Director's Report

This year has been particularly busy with a wide range of teaching, events and visits. Again, we have both enjoyed the company of, and benefited greatly from, our judicial visitors from Japan and Korea, as well as our many other visitors from throughout the region and beyond. In this newsletter, we feature an interview with Judge Yunkyung Bae who visited for one year as part of the Overseas Research and Study Program of the Supreme Court of Korea. This newsletter also focuses on some of the marvellous achievements of our colleagues working on the South Asian Region, who have an exciting schedule of activities, conferences and visiting fellowships lined up for 2019. A full account of our other visitors, workshops, publications and engagement activities will be in our Annual Report.

This year, as part of our plan to reach out more actively to students and colleagues in the Melbourne Law School, we arranged a series of morning teas to bring together those with an interest in various areas of Asian law. We held three morning teas for students and staff interested in North Asia, South Asia and South-East Asia (which was also an opportunity to welcome Dr Ha Hai Do as a Post-doctoral Research Fellow to the ALC).

Associate Professor Andrew Godwin has been busy organising and delivering training to three delegations of judges from Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court (the apex court) and the Court of Appeal. This is a welcome extension to the Centre's longstanding programs of visits and engagements with judges from throughout the region, including Japan and Korea.


Congratulations to Associate Professor Stacey Steele who has taken on a new role at S&P Global as Deputy Chief Privacy Officer. Congratulations also to Professor Tim Lindsey AO who has been selected as a Fellow of the Australian Institute of International Affairs, in recognition of his exceptional contributions over many years to Australia Indonesia relations.

Members of the Centre have also been successful in winning a number of competitive grants. Associate Professor Tarunabh Khaitan was awarded the prestigious Letten Prize, and at the end of December 2018, it was announced that Professor Tim Lindsey AO was successful in his grant application for a Hallmark Research Initiative on Indonesian Democracy, both of which are covered in this Newsletter.

Welcome to a new Associate Director and Associates

Ying LiewThe ALC was very pleased to welcome Dr Ying Liew, who joins the ALC as Associate Director (Private Law). Ying teaches and researches in private law, with a particular focus on the law of trusts, contracts, and remedies. Among Ying’s ongoing projects is a doctrinal study of the different ways in which developments in Anglo-Australian law influence the way trusts law is understood and applied in Asian-Pacific jurisdictions. In 2019, he will be presenting papers on this theme at Singapore Management University, Hong Kong University, and the Malaysian Bar, and will be co-organising an international conference at Melbourne Law School to discuss the theory and practice of Asian-Pacific trusts law. He will also be a visiting professor at the National Taiwan University in December 2019.

We are very pleased to welcome new Associates to the Asian Law Centre:

  • Matthew Coghlan, Deputy Director of the Singapore International Dispute Resolution Academy, who is interested in mediation, the Belt and Road Initiative, as well as broader questions of governance and human rights issues in the Asian region.
  • Reegan Grayson-Morison, Barrister, Victorian Bar who has an interest in Japanese law and has previously taught insolvency law at Melbourne Law School
  • Dr Jeff Redding, Senior Fellow and New Generation Scholar, Australia India Institute and Melbourne Law School, who is interested in Indian law
  • Associate Professor Peter Rush, Melbourne Law School who has a particular interest in Japanese criminal justice.

Five-year Review of the Asian Law Centre

On 17th September, the ALC underwent its five-year review. This was a very constructive process that gave us an opportunity to reflect on our achievements and challenges over the last five years and our goals for the next five years. We were fortunate to have an expert and very engaged panel comprising Professor John Howe, the Hon Justice Victoria Bennett AO and Mr David Laidlaw, who put an enormous amount of work into preparing for and conducting this review. We benefited greatly from engagement with them both in the lead up and on the day of the review.

I am delighted that the panel reported that it was ‘extremely impressed with the achievements of the Centre over the last five years’. The review panel has also given us some great suggestion for paths we might pursue to further strengthen the reach and impact of our work and how we might better communicate with you. Over this year, in preparation for and following the review, we have been working on redesigning our web page with a view to providing a more accessible and informative window into our work and activities. We hope to have this work complete in early 2019.

Season’s greetings and best wishes for 2019

Our very heartfelt thanks go to all of you who have contributed to and supported the Asian Law Centre and our activities. We look forward to engaging closely with you all next year and hope that you will be able to participate in many of the Centre’s activities. We have an exciting program of seminars, conferences and academic visitors already scheduled.

We are indebted to our staff colleagues, friends and students for their ongoing support and engagement.

I wish you all a safe and happy festive season. I also hope you manage to take some time to rest and to celebrate with your family and friends.

Best wishes for the new year from me and all of us at the Asian Law Centre.


Professor Sarah Biddulph
Director, Asian Law Centre