Monthly Archives: February 2016

Forthcoming Events and recent News of Note

Latest Announcements:

Legal History Tutorials are back on!!

  • This year’s programme of legal history tutorials will begin on 21 May 2019.

  • Simon Chapple will present a tutorial titled “Introduction to Australian Legal History” on Tuesday 21 May 2019 in Court 13A (on Level 13 of the Law Courts Building in Queen’s Square, Sydney) ALSO

  • The Chief Justice, the Hon T F Bathurst AC has also confirmed that he will present a tutorial the ‘History of the legal profession in NSW’ on 19 September 2019.

ALSO – just to hand…

Professor Anne Twomey  will deliver the 2019 Forbes Lecture  on Wednesday 5 June 2019 at 5.30pm.

The topic will be Pitt Cobbett and  aspects of his work. The lecture will be in Court 13A where our legal history tutorials will be held this year (Note that our usual venue, the Bar Common Room, is not available on that evening.)


 The title is ‘Pitt Cobbett – A Pre-Engineer’s Ghost Speaks from the Grave’.

 Professor Twomey’s abstract is as follows.

In Spence v Queensland, the High Court recently referred to the whispers of the pre-Engineers ghosts. One of those ghosts is Pitt Cobbett, a former Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Sydney who died on the last day of Sir Samuel Griffith’s term as Chief Justice.  Cobbett wrote a great opus on the Constitution but its publication was frustrated by the Engineers Case and the new constitutional order it created.  A century after Cobbett’s death, his work is about to be published and his voice heard from the grave.  Join Cobbett’s successor, Professor Anne Twomey, as she explores what is surprising and what we can learn from Cobbett’s century-old understanding of the Constitution.

Further details on Pitt Cobbett’s life can be found at the Australian Dictionary of Biography Entry:



Latest edition of the Forbes Flyer available now:

Click on:  Forbes-Flyer-No-38-Autumn-2019

RECENT ADDITIONS TO THE PUBLICATIONS PAGE9781760021931Forbes Member David Ash has written an excellent review of Greg Woods’ monumental history

 A History of Criminal Law in New South Wales, vol 2, The New State 1901-1955, (2018),The Federation Press, 878pp. The review is at: G D Woods A History of Criminal Law in New South Wales vol 2


In addition

David presents the results of his long term research project -  A List of non-practice published works by members of the New South Wales Bar. This is a fascinating account of the many contributions to Australian social and literary life made by barristers. It is well worth a look at the following link:  List of non-practice published works by members of the NSW bar

The list is alphabetical by author and includes man well known barristers, including CEW Bean, HV Evatt, Ian Barker QC and many others.


RESULTS of the 2018 Essay Competition are available on the Essay Competition page of the Website. Prospective essayists are encouraged to begin researching possible topics for 2019!!!




The Holt Prize

Sponsored by Federation Press.


The Prize is awarded every two years to a first-time author of an unpublished legal work of an academic or practical nature. The Holt Prize winner will receive a $12,000 cash prize and a publishing contract with The Federation Press.

Further Details available at: The-Holt-Prize-2019



This year’s AGM was  held on Wednesday 14 November 2018 at 5:15pm in the Bar Association Common Room. 

Click on the following link for the Annual Report which outlines the various activities of the Society: ANNUAL REPORT 2018 – 13.11.18

We welcomed Ben Chen to the Council during the meeting.

Ben is a longstanding member of the Society . In his final year of undergraduate studies, Ben served as Tipstaff to Justice Lindsay. He has published in legal history and helped organise legal history tutorials for members and friends of the Society. Ben later worked as a judge’s associate at the ACT Supreme Court (in 2013-14) and a sessional academic at the Australian National University (in 2014-16). While at Columbia, he worked as a researcher for Professor Elizabeth S Scott, the chief reporter for Restatement of Children and the Law.

Ben joined Sydney University Law School in 2018. He is a doctoral candidate at Columbia University School of Law and at the Australian National University Research School of Economics. His legal research focuses on mental incapacity in private law, using behavioural-economic and historical approaches. His economics research develops contest theory (a branch of game theory) to capture behavioural biases and social preferences, and then applies it to model civil litigation.



The latest edition of the Forbes Flyer, July 2018, edited by David Ash, is available at the following link: Forbes-Flyer-No-37-Spring-2018


  • Special Note Legal History 3 

  • The Journal, Legal History is commissioning a special Law and War Edition. Call for papers has been released. Click on the following link for details: Legal History CFP – Law and War