Researching practical reforms and the theoretical underpinnings of a life in the law
We recognise the importance of the legal profession and legal education in the promotion of answers to the novel and new problems, as well as issues of the rule of law and access to justice. Legal education must produce law graduates who are work-ready in this new and constantly evolving context for legal practice.
At the same time, it is essential to develop graduates who are equipped to deal with the multiple interacting issues that the law seeks to regulate. It is possible to discern the emergence of multi-level ‘global law’ in which international, regional, national and sub-national laws and institutions interact. Practicing lawyers must cope with the challenges of global lawyering, the impact of changing technologies of legal practice and modes of communication, the twenty-first century court-room, and the demands of increasing layers of external regulation.
Researchers in this Program focus on innovative forms of legal education, including developing, testing and evaluating on-line and blended learning and experiential and active learning as part of a pattern of life-long legal learning. They investigate the complex world of legal practice and the changing expectations of legal practitioners, the judiciary and the public. The Program also has a focus on the future of law as viewed through the lens of the humanities and future studies. The ways in which law is conceptualised, mapped, and represented within contemporary media and culture are integral to framing, developing and responding to the possibilities of law’s futures.
Researchers consider the way in which the nature of law as rhetoric—encompassing the arts and techniques of persuasion, debate and argument—is used in response to uncertainty (whether in terms of climate change, financial crisis or movement of populations) and in shaping the imagination of desirable futures.
Exploring Lawyering, Legal Education and Law’s Future
Law Futures Centre: John Flood
Judicial Decision-Making and ‘Outside’ Extra-Legal Knowledge
This project involves several members of the Program including Dr Kylie Burns, Zoe Rathus and Dr Karen Schultz. Our research focuses on how judges use extra-legal knowledge in their decision-making in civil, family, criminal and other cases. We collaborate with colleagues in criminology and the University of New South Wales. This project has resulted in a special issue of the Griffith Law Review published in late 2016.
Legal Education Active Learning Research Network
Members of the Law Futures Centre, Dr Kylie Burns, Professor Mary Keyes, Associate Professor Therese Wilson, Kate van Doore and Joanne Stagg-Taylor form part of a national network of legal academics interested in active learning methods and technology in legal education.
The research undertaken in the network has been presented in Griffith University, at University of Newcastle and in national and international conferences. Our research influences our own innovative teaching in Griffith Law School and contributes to Australian and International legal education more broadly.
New Law, Lawyering and Legal Education Book
On 15 February 2017, the Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia launch a new book by LFC members Charles Sampford and Hugh Breakey.
The text, Law, Lawyering and Legal Education: Building an Ethical Profession in a Globalizing World, is an important addition to the field. As Chanellor’s Professor of Law and Political Science, Carrie Menkel-Meadow, of the University of California observes, the book “illuminates the important struggles to make legal education responsive to the contexts and institutions in which the law is made, theorized about, and practices. The volume … intelligently examines our past, and provocatively and importantly suggest the path for our future”.