Sydney Law School

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Sydney Law School
Sydney Law School shield.png
Shield of Sydney Law School
Established 1855
School type Public
Dean Joellen Riley
Location Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Enrollment 3,300
Faculty 172
Website sydney.edu.au/law
The University of Sydney logo

Sydney Law School (Sydney Law or SLS) is the faculty of law at the University of Sydney. Located in the main Camperdown campus of the University, with some operations at the St. James Campus, it claims to be the first law school established in Australia, inaugurated in 1855.[1]

In 2013, the QS World University Rankings ranked Sydney Law School second in Australia, and 10th in the world.[2] The School has approximately 1,700 undergraduate students; 1,500 postgraduate coursework students; and 100 postgraduate research students. There are now 24 chairs, including the Challis Chairs of Law, Jurisprudence and International Law. In 2010, the School replaced its graduate-entry LL.B. degree with the Juris Doctor degree; the LL.B. degree is still available but only as part of an undergraduate double degree program.

Sydney Law School has produced a large number of luminaries in law and politics, including current Prime Minister Tony Abbott and four other Prime Ministers, four Federal Opposition Leaders, two Governors-General, nine Federal Attorneys-General and 23 Justices of the High Court, more than any other law school in Australia. The school has also produced 24 Rhodes Scholars.

History[edit]

As the Faculty of Law, the law school was inaugurated in 1855 and established by the Act to Incorporate and Endow the University of Sydney 1850 (NSW) and an 1855 University Senate by-law, becoming the third faculty (after the Faculties of Arts and of Medicine) of the University of Sydney.

The Faculty of Law commenced its work in 1859, primarily as a body of assessment and examination rather than teaching. In 1890, the first chair was appointed to the faculty and a full legal academic programme commenced at the Faculty.

Prior to 2011, Sydney Law School was the sole School under the Faculty of Law, under the College of Arts and Humanities, one of the three constituent Colleges of the University. As part of a re-organisation of faculty organisation, in 2011 the Faculty of Law was renamed Sydney Law School, adopting the better-known name of its sole School.[3]

The Sydney Law School has won the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition in 1996 and 2007.[4] More recently, in 2011, the Sydney Law School won the prestigious international mooting competition, the Philip C. Jessup Cup, defeating Columbia Law School in the finals.[5]

Campus[edit]

St. James[edit]

Sydney Law School

The Law School building on Phillip Street in the centre of Sydney's legal and business district was the home of the Sydney Law School until early 2009. While the faculty is now located in the New Law School building on the main Camperdown campus of the university, some (mostly night) classes and some other functions continue to be hosted on the St. James campus.

The campus is bounded by Elizabeth, King, and Phillip Streets and is opposed to the Supreme Court of New South Wales. The building consists of 13 dedicated levels, three of which are underground. Level four is the ground entrance level and houses the assembly hall, a foyer, and some offices; levels one and two house "Harvard-style" lecture theatres; level three houses a staff car park and other amenities; level five housed University of Sydney Union premises, including the office of the Sydney University Law Society (SULS), until their relocation to the New Law School Building on Main Campus at Camperdown and Darlington. The Sydney University Law Library and the Faculty of Law's information desk were located on levels seven to ten and twelve, respectively. These facilities have since relocated to level zero to one and level three of the New Law Building, respectively.

The building was constructed in 1969 in the brutalist architectural style. Busts of classical orators and jurists adorn the Phillip Street entrance, while the University of Sydney crest is found on the Elizabeth Street and Phillip Street entrance. The St. James campus is located near St. James railway station and Martin Place railway station and is serviced by a bus stop outside its entrance on Elizabeth Street.

New Law School[edit]

New Law Building

The Sydney Law School has changed locations several times in the past but has always remained in the centre of the city because of the tradition of teaching by practitioners, and for easy access to the courts and members of the profession. However, the University of Sydney asserts that with changes in the mode of teaching, the advantages of being integrated into the University's main campus have been deemed by them to outweigh the convenience of a central location.[citation needed] Consequently, a new law school was constructed at the main Camperdown campus, adjacent to Fisher Library and on the site of the former Edgeworth David Building. Completed in February 2009, the faculty administration began occupation in mid-February, prior to classes beginning in early March.

On 30 April 2009, the New Law School Building was officially opened by Governor-General of Australia Quentin Bryce. Also in attendance were Robert French, Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia; Murray Gleeson, immediate past Chief Justice of the High Court; Jim Spigelman, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New South Wales; and Malcolm Turnbull, leader of the Federal opposition.[6] Numerous seminars and other sessions were held as part of the building's opening day program.[7]

The design and construction of the New Law School Building were each performed by local Australian firms, namely FJMT (Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp) Architects and Baulderstone Pty Ltd, respectively.[8] The building is in the style of late-20th-century International Style architecture and is characterised by its glass exterior walls.[9]

Academics[edit]

Programs[edit]

The Sydney Law School offers the LL.B. (undergraduate-entry) and the J.D. (graduate-entry) as professional degrees in addition to higher-research degrees (HRDs), namely the M.Crim. by Research, LL.M. by Research, Ph.D., and S.J.D.[10] In addition to this, the law school offers postgraduate coursework degrees/diplomas and non-degree/-diploma study in specialist areas of law and government, for both law and non-law graduates.[11]

Scholarship[edit]

The following publications are produced by the Sydney Law School Law Publishing Unit:

Student organisations[edit]

Two student organisations operate in association with the Sydney Law School. The Sydney University Law Society (SULS), formed in 1902, represents all law students at the University. The Chinese Law Students Society (CLSS), formed in 2004, provides services with a more international outlook.[12]

A number of other student societies at the University of Sydney also cater to law students. These include the Korean Law Students Society at the University of Sydney (KLUS), which caters to Korean ethnic students, formed in 1997, and the St. Thomas More Society, which caters to Catholic students.

Notable alumni[edit]

Over its 150 year history, the Sydney Law School has produced a relatively diverse and prominent group of alumni. As of 2014, it has produced five Prime Ministers as well as 24 out of 50 Justices of the High Court.[13] There is also a justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa among the ranks of Sydney Law School alumni. The following is a list of prominent alumni:

International Court of Justice[edit]

High Court of Australia[edit]

In total the University of Sydney has produced 24 out of 50 Justices of the High Court of Australia.

Supreme Court of New South Wales[edit]

Alumni of Sydney Law School are represented among the Chief Justices of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, the highest judge in the state of New South Wales, and other heads of sections of the Supreme Court and include, but are not limited to:

Federal Court of Australia[edit]

Supreme Court of Western Australia[edit]

Solicitor General of Australia[edit]

Other legal professions[edit]

Vinerian Scholars[edit]

Politics[edit]

During the Australian constitutional crisis of 1975, the leaders of all branches of the Australian government were Sydney Law School alumni:

From 1998 to 2001, the leaders of all branches of the Australian government were again Sydney Law School alumni:

Rhodes scholars[edit]

Business[edit]

Academia[edit]

Arts, media, and entertainment[edit]

Sport[edit]

Notable faculty[edit]

Deans[edit]

  1. 1890–1910: Pitt Cobbett
  2. 1910–1942: John Peden
  3. 1942–1946: James Williams
  4. 1946–1947: Clive Teece (acting)
  5. 1947–1973: Keith Shatwell
  6. 1974–1977: David Benjafield
  7. 1978–1979: Dyson Heydon
  8. 1980–1985: John Mackinolty
  9. 1986–1989: Colin Phegan
  10. 1990–1992: James Crawford
  11. 1992–1993: Alex Ziegert (acting)
  12. 1993–1994: Colin Phegan (acting)
  13. 1994–1997: David Weisbrot
  14. 1998–1999: Ros Atherton (acting)
  15. 1999–2002: Jeremy Webber
  16. 2002–2007: Ron McCallum
  17. 2007–2012: Gillian Triggs
  18. 2012–2013: Greg Tolhurst (acting)
  19. 2013–Present: Joellen Riley

Notable professors[edit]

Misc[edit]

  • In 1999 legal history was made when Justices Virginia Bell, Margaret Beazley and Carolyn Simpson formed the first all-female bench in an Australian court. According to the Women Lawyers Association of NSW, there has never been an all-female bench in England or New Zealand. All three justices are graduates of Sydney Law School.[22]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sydney Law School was inaugurated in 1855, but its earlier activities focussed on examining, rather than teaching. The first Dean was not appointed until 1890, at which time a full program of legal instruction began: The University of Sydney. History - Sydney Law School. Retrieved 14 May 2013
  2. ^ "QS World University Rankings by Subject 2013: Law". Top Universities. QS. 
  3. ^ Implementation Report - University of Sydney
  4. ^ "International Law Students Association: The Future of International Law: Jessup Archives". International Law Students Association. 
  5. ^ Sherington, Greg (28 March 2011). "Sydney Law School 2011 Jessup World Champions". Sydney Law School. 
  6. ^ "Sydney Law School Open Day - 30 April 2009 - Sydney Law School - The University of Sydney". Sydney Law School. Retrieved 31 May 2013. 
  7. ^ "Sydney Law School Building Opening - 10am-3pm, Thursday 30 April - Sydney Law School - The University of Sydney". Sydney Law School. Retrieved 31 May 2013. 
  8. ^ "Faculty of Law, The University of Sydney". Retrieved 31 May 2013. 
  9. ^ "Sydney Architecture Images- New Law School, Sydney University". Sydney Architecture. Retrieved 31 May 2013. 
  10. ^ "Research Programs @ Sydney Law School - Future students - The University of Sydney". Sydney Law School. Retrieved 31 May 2013. 
  11. ^ "Postgraduate Law @ Sydney - Future students - The University of Sydney". Sydney Law School. Retrieved 31 May 2013. 
  12. ^ Sydney Law School - Student Societies
  13. ^ 17 of the 24 justices studied for law degrees at the University of Sydney; the remainder studied at the University at a time before the Sydney Law School offered a full programme of legal study.
  14. ^ http://sydney.edu.au/news/law/436.html?newscategoryid=66&newsstoryid=12249
  15. ^ http://www.lawyersweekly.com.au/wig-chamber/news/new-federal-court-judge-a-chip-off-the-old-block
  16. ^ http://www.squire.law.cam.ac.uk/eminent_scholars/professor_peter_cane.php
  17. ^ https://www.dur.ac.uk/ias/fellows/iasfellows/1415/cane/
  18. ^ http://www.elevenwentworth.com.au/areas-of-practice/?sid=5
  19. ^ http://sydney.edu.au/news/law/436.html?newsstoryid=9729
  20. ^ . Sydney Law School Distinguished alumni in history http://sydney.edu.au/law/alumni/distinguished.shtml#Rhodes Distinguished alumni in history.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  21. ^ http://blogs.unimelb.edu.au/opinionsonhigh/tag/professor-william-gummow-ac/
  22. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20080627133421/http://www.usyd.edu.au/about/publication/gazette/oct99/pub/media_watch.pdf

Further reading[edit]

  • Mackinolty, John; Judy (1991). A Century Down Town: Sydney University Law School's First Hundred Years. Sydney: Sydney University Law School. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°52′08″S 151°12′39″E / 33.869008°S 151.210762°E / -33.869008; 151.210762