News and Events
The Newcastle Law School prides itself on being an active member of the community. We strive to maintain this relationship with events and by addressing topics of interest.
International Climate Change Law and Policy Course
The Newcastle Law School is offering a free online course on International Climate Change Law and Policy, coordinated by Dr. Elena Aydos (Newcastle Law School, UON), Dr. Sven Rudolph (Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies, Kyoto University) and Professor Christopher Kellett (School of Electrical Engineering and Computing, UON).
This course will equip students with the fundamentals of International Climate Change Law and Policy. Students will learn to critically assess Environmental Economics theory and its application to climate change policy, including the use of market-based policy approaches such as environmental taxes and emissions trading.
All members of the community are invited to complete this free online course. The length of the course is 4 weeks, starting on 17 July 2019.
For more information see https://www.newcastle.edu.au/online-learning/international-climate-change-law-and-policy. Enrolments are open via the edX online platform.
Sir Ninian Stephen Lecture
On 17 May, the Newcastle Law School hosted the Hon Justice Robert McClelland for the annual Sir Ninian Stephen Lecture. The Sir Ninian Stephen Lecture is delivered by an eminent lawyer each academic year and is one of the key events for staff and students on the law school calendar.
The Honourable Justice McClelland was Attorney-General of Australia from 2007 to 2011. He was a Labor member of the House of Representatives from 1996 to 2013. In opposition he was the Shadow Attorney-General 1998–2003 and his other roles included Shadow Minister for Defence 2004–06 and Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs 2006–07. He retired from Federal politics in 2013. On 28 May 2015, McClelland was appointed to the Family Court of Australia and in September 2018 he was appointed as Deputy Chief Justice of the Court.
His lecture, 'Creativity in Dispute Resolution in Family Law Cases', provided an overview of some of the innovative dispute resolution practices that have been implemented in other family law jurisdictions and a reflection on some of the significant issues facing family law practitioners in Australia today. The event attracted Law School staff and students as well as Newcastle family law practitioners and other local members of the legal profession. The Law School also welcomed special guests, the Hon Justice Margaret Cleary and Hon Justice Stuart Austin. Following the lecture, invited guests joined Hon Justices McClelland, Cleary and Austin for dinner at NewSpace.
Research Project concludes with a toolkit for legal practitioners to identify and act on elder abuse
Professor John Anderson and Shaun McCarthy were part of a team of researchers who recently completed a pilot project to improve screening and intervention through a health-legal collaboration as part of the broader ‘Action on Elder Abuse” research work. This pilot project was funded by a grant from the NSW Department of Family and Community Service (Ageing and Disability Commission). It brought together health and legal service providers in the Newcastle/Hunter region to design and pilot test an intervention to support elder abuse screening for community-dwelling older adults and the use of referral pathways for timely and effective action to address suspected situations of abuse.
A major outcome of this pilot project is Identifying and Acting on Elder Abuse: A Toolkit for Legal Practitioners, which has been circulated among participants in the study, other key stakeholders and legal practitioners. This toolkit is available to download here and provides a suggested elder abuse screening tool for use by legal practitioners. The toolkit is intended to be a living document to be updated and expanded as new information and research becomes available. The project team is planning an official launch of the toolkit in Sydney later this month.
Professor John Anderson presents at recent Law Society CPD Seminar
On Friday 22 February 2019, Professor John Anderson presented on his current research arising out of the interdisciplinary ‘Action on Elder Abuse’ research project at a Newcastle Law Society CPD Seminar held in NeW Space. John presented on ‘Criminal Law and Elder Abuse’ as one of a panel presenting on Elder Law issues of ‘Capacity, Powers of Attorney, Elder Abuse and Criminal Law’. He spoke about the intersection of elder abuse with offences against the person in the criminal law using inquest case studies of physical and psychological harm, neglect, and incompetence in the care of elders. John challenged the large audience, substantially comprising legal practitioners, about avenues for reform and the pros and cons of specific ‘elder abuse’ offences in the context of the current Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.
International Connections in Kenya
Cultural Immersion programs are instrumental in achieving UON and Faculty goals of internationalising the curriculum and building global citizenship in our students. Dr Patricia Johnson and Mrs Sher Campbell led an inter-school undergraduate cultural immersion program to Kenya.
The program involved lectures and experiential learning in Kenyan culture, business and government institutions. A highlight of the trip was engagement with student peers at Moi University in Eldoret. The UON's flag flew over the Rift Valley at a function the program held with academics and student buddies from Mai University at lten.
During the trip the touring group were hosted by The Australian High Commission in Nairobi, Kenya. Attending the event were senior public officials from the Public Service Commission (Kenya) and officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and trade.
Public Seminar - Unfair Trading Practice and Supermarket Power
The Newcastle Law School and the Newcastle Business School jointly hosted the public seminar ‘Unfair trading practices and supermarket power: comparing regulatory challenges in the EU and Australia’ by Dr Victoria Daskalova, an Assistant Professor in Law, Governance & Technology at the University of Twente in the Netherlands.
20 people joined in the discussion reviewing how developments in technology, business models and consumer preferences have led to a shift in the balance of power - from producers to retailers - in the food supply chain over the past half a century.
Newcastle Law School Visit Brazil
In late 2017 Dr Elena Aydos and Ann Apps took 11 Newcastle Law School students to study comparative environmental law in Brazil. They were hosted by Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC) under the coordination of renowned Environmental Law Professor Jose Rubens Morato Leite. The academic program included presentations from some of Brazil's leading environmental lawyers and academics, such as Mauro Ellovitch (a State Environmental Prosecutor from Minas Gerais). Australia's Ambassador to Brazil, John Richardson, travelled from Brasflia and watched our students' presentations on a number of contemporary environmental law topics. The group also experienced a rich cultural program which included a visit to Parque Municipal das Dunas da Lagoa, trekking up the Morro das Aranhas, and dancing at a samba house.
Dr Aydos has several ongoing collaborations with Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC), including current negotiations of an overarching MOU between the Faculty of Business and Law and UFSC; a proposal to establish a Dual Award Doctorate Degree; arrangements for the co-supervision of a PhD candidate from UFSC; arrangements to bring UFSC's Professor Cristiane Derani to teach International Environmental Law at the Newcastle Law School in 2018. Dr Aydos has also been included as International Partner representing UON in a research grant application to CAPES (the Brazilian equivalent of our ARC).
Malaysian Delegation Visits Newcastle Law School
The Law School hosted a delegation from the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UiTM), the largest university in Malaysia. Opportunities for collaboration were identified in regards to co-supervision of PhD students, collaboration in organizing conferences, student exchange and research collaboration.
The meeting concluded with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two universities.
The collaboration with UiTM was started by Prof Christoph Antons and this meeting will allow the strengthening of ties between the two universities.
Shaun McCarthy Attended 6th Asia Pro Bono Conference
The Law School's Mr Shaun McCarthy attended the 6th Asia Pro Bono Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The conference draws together academics, clinicians, lawyers, advocates and law students from around the world to strengthen pro bona culture in the Asian region.
Mr McCarthy was part of a panel that consisted of Hesti Septianita and Leni Widi Mulyani from Pasundan University (Indonesia), and Helena Whalen-Bridge from the National University of Singapore.
Shaun presented on the role of clinics in legal education including law on the beach and inspiring students to champion pro bona work.
Dr Kcasey McLoughlin Provides Expert Opinion on the 'Yes' Vote
Dr Kcasey Mcloughlin provided expert opinion on ABC Radio about the result of the marriage equality survey. Dr McLaughlin explained there was a strong "YES" vote in Newcastle (74.8%) and that the yes vote received a majority of people, unanimity of all states and territories and a majority of electorates- meaning that if it had been a referendum it would have been one of the most successful in Australia's history.
Dr McLaughlin further explained that the non-binding nature of the postal survey, and the particular question put to the public means that we are still unclear about how the law might be changed to recognise same sex relationships. She explained the debate from here will centre on the breadth and substance of religious exemptions as set out in the draft bills."
Externship to Address Law Education Barriers
Sher Campbell and Donna Jamieson accompanied eight UON and three QUT Law students to Yangon Myanmar. In collaboration with BABSEA (Bridges Across Borders South East Asia) and under the supervision and guidance of Sher and Donna. The UON Law Students borrowed from their already well developed understanding of clinical legal education to be able to share their experience with both teaching staff and law students at East Yangon University.
Bridges Across Borders South East Asia Clinical Legal Education (BABSEACLE), is an international non-governmental organisation (INGO) that provides legal education and access to justice as well as reinforcing, through education, the rule of law throughout Southeast Asia. Both UON and QUT students adapted extremely quickly to an international setting with little or no resources. Their enthusiasm and professional never wavered and the environment they were teaching in constantly challenged them.
After three weeks of an extensive integrated learning externship, the UON and QUT students said that they valued the opportunity to engage with EYU, the Australian Embassy and community law groups including the Yangon Justice Centre and The Rule of Law Centre.
Students believe that they made a real contribution to developing clinical legal education and clinical legal education in this country. Six Newcastle Law Students wrote the first International Myanmar moot in 2015. The Law School is pleased that this relationship is developing over the years thanks to opportunities that are available through the New Colombo Plan.
Commitment to Creating Challenging and Creative Course Content
Dr Tim Connor was awarded the Overall Vice-Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence for his ability to create engaging, challenging, and relevant course content at the 2017 Vice-Chancellor's Awards for Excellence. The awards recognised over 60 remarkable academic and professional staff in all Faculties and Divisions for their significant achievements, willingness to go 'above and beyond' and take on new challenges, and for their contributions to our New Futures strategic goals.
Dr Connor has transformed the compulsory course Company Law - from one many students found dry and uninteresting into one of the most popular courses in the Faculty. Tim breaks complex topics down into sub-topics and replaces traditional lectures with a variety of on line resources that assist students to master each sub-topic before moving to the text. Tim also designs highly engaging in-class activities, draws on current social issues to highlight the course's relevance and establishes a supportive classroom culture that students value highly.
Law Student Success in National Essay
Bachelor of Laws (Honours)/Bachelor of Arts student, Thomas Mowbray, placed second in the Corporate Law Teachers Association annual national essay competition. The judging panel encouraged Mr Mowbray's to submit his essay 'The Maxwell Test: A Necessary Limitation on the 'Stepping Stone' Approach' for consideration as a journal article in the Australian Journal of Company Law.
Law Students in China
Newcastle Law School delegation headed by Dr Bin Li and Shaun McCarthy started their clinical legal externship in China in late 2017. During the visit in Beijing the delegation was based at Beihang University School of Law and visited Haidian District People's Court (in) where Beihang law students work to provide clients with legal advice. The delegation was (also) well received by Fang Da Partners whose clients include Alibaba - the international corporation founded by Jack Ma (and visited). The group visited the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Beijing and spoke with the staff about Australia-China business relations and associated opportunities for Australian law students together with visiting clinics and institutes in Shanghai.
2018 Endeavour Grant Success
The 2018 Endeavour Mobility Grants were recently announced with the Newcastle Law School awarded funding of $101,500. The Grants will enable a minimum of 30 postgraduate and up to 10 undergraduate students to receive an international study experience in 2018.
The Endeavour Mobility Grants are administered by the Department of Education and Training, and support two-way engagement between Australia and the rest of the world. The mobility grants provide life changing opportunities for our students to access global learning and research opportunities, and develop global skills and perspectives.
The projects were:
Dr Tim Connor and Ms Jacquie Svenson: Regulating Employment Rights and the Environment in Indonesia
Mr Shaun McCarthy and Dr Bin Li: Clinical Legal Education in China
Dr Elena Aydos: International Work Integrated Learning Experience: Environmental Law Internship in Brazil.
Andreena Kardamis - United Nations Youth Advocate 2018
Andreena Kardamis, Bachelor of Law (Honours)/ Diploma of Legal Practice student has been chosen to undertake the position of Australian Youth Advocate for the United Nations for 2018. Andreena was offered one of only 8 positions available worldwide. In 2018, Andreena will be based in Bangkok, Thailand where she will be part of a team organising and running 3 international conferences, jointly hosted by the Humanitarian Affairs United Kingdom & Asia and the United Nations Development Programme.
Andreena will be trained throughout the year by Ambassadors from various countries to learn the Art of Diplomacy and by various agencies of the United Nations. Andreena will use the opportunity to be advocating for people who have experienced domestic violence, specifically on behalf of young women.
Successful Pilot of Indigenous Early Entry Scheme for Law
The Newcastle Law School have established an early entry scheme for Indigenous students to enroll in the undergraduate Bachelor of Laws (Combined). Nine applications were submitted of which six were offered a place in the Bachelor of Laws for 2018. In conjunction with the scheme, a new Indigenous student orientation program will be developed to ensure support for these and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students throughout Law School.
Legal Advice Found at the Beach
The University of Newcastle Legal Centre held its annual 'Law on the Beach' legal advice sessions at the Newcastle Surf Club throughout January and February. Law on the Beach is a clinical legal education initiative of the Newcastle Law School where undergraduate law students and Juris Doctor students are engaged in interviewing clients under qualified supervision.
The beach advice clinics are open to all members of the community but are particularly focused on supporting young people and persons who are disadvantaged in dealing with the legal system. As Law on the Beach runs over the summer break, it gives law students who are undertaking their Practical Legal Training, the opportunity to gain invaluable practical experience.
This summer, 43 law students and eight social work students guided by Lawyers from Sparke Helmore, Hunter Community Legal Centre and the University of Newcastle Legal Centre provided advice to 120 members of the community.
See archived events from the Newcastle Law School