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Legal minds unite for dynamic Summer Law School


Adam Walters
4 December 2019

Lawyers, paralegals, professionals and students from across the country will descend on Southern Cross University Gold Coast campus for a unique academic experience by the beach this summer.

The Summer Law School four-day intensive units will shine a bright light on the changes and challenges confronting the legal world. With nine socially-poignant and intellectually-stimulating intensive units to choose from, the program is counted as Continuing Profession Development (CPD) for legal practitioners and is ideal for students from a wide range of disciplines.

From the latest developments in DNA technology, to environmental law, activism and the re-emergence of crime in popular culture - the Summer Law School intensives will deliver compelling learning experiences, for those wanting to broaden and deepen their legal knowledge.

The first Summer Law School four-day intensives will be held concurrently in December. Meanwhile five (four-day) intensives are still available for registration between January 8-19 at Southern Cross University Gold Coast campus overlooking North Kirra beach.

Professor William MacNeil, Dean of Law, Faculty of Business, Law and Arts, said a star cast of internationally-recognised experts will continue Southern Cross University’s Summer Law School tradition of offering niche subjects on the most pressing and controversial legal concepts of our age.

“These units can't be found in the rest of the country, and are taught by local and global thought leaders who represent the cutting edge of their respective fields,” Professor MacNeil said.

“When coupled with our salubrious teaching venue – overlooking North Kirra beach and right next to the Gold Coast Airport – all this intellectual firepower should prove a winning combination for any legal professional or student!”

Southern Cross University forensic scientist Dr Paula Hallam, who has worked on DNA for more than three decades, will be examining the finer points of DNA profiling, and its use as evidence in Australian courts.

“The idea behind this unit is to explore what happens when science collides with the legal system, including examples of what can happen when it all goes wrong,” Dr Hallam said.

As debate continues over using police to quell public protests, one of the University’s prominent environmental activists Aidan Ricketts will explore the intersection of law and social engagement.

“Banning protest can’t make the climate emergency go away, but it can deeply damage democracy and the rule of law. As one of the world’s biggest fossil fuel exporters the stakes could not be higher for Australia,” Mr Rickets said.

International guest Associate Professor Chiara Battisti is an expert on links between law and literature, cinema, and performing arts, and will investigate how fictional and documentary crime films, graphic novels and comics can be at odds with – or become – reality in the legal discourse.

“We can consider graphic novels and comics as a place where legal meanings emerge that actually shape law,” Associate Professor Battisti said.