University of Adelaide Law School

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The Adelaide Law School (ALS) is a law school in Australia, founded in 1883. It is the second oldest Law School in Australia and is a part of the Faculty of Professions at the University of Adelaide. As of 2005, it has 1300 students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate courses. The current Dean is Professor John Williams. It is one of the most prestigious law schools in Australia and boasts current prominent alumni such as Federal Education Minister - Christopher Pyne,[1] Foreign Affairs Minister - Julie Bishop[2] and the Opposition's Head in the Federal Senate - Senator Penny Wong.[3] Moreover, all of the Directors of Public Prosecutions in South Australia since Federation have been alumni of the Adelaide Law School along with all South Australian Solicitors-General. The majority of the Justices of the South Australian Supreme Court and of the District Court of South Australia graduated from the Adelaide Law School. The current South Australian Premier - Jay Weatherill - is also a graduate of ALS.[4] Due to this prestige, the Adelaide Law School maintains very high standards for admission.[5]



  • Bachelor of Laws (LLB)


  • Master of Laws (LLM)
  • Master of Business Law (MBusLaw)
  • Master of Comparative Law (MCL)
  • Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD)
  • Doctorate of Laws (LLD)

2009 curriculum changes[edit]

To comply with efforts to standardise law degrees across the country, the Adelaide Law School implemented a number of curriculum changes in 2009. Among other changes, these included the introduction of a new subject, Principles of Public Law, and the combination of Law of Crime and Criminal Procedure. The new curriculum resulted in the reduction of overall units required for graduation, thus reducing the duration of post graduate law from 3.5 years to 3.

Admission requirements[edit]

The Adelaide Law School maintains very high admissions standards and is very selective. Generally, admission requires a Tertiary Entrance Rank in the high nineties. This is a reflection of the prestige, history and location of the Adelaide Law School. Entrance for post graduate study requires the completion of a 3-year bachelor degree at a recognised University, admission for post graduate or undergraduate transfer students is calculated on grades previously achieved.


The QS World University Rankings by Subject 2014 - Law[6] ranked the Adelaide Law School 46th in the world and 6th in Australia. The Commonwealth Government Excellence for Research in Australia (ERA) 2012 assessment exercise conferred the prestigious 4 rank (above world average upon the Adelaide Law School for the outstanding international quality of the research prduced by faculty members.

Notable alumni[edit]


  • Michael Ball - Justice of the New South Wales Supreme Court
  • John Basten - Justice of the New South Wales Court of Appeal
  • Richard Blackburn - Former Chief Justice of the Australian Capital Territory
  • Catherine Branson - Former President of the Australian Human Rights Commission and Justice of the Federal Court of Australia
  • John Bray - Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia, poet and classicist
  • John Doyle - Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia and Chair of the Australian Judicial College.
  • Elliott Johnston - Judge of the Supreme Court of South Australia and communist activist
  • Len King - Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia and former Attorney-General of South Australia
  • Chris Kourakis - Current Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia
  • Bruce Lander - South Australia’s first Independent Commissioner Against Corruption
  • George Ligertwood - Former Chancellor of the University of Adelaide and former Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia
  • Brian Martin - Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory
  • Robin Millhouse - Chief Justice of Kiribati, Chief Justice of Nauru, former Judge of the Supreme Court of South Australia, former Attorney General for South Australia and first Australian Democrats Parliamentarian.
  • Dame Roma Mitchell - First female Governor, Queens Counsel, University Chancellor and Judge in Australia.
  • Mellis Napier - Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia
  • Melissa Perry - Justice of the Federal Court of Australia
  • Geoffrey Reed - Former Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia and first Director-General of ASIO
  • Len Roberts-Smith - Former Justice of the Supreme Court of Western Australia
  • John von Doussa - Former Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia and the Federal Court of Australia
  • Margaret White - First female judge of the Supreme Court of Queensland and the Queensland Court of Appeal



  • William Cornish - Emeritus Herchel Smith Professor of Intellectual Property Law, University of Cambridge.
  • John Finnis - Professor of Law and Legal Philosophy, University of Oxford. [7]
  • Regina Graycar - Emeritus Professor of Law School, University of Sydney.

International Affairs[edit]


Media and the Arts[edit]


Adelaide University Law Students' Society[edit]

The Adelaide University Law Students' Society, or "the LSS", is an incorporated association of which all students enrolled at the Adelaide Law School are automatically members. It was founded in 1898 and is the second oldest organisation for law students in Australia. The LSS is operated by students of the Adelaide Law School and its purpose is to improve student life at the school. Its primary activities are to organise social events, such as the annual Law Ball, to organise competitions, such as mooting and trial advocacy, and to represent the student body on law school boards and committees. It also conducts a myriad of other activities aimed at assisting students and improving their time at the school. The LSS is also responsible for supporting the Adelaide Law School Revue.

Adelaide Law Review[edit]

The Adelaide Law Review Association publishes the biannual law journal, the Adelaide Law Review.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Christopher Pyne
  2. ^ Julie Bishop
  3. ^ Penny Wong
  4. ^ Jay Weatherill
  5. ^ "About the Adelaide Law School". University of Adelaide. Retrieved 26 March 2011. 
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Discussion on Australian Initiative to Improve the Effectiveness of the United Nations Treaty Committees, Internet Archive copy of Press Conference Interview with Alexander Downer, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Daryl Williams, Attorney-General and Philip Ruddock, Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, 12.30PM, 5 April 2001, accessed 22 January 2008]
  9. ^ Emeritus Professor Ivan Shearer AM RFD, Sydney Law School, The University of Sydney.

External links[edit]