Melbourne University Law Review

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Melbourne University Law Review
Edited byJames Gunn, Darcy James and Annie Jiang
Publication details
Former name(s)
The Summons; Res Judicatae
Standard abbreviations
BluebookMelb. U. L. Rev.
ISO 4Melb. Univ. Law Rev.
OCLC no.60630207

The Melbourne University Law Review is a triannual law journal published by a student group at Melbourne Law School covering all areas of law. It is one of two student-run law journals at the University of Melbourne, the other being the Melbourne Journal of International Law. Students who have completed at least one semester of law are eligible to apply for membership of the editorial board. Applicants are assessed on the basis of their performance in a practical exercise, academic aptitude, proofreading skills, editing skills and enthusiasm. The 2021 editors-in-chief are James Gunn, Darcy James and Annie Jiang.[1]

Occasionally, the review produces a symposium issue devoted to a particular aspect of law. Past symposium issues have focused on the centenary of the federation of Australia, contemporary human rights in Australia, and tort law. The Review's alumni include two High Court Justices, three Solicitors-General, five Federal Court judges and at least six Supreme Court judges.


The journal has been awarded an A* ranking by the Australian Business Law Deans Council.[2]


The Summons[edit]

The first periodical published at the Melbourne Law School was The Summons. It appeared with the subtitle A Magazine of Legal and General Literature and was published by the Articled Law Clerks' Society of Victoria between 1891 and 1903. It was a yellow-covered sixteen-page journal depicting an angel with a trumpet on its cover and served as more of a current affairs magazine than an academic journal, publishing reports of moots and discussing topical issues, which at the time included the fusion of the two branches of the Victorian legal profession and the admission of women.

Res Judicatae[edit]

In 1935, the students of the Faculty of Law established Res Judicatae — roughly translated as "things that have been judicially adjudicated on" — which was intended to provide a forum for discussion and debate among students of the law. Published by the Law Students' Society of Victoria, it focused on legal journalism.

Notable publications include C S Lewis on 'The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment',[3] Owen Dixon on 'De Facto Officers',[4] H V Evatt on 'Amending the Constitution',[5] John Latham on 'The Law Student',[6] and the re-printing of Frank Gavan Duffy's poem, 'A Dream of Fair Judges' (originally published in The Summons).[7]

Melbourne University Law Review[edit]

In 1957, Zelman Cowen (then dean of the faculty and later governor-general of Australia) re-established the journal along the model of the Harvard Law Review and renamed it the Melbourne University Law Review. In line with prevailing American practice, top ranking law students were invited to become members of the editorial board. In 1998, the number of issues published each year was increased from two to three.


Notable alumni of the Melbourne University Law Review include:[8]

High Court

Federal Court

Supreme Court






Australian Guide to Legal Citation[edit]

In collaboration with the Melbourne Journal of International Law, the journal publishes the Australian Guide to Legal Citation.


  1. ^ Melbourne Law School, the University of Melbourne. "MLS Honour Board". Melbourne Law School. Retrieved 12 February 2020.
  2. ^ Australian Business Deans Council, (ABDC). "Journal Quality List". Australian Business Deans Council. Retrieved 12 February 2020.
  3. ^ Lewis, CS. "The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment". (1954) 6 Res Judicatae 224.
  4. ^ Dixon, Owen. "De Facto Officers". (1938) 1 Res Judicatae 285.
  5. ^ Evatt, H V. "Amending the Constitution". (1938) 1 Res Judicatae 264.
  6. ^ Latham, John. "The Law Student". (1938) 1 Res Judicatae 253.
  7. ^ Gavan Duffy, Frank. "A Dream of Fair Judges". (1938) 1 Res Judicatae 183.
  8. ^ "Past editors". Melbourne University Law Review.

External links[edit]