Message from the Dean

By Carolyn Evans
Dean, Melbourne Law School
Harrison Moore Professor of Law

Melbourne Law School has always been at the forefront of innovation in legal education. We were reminded of our pioneering role at the conference last month to pay tribute to the life and work of the late Rt Hon. Sir Zelman Cowen AK GCMG GCVO QC. Sir Zelman's vision of legal education, and the innovations introduced during his term as dean from 1951 to 1966, laid the foundations for the international esteem in which the Law School is held today. I enjoyed the opportunity to join alumni, friends, academics and international experts to reflect broadly on the teaching of law and share ideas as we shape the law schools of the future. It was a very special honour that Lady Cowen, and members of the Cowen family, were able to attend and participate so generously in the various events.

Thanks to the pioneering efforts of Sir Zelman and others, Melbourne's impact is now felt far beyond the walls of the Law School building. Just last month, the Law School delivered a course on the common law at leading universities in China. We partnered with Oxford University and the National University of Singapore to give Chinese students an insight into the way the common law works. Later in the year we will be presenting, for the first time, the Melbourne Law School Public Lecture in Asia. I hope that many of our alumni in the region will join me at the inaugural lecture in Hong Kong on 23 October where I will be speaking about Free Speech, Democracy and Disagreement.

This semester saw us launch a new partnership with the University of Cambridge, an exciting addition to international partnerships already established with Oxford University, NYU School of Law and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. For this issue we interviewed some of our talented students already pursuing these opportunities for global study in the field of law. We also heard from alumna, Dr Helen Durham, who this month takes up the role of Director of International Law and Policy at the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva. My congratulations to Dr Durham on this historic appointment; she is the first Australian, and the first woman, to hold the position.

The Campaign for the University of Melbourne has now entered its second year. Many of you have told me how deeply you value the world-class education you received and said that you want to help Melbourne Law School continue to strive for excellence. By donating to scholarships such as the Melbourne JD Harold Ford Scholarships, you help keep the Law School accessible to the best students, regardless of their financial circumstances. Every gift, whatever the size, makes a difference to our students. On behalf of students and staff at Melbourne Law School, thank you for your very kind support.

This article originally appeared in MLS News, Issue 11, June 2014.