Construction law: building bridges between the professions in Canberra

The Society of Construction Law Australia held its annual conference in Canberra from 3-5 November 2016.

Matthew Bell in Canberra

Matthew Bell in Canberra

The conference demonstrated the close links between Melbourne Law School’s construction law program and the Society, and through the Society to the construction professions. Many current and former students in the program participated in the conference as speakers or delegates, and several associates of the program played key roles. These included:

  • Professor Ian Bailey SC, who gave a detailed outline of the new suite of Australian Standard construction contracts
  • The Hon David Byrne QC (Patron, construction law program), who moderated the conference’s ‘Great Debate’ at the High Court
  • Matthew Bell (Senior Lecturer and Co-Director of Studies), who chaired a session in his capacity as Chair of the Society’s Academic Subcommittee
  • Kara Vague, who was Chair of the organising committee and recently was appointed Chair of the Society

Professor Ian Bailey SC presenting at the conference

Professor Ian Bailey SC

A particular highlight was the presentation of the Brooking Prize and Brooking Student Prize to MLS alumni: respectively, Thomas Ho (JD) and Alisa Taylor (MConstrLaw). These prizes are presented annually by the Society to the best essays on construction law topics.

Thomas Ho presenting at the conference

Thomas Ho

The conference provided a wonderful opportunity for stimulating discussions aimed at achieving meaningful reforms in construction law. For those who missed it, there was a running commentary via the twitter handle #socla2016.

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