Message from the Dean

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

We received news recently that the University of Melbourne has broken into the ranks of the top 30 universities in the world. Melbourne's sustained rise among its international peers – the university jumped nine places in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings – is testament to the high calibre of work being done by staff and students, and the support of alumni and friends.

Coming on the heels of Melbourne Law School being named number eight in the world for law according to the QS World University Rankings by Subject, it confirms that we are performing at the highest international level. To have global recognition of what we already know – that Melbourne Law School is a wonderful place to study and learn about the law – is a great credit to all in our community.

It was with great sadness that the Law School farewelled one of its great champions last month, Emeritus Professor Harold Ford AM who passed away at the age of 91. A former Dean and Professor of Commercial Law, he will be remembered as a first-rate scholar and gifted teacher. The generations of law students taught by Professor Ford speak not only of his great scholarship, but of the personal attributes that so defined this exceptional man: his modesty, kindliness and integrity. Professor Ford's connection with Melbourne Law School began in 1937 and we named our major scholarship after him in recognition of his significant contribution. You will find within this magazine a tribute to him by Professor Ian Ramsay, Harold Ford Professor of Commercial Law.

This year marks a significant milestone for Melbourne Law School with the culmination of our transition to a fully graduate law school. After almost 150 years of teaching the Bachelor of Laws, Melbourne Law School will see the final LLB students complete their studies this month. Our evening to celebrate this milestone was a truly warm and joyous occasion. With alumni, recent graduates and current students all gathered to hear personal insights from a panel of LLB alumni, I was struck by the mixture of generations in the room. It confirmed to me that our upcoming Juris Doctor students have wonderful role models in the LLB alumni who have already achieved so much and will continue to contribute to society in an astonishing range of fields.

Our cover this issue features Professor Cheryl Saunders AO, who will be known to many of you through her long connection to the Law School. Earlier this year, I joined colleagues and friends in extending our warmest congratulations on the award of France's prestigious Légion d'honneur. We have taken the occasion as an opportunity to share with you the story behind the honour and her international work in the field of constitutional law.

For those who graduated in the 1960s and 1970s,  I hope to have the opportunity to greet many of you at our upcoming reunions. To all alumni, particularly recent graduates now joining our global alumni community, please stay in touch and take a moment to check out our events over the coming summer.

Yours sincerely

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

Image: Carolyn Evans Dean, Melbourne Law School, Harrison Moore Professor of Law

This article originally appeared in MLS News, Issue 8, October 2012.