MLS News

Current issues in commercial law

The commercial expertise of the Supreme Court was brought into focus at the recent Supreme Court of Victoria Commercial Law Conference.

A joint initiative of the Supreme Court of Victoria and Melbourne Law School, the conference presented an impressive line up of speakers. One of the world's leading experts on class actions, Professor Deborah Hensler of Stanford Law School, presented the US perspective on class action. Dr Robert Austin, Minter Ellison, spoke of the ambiguity in current perceptions of the role of a board of directors. Neil Young QC examined the ASX disclosure and misleading conduct, and the Hon. Justice James Judd spoke on developments in civil procedure.

The Dean of Melbourne Law School, Carolyn Evans, commended conference participants for their analysis of important issues facing commercial law.

"Each of them bring their different skills, experience and knowledge to bear on some of the complex, multifaceted, but very pressing problems that face our legal system," said Professor Evans.

Professor David Studdert awarded an ARC Laureate Fellowship

Melbourne Law School researcher, Professor David Studdert, has been awarded an Australian Laureate Fellowship to further his research into the national health system.

An Australian Research Council Federation Fellow and Deputy Head of the School of Population Health, Professor Studdert aims to transform the role that medico-legal institutions, such as health complaints commissions and coroners' courts, play in advancing population health. The fellowship, which is valued at

$3M over five years, will fund his planned work in the development of techniques to use caseload data from the agencies to monitor and address risks to health.

"Legal scholars and practitioners tend to focus on one case at a time. We will study large collections of cases to try to identify ways of reducing risks of injury in hospitals, on the road and in workplaces," said Professor  Studdert.

Academic appointed to Israeli flotilla commission

International humanitarian law expert Professor Tim McCormack has been named as one of two international observers to the second phase of the Israeli Government's Turkel Commission.

The commission was established to enquire into Israel's actions in stopping a humanitarian flotilla on its way to Gaza in May last year.

Following the release of the commission's first report, Professor McCormack will work closely with the second observer, former First Minister of Northern Ireland and Nobel Peace Prize winner Lord David Trimble, to assess how Israel's military justice system compares with that of other countries, particularly Australia, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands. The role of the international observers will be to ensure that the process the commission follows is transparent and independent of the government.

Academics awarded for quality teaching

Melbourne Law School's commitment to quality teaching has been recognised by the Australian Teaching and Learning Council with fi e academics receiving citations in this year's awards.

Dr Wendy Larcombe and Associate Professors John Tobin, Tania Voon, Andrew Mitchell and Bruce Oswald CSC were acknowledged for their outstanding contributions to student learning.

The academics were recognised in three separate citations, each of which carries a prize value of $10,000. The Dean of Melbourne Law School, Professor  Carolyn Evans, said that Melbourne Law School was distinguished by the exceptional quality of its teachers.

Associate Professors Tania Voon, Andrew Mitchell and Bruce Oswald CSC were also the major winners of the Award for Excellence and Innovation in the Teaching of Law in the 2011 Lexis Nexis - Australasian Law Teachers Association Awards.

This article originally appeared in MLS News, Issue 6, October 2011.