2023 James Merralls Fellowship in Law Lecture - 07.03.23

Parallel Universes: The Curious Dearth of Trans-Tasman Citation.

Presented by The Hon. Justice Stephen Kós

Despite Australia’s proximity to New Zealand, and the two countries' shared common law backgrounds, they seldom cite each other’s case law.  Justice Stephen Kós, of the New Zealand Supreme Court, has examined trends in citation over the last 70 years on both sides of the Tasman.  A modest high point of mutual legal interest emerged in the 1980s/90s.  Thereafter mutual indifference largely resumed.  The main focus of the lecture is on legal history.  It looks in particular at areas where Australian case law has proved influential in New Zealand, and the contextual reasons explaining the curious dearth of trans-Tasman citation.

James Merralls Fellowship in Law Lecture
This lecture is named in honour of the late James Merralls AM KC, an alumnus of Melbourne Law School, who graduated LLB (Hons) in 1958. Mr. Merralls was a resident tutor in law at Trinity College between 1958 and 1972 and was Dean of the College in 1967 and 1968. Mr. Merralls made an enormous contribution to the Australian legal profession over the course of his career. In addition to an illustrious practice at the Victorian Bar, Mr. Merralls was a reporter for the Commonwealth Law Reports between 1960 and 1969 and was the editor from 1969 to 2016. He was publicly commended for his contribution to the Australian legal profession by many of our leading practitioners and judges, including successive Chief Justices of the High Court of Australia. The Australian legal profession owes a large debt of gratitude to Mr. Merralls.

This lecture was a collaboration between the Victorian Bar and Melbourne Law School.

The Victorian Bar is the professional association representing more than 2200 barristers in Victoria. The Bar's home is in the Courts precinct of Melbourne in the Owen Dixon Chambers, surrounded by chambers in other buildings. The Bar is a busy, thriving community comprising barristers, clerks, and support staff.

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