Judy Bourke

Lecturer and Legal Writing Advisor

Email bourkej@unimelb.edu.au


Judy has varied interests in the law, including disability law, animal law and sports law. Teaching Fundamentals of the Common Law in the MLM program enables Judy to share some of her experiences and knowledge. Judy is inspired by student interaction in teaching legal skills and legal writing.

Judy qualified as a veterinary surgeon prior to studying law at the University of Melbourne, where she graduated with Honours. Her interest in animals and the law continued into legal practice as a solicitor. She co-taught the MLM subject ‘Racing Industry Law and Regulation’ from 2005 to 2016. Judy is a member of the Victorian Racing Tribunal, hearing serious breaches of the Rules of the Codes of thoroughbred, harness and greyhounds. Judy has been involved in administration of sporting clubs and is a Commissioner of the AFL Central Victoria Commission. This is the largest regional commission in country Victoria, managing leagues and clubs in Australian Rules football, netball and hockey. Judy is also a member of the St Vincent’s Hospital Animal Ethics Committee.

Judy works part-time as an advocate in the National Disability Insurance Scheme space, working with people with a disability. All aspects of administrative law are engaged in individual advocacy as well as systemic advocacy. This work involves assisting people with disability with their internal and external (AAT) merit reviews, internal and external (Ombudsman) complaints, and Freedom of Information requests. It also involves policy submissions to government on the NDIS.

Judy is a published author across a range of legal areas. She was editor of the standard liquor reference, Bourke’s Liquor Laws Victoria for twenty years to 2012. Judy also authored the Liquor Chapter of Halsbury’s Laws of Australia in 2007. Judy has also published on animal welfare issues, including the legal framework of quarantine in the wake of the Equine Influenza outbreak in 2007. An early article by Judy published in the Australian Bar review concerned DNA forensic evidence. This was subsequently cited extensively in the Victorian parliament and in government enquiries in Canada on scientific test evidence.

Judy teaches Fundamentals of the Common Law in the Masters Law Masters program. She is also a Legal Writing Advisor in the Ian Malkin Centre for Legal Academic Skills, providing feedback on legal papers for the JD and MLM programs prior to submission.

Other School and University responsibilities

Legal Writing Advisor, Ian Malkin Centre for Legal Academic Skills (MLM and JD)

Teaching (2023)