General) Award

Book Award

Non-Traditional Research Output Award

PhD Award

Lifetime Achievement Legal Research Medal

Thank you to everyone that submitted an application in the 2020 round of the Australian Legal Research Awards – a total of 149 applications and nominations were received.  Our most deepest gratitude also to the 52 academics from the many Australian law schools that participated as chairs and members of the various assessment panels.

Australian Legal Research Awards – Shortlisted Applicants for the Book Award


It is with great pleasure that we announce the following shortlisted applicants in the Book Award category:

  • Professor Katherine Biber (University of Technology, Sydney) for her book In Crime’s Archive: The Cultural Afterlife of Evidence
  • Associate Professor Melissa Crouch (UNSW Sydney) for her book The Constitution of Myanmar: A Contextual Analysis
  • Professor Desmond Manderson FAAL, FASSA, FRSC (Australian National University) for his book Danse Macabre: Temporalities of Law in the Visual Arts
  • Professor Benjamin Richardson (University of Tasmania) for his book The Art of Environmental Law: Governing with Aesthetics
  • Associate Professor Nicole Rogers (Southern Cross University) for her book Law, Fiction and Activism in a Time of Climate Change
  • Dr Marc Trabsky (La Trobe University) for his book Law and the Dead: Technology, Relations and Institutions

We look forward to announcing the winners in all of the Australian Legal Research Award categories at our online awards ceremony on the evening of Tuesday 17 November 2020 (AEDT), details of which will follow shortly.

Australian Legal Research Awards – Shortlisted Applicants


It is with great pleasure that we announce the following shortlisted applicants in the Article/Chapter (ECR) Award category:

  • Dr Fady Aoun (The University of Sydney) for the article entitled Whitewashing Australia’s History of Stigmatising Trade Marks and Commercial Imagery
  • Associate Professor Alysia Blackham (The University of Melbourne) for the article entitled Reconceiving Judicial Office through a Labour Law Lens
  • Dr Lisa Crawford (UNSW Sydney) for the article entitled The Rule of Law in an Age of Statutes
  • Ms Jacinta Dharmananda (The University of Western Australia) for the article entitled Drafting Statutes and Statutory Interpretation: Express or Assumed Rules?
  • Dr Ntina Tzouvala (Australian National University [and The University of Melbourne at the time of application]) for the chapter entitled “And the Laws are Rude … Crude and Uncertain”:  Extraterritoriality and the Emergence of Territorialised Statehood in Siam.

We look forward to announcing the shortlisted applicants in the Book Award category in the very near future.

Australian Legal Research Awards – Shortlisted Applicants


Thank you to all applicants for their effort and engagement in the Australian Legal Research Awards 2020.  It is with great pleasure that we announce the shortlisted applicants in the following award categories:

Article/Chapter (General) Award

  • Dr Rebecca Ananian-Welsh (The University of Queensland) for the article entitled The Inherent Jurisdiction of Courts and the Fair Trial
  • Mrs Susanna Dechent (Curtin University) for the article entitled Asylum Seeker Children in Nauru: Australia’s International Human Rights Obligations and Operational Realities
  • Professor Michael Legg (UNSW Sydney) for the article entitled Finality and Fairness in Australian Class Action Settlements
  • Professor Pauline Ridge (Australian National University) for the article entitled Challenging Conceptions of Accessory Liability in Private Law
  • Professor Lisa Young (Murdoch University) for the article entitled Mature Minors and Parenting Disputes in Australia: Engaging with the Debate on Best Interests v Autonomy
  • Professor Simon Young (University of Southern Queensland) for the article entitled The Increments of Justice: Exploring the Outer Reach of Akikba’s Edge Towards Native Title ‘Ownership’

Non-Traditional Research Output Award

  • Dr Michael Grewcock and Dr Vicki Sentas (UNSW Sydney) for their report entitled Rethinking Strip Searches by NSW Police
  • Dr Trish Luker (University of Technology Sydney) for her podcast entitled Reading The Signs
  • Associate Professor Stella Tarrant (The University of Western Australia) for her report entitled Transforming Legal Understandings of Intimate Partner Violence

PhD Award

  • Mr Tim Bowley (The University of Sydney) for his thesis entitled The Importance of Context: The Nature of Australian Shareholder Activism and its Regulatory Implications
  • Dr Marie Hadley (UNSW Sydney) for her thesis entitled The Politics of Cultural Appropriation Claims and Law Reform
  • Dr Jessica Hudson (UNSW Sydney) for her thesis entitled Assuring the Express Trust: The So-called Beneficiary’s Proprietary Claim
  • Dr Brad Jessup (Australian National University) for his thesis entitled A New Justice for Australian Environmental Law
  • Dr Amanda Sapienza (The University of Sydney) for her thesis entitled Principle v Practice: Judicial Review of Non-Statutory Executive Action in Australia

Publication of the shortlisted applicants for the Article/Chapter (ECR) Award and Book Award categories will be made available in the near future.

Winners of all categories, including the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Legal Research Medal, will be announced at the ALRA Award Ceremony to be held as an online event on the evening of Tuesday 17 November 2020 (AEDST).  To register your interest to attend the ceremony, please contact Vi Kacevska.

CALD Statement on the High Court’s investigation into sexual harassment

By | Press Release

The Council of Australian Law Deans notes the statement issued by The Hon. Susan Kiefel AC, Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia on 22 June 2020.  The Council welcomes the steps the Chief Justice and the Court have adopted to support associates working at the Court.  These steps should enable young law graduates, seeking the opportunity to work at the High Court, to be confident that the Court will be a safe and respectful work environment.  The Council agrees with the Chief Justice that sexual harassment has no place in any workplace, and encourages all within the legal profession to ensure that safe workplaces are provided.


Professor Lesley Hitchens GAICD
Chair, Council of Australian Law Deans

25 June 2020




For media inquiries, contact the CALD Executive Coordinator at or 0438 422 919.

The Council of Australian Deans is the peak body for all Australian university law schools. The Deans of all Australian law schools are members of the Council.