The Centre for Corporate Law (originally the Centre for Corporate Law and Securities Regulation) was established by The University of Melbourne in January 1996 in recognition of the growing importance of corporate law, corporate governance and financial regulation nationally and internationally and also in recognition of the strength of Melbourne Law School in these areas. The Centre for Corporate Law merged with other commercial law research programs at Melbourne Law School to form the Melbourne Centre for Commercial Law in 2022.
Under the leadership of Professor Ian Ramsay (the Director of the Centre from 1996 to 2022), the Centre undertook numerous significant research projects, published many books, journal articles and reports, developed links with professional and regulatory bodies (both nationally and internationally), and made extensive contributions to law reform and policy research. The Centre ran an active conference and seminar program, which included annual events such as the Harold Ford Memorial lecture and the Supreme Court Commercial Law Conference and hosted visiting scholars.
The Centre website constituted a valuable resource for academics, lawyers, business and government, including many research papers, information regarding the history of Australian corporate law including links to historical documents, archives of the Corporate Law Bulletin and links to other sites of interest.
In a review of the Centre published in 2010, the Review Panel stated that the Centre “is recognized, nationally and internationally, as one of the leading centres in its field”, the “Centre’s research record is stellar” and “the Centre’s achievements in engagement with other law schools, the legal profession, business, government and the wider community have also been extraordinary”.
The five-year review of the Centre was conducted in 2015. The report of the Review Committee, published in December 2015, included the following comments: “The Review Committee was particularly impressed by the breadth and depth of expertise and experience in the membership of the Centre, comparable to that found in leading centres in this field anywhere in the world…It is recognised, nationally and internationally, as one of the leading centres in its field…The Centre has an outstanding research record…Members of the Centre have also achieved extraordinary success in obtaining competitive research grants…The Review Committee strongly commends the Centre upon its outstanding research performance, particularly its delivery of innovative and relevant research projects relating to corporate law and securities regulation. The Centre has sustained this strong performance across the 19 years since its establishment, and has strengthened it since the last review of the Centre in 2010…Since its last review in 2010, the Centre’s achievements in engagement with other law schools, the legal profession, business, government and the wider community have also been extraordinary. These achievements include 6 major national and international conferences, and 57 seminars, workshops and roundtables, involving hundreds of speakers from academia, the legal profession, business and government. The Centre has maintained significant links with a very extensive range of professional and government organisations…A recurring theme in the Review Committee’s interviews was that the Centre provides an extremely collegial and supportive environment. It builds productive links with other universities, the legal profession, business, government and the wider community. It continues to strengthen the University’s international standing. Its role within the University is unique and highly productive.”