Top study prize to University of Adelaide graduate
Wednesday, 28 November 2007
A University of Adelaide 'triple degree' graduate has been awarded Australia's most prestigious postgraduate scholarship to undertake further study at one of the world's best universities.
Brendan will graduate with his third degree from the University of Adelaide this December with a Bachelor of Music (First Class Honours) having already graduated with a Bachelor of Mathematical and Computer Sciences and First Class Honours in Law.
He graduated top of his class in Law, winning all the Honours prizes as well as the prestigious Stow Medal. He is currently working as Associate to Justice Anthony Besanko in the Federal Court in Adelaide, teaches part-time at the University of Adelaide Law School and works professionally as a jazz pianist.
With his Monash Award, Brendan will undertake the Master of Laws (LLM) followed by a Doctor of the Science of Law (JSD) at Yale University in the United States, examining the role of law in securing both individual rights and stable government.
"The spread of democracy and freedom throughout the world is possibly the most important issue in international affairs for my generation," Brendan says. "The question remains, 'how can this be sustained in the face of those pressures that tend to promote civil war'?"
His long-term ambition is to revive the contribution of common law rights as opposed to constitutional law, particularly in emerging democracies. "Written constitutions do not secure rights," Brendan says. "Rights are deeper than that, being located throughout the networks of individual relationships that we each have. Only impartial adjudication of those intersecting relationships can secure the rights. The common law has always facilitated that. The rise and rise of the constitution is one aspect of an explosion in rule by legislation."
Brendan is a past-President of the Adelaide University Law Students' Society, member of the Adelaide Law Review and has represented the University with success in national mooting competitions. He has been a keen debater throughout his studies and plays competitive badminton. He has also volunteered at the Welfare Rights Centre of South Australia, a community legal centre.
The Monash Awards focus on developing and supporting outstanding young Australians who can make a difference to Australia's future and become leaders in their fields. The Awards are Australia's equivalent to the British Rhodes Scholarships and the American Fulbright Awards. Award winners receive up to $150,000 each over three years.
Brendan's success follows two Monash Awards last year to University of Adelaide graduates Gemma Sharp and Owen Siggs.
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