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September 2006 Issue
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Legal fraternity honours Selway


The late Justice Bradley Selway, a former adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Adelaide, was honoured by some of Australia's sharpest legal minds at a national conference in Adelaide last month.

Justice Selway, who died in 2005, served as Crown Solicitor and then Solicitor-General for the State of South Australia before being appointed as a Justice of the Federal Court of Australia.

His contribution to public law was recognised at the Australian Association of Constitutional Law (AACL) conference, which was hosted by the University's Law School and held for the first time in Adelaide.

A range of constitutional issues affecting the States and Territories was discussed by the eminent gathering of judges, practitioners
and academics.

"In terms of the calibre of speakers, the conference was unrivalled," said University of Adelaide constitutional law expert Professor John Williams. "It was a gathering of the finest legal minds."

Speakers included:

  • The Hon Chief Justice Michael Black AC, Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Australia;
  • The Hon Sir Gerard Brennan AC KBE, former Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia;
  • Solicitor-General of Australia, Dr David Bennett AO QC;
  • Solicitor-General for South Australia, Christopher Kourakis QC;
  • Solicitor-General for the Northern Territory, Tom Pauling QC;
  • Associate Professor Helen Irving, who has recently returned from a year at Harvard Law School;
  • Leading political scientist Professor Brian Galligan;
  • Leading constitutional barrister Dr Melissa Perry QC.

"This was a timely conference because federalism is undergoing fundamental change in Australia and the conference gave the states an opportunity to talk about their role in this regard," Professor Williams said.

Apart from some serious debate on constitutional issues, a lively session was devoted to winning cases through strong written and oral skills, and the importance of court etiquette.

About 40 law students, sponsored by the Law Foundation of South Australia, were invited to sit in on the conference sessions.

Professor Williams said the conference papers would be published in the Adelaide Law Review in early 2007.

Story by Candy Gibson

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