2022 Harold Ford Memorial Lecture
'No Body to be Kicked or Soul to be Damned: The Limits of a Legal Fiction'
Presented by Justice Keane, the title of the lecture is drawn from the vivid observation by Lord Denning MR as to the fundamental difference between human beings and the corporation. The corporation, like other human artefacts, is a tool, useful as a means to an end, but the ends are human, and humans have a dignity that their tools do not. The lecture explores some respects in which this consideration may be said to limit the operation of the corporate fiction.
The Harold Ford Memorial Lecture is organised with the assistance of the Centre for Corporate Law.
This lecture is named in honour of Melbourne Law School’s distinguished alumnus, Professor Harold Ford, who passed away in September 2012. Professor Ford spent almost his entire career at Melbourne Law School following his appointment to the Law School in 1949. He was Dean of the Law School in 1964 and from 1967 to 1973. He is remembered as a gifted teacher by several generations of law students.
Professor Ford also made many important contributions to law reform and co-authored a leading text titled Principles of the Law of Trusts and other influential books. The Harold Ford Memorial Lecture celebrates the many contributions of Professor Ford to Melbourne Law School, the legal profession, and to the development of corporate law and trusts law.
The Harold Ford Memorial Lecture is proudly sponsored by Clayton Utz.
Patrick Keane was awarded the degree of BA by the University of Queensland in 1973. In 1976 he was awarded the degree of LL.B. (Hons.) with First Class Honours and the University Medal in law. In 1977 he was awarded the degree of B.C.L. (Oxon.) with First Class Honours, and the Vinerian Scholarship and J.H.C. Morris Prize.
In December 1977 he was admitted as a Barrister of the Supreme Court of Queensland appearing principally in commercial and constitutional cases. In November 1988 he was appointed Queen’s Counsel. From 1992 to 2005 he was Solicitor-General for Queensland. On 21 February 2005 he was appointed to the bench of the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court of Queensland. On 22 March 2010 he was appointed Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Australia. On 8 December 2011 he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa by the University of Queensland. On 1 March 2013 he was appointed to the High Court of Australia.
Justice Keane was appointed a Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia in 2015.