Outspoken judge at law conference
Members of Australia's legal fraternity will converge on the University of Adelaide next year to take part in a major event highlighting the importance of legal advocacy.
The 21st Century Advocacy Conference, being held on 4 February 2011, will bring to Australia US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
Considered to be the most outspoken Justice of the US Supreme Court, Justice Scalia is known for his aggressive oral argument and scathingly critical written opinions.
He was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to the US Court of Appeals in 1982 and then to the Supreme Court in 1986.
As well as speaking at the conference, Justice Scalia will deliver the 2011 James Crawford Oration on International Law, on 2 February.
The 21st Century Advocacy Conference will feature topics such as trends in advocacy and the changing nature of the profession. In particular, the conference will address the issue of modernisation of advocacy in the courts and likely future developments.
"Justice Scalia is widely known among the world's legal profession, both as a brilliant legal mind and a huge personality," said Professor John Williams from the University of Adelaide's Law School, and member of the conference organising committee.
"At the conference in Adelaide, Justice Scalia will provide a comparative perspective on developments in Australia and the United States. While there are shared experiences, the two legal cultures are different and have given rise to differing approaches.
"The University and members of the legal committee are excited by the prospect of having such a leading jurist in Adelaide."
Professor Williams said the opportunity to entice Justice Scalia back to Australia stemmed from a visit he made in the 1980s and friendships he made at that time.
"The work of Justice Tom Gray of the South Australian Supreme Court and Judge Mark Griffin from the District Court has been instrumental in securing Justice Scalia for the conference," Professor Williams said.
Other key speakers at the conference include Chief Justice John Doyle AC (Chief Justice of South Australia) and the Hon. Michael Kirby, AC, CMG (former Justice of the High Court of Australia).
Sessions will also be devoted to the gender revolution in the profession - celebrating the centenary of the Female Law Practitioners Act 1911 - and a young lawyers event.
For more information about the conference and the James Crawford Oration, go to: www.adelaide.edu.au/justice-scalia-2011
Story by David Ellis