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the ndsls


Dominic Rohde and Scott Rogers; winners of the 2013 Clayton Utz Negotiation Competition.


Week Eight Semester One Sunday 21 April 2013 the notre dame sydney law society

Notre Dame Sydney Law Society

acknowledgements Obiter Issue Three Editor Caroline Michel Contributors Eden Christopher Julia Lavers Peter Gray Thomas De Angelis Special Thanks Peter Gray Aidan Williams Design Alexander Carlos NDSLS Committee 2013 Executive Eden Christopher, President Natalie Baladi, Vice-President Daniel Austin, Secretary Sean D’almada Remedios, Treasurer Directors Jacob Deigan, Careers Julia Lavers, Competitions Aidan Williams, Education Peter Gray, IT Alexander Carlos, Marketing Caroline Michel, Publications Dominique Hermo, Social Events Rachel Bennett, Social Justice Lauren Absalom, Sponsorship Year Representatives Adrian Vincent, First Year Shelby van Ooran, Second Year Caitlin Gallagher, Third Year Sean D’almada Remedios, Fourth/Final Year Contact the Editor Contact the Committee

From the



It has certainly been a whirlwind week for some of us here in the NDSLS! So much so, I had to unfortunately push this issue of The Obiter to week 8. I apologise for the lateness, but I assure our regular readers that business will be as usual after the mid semester break. I’d firstly like to personally thank the efforts of everybody involved in the Clayton Utz Negotiation Competition. In a very close final, Dominic Rohde and Scott Rogers were announced our winners for 2013! Daniel Austin and myself were runners up. I extend my congratulations to Dom and Scott, and thank them for a very challenging and interesting grand final. I would also like to personally thank our judges, Eden Christopher and Kate Angus, as well as our Competitions Director, Julia Lavers, for volunteering their very valuable time to ensure that this competition ran as well as it did!

This year I was a newbie to the competitions circuit. As a 2nd year, I felt that these events would be very daunting. I could not have been more wrong though! Negotiation proved to be challenging but very manageable for a student like me who had only just started learning Contracts and Torts. The whole experience has made me very excited for the next competition, Client Interview. I highly recommend participating in competitions; you never know how well you can do! I never believed that I would be able to get to the grand final. I credit it to a little bit of hard work as well as a wonderful competition partner who helped me out immensely. So my word of advice to all students is to simply give it a go! You could be pleasantly surprised. I wish you all a safe and relaxing mid semester break. Until next time, Caroline

2 | The Obiter, Issue 4

Notre Dame Sydney Law Society

in this issue 6 Clayton Utz Negotiation Grand Final 8 Top 10 Apps for Students! 10 Family Law Guest Speaker 11 YourSay

President’s Note There is obviously a lot to talk about from

Client Interview is the next-

As the mid-semester break

NDSLS events recently. The Law School had a

in-line for this semesters

comes closer I hope you all

great showing at the Annual Notre Dame Gift

competitions and I bet you are

have some time off planned.

and our first competition was completed last

all wishing you signed up. It

Most of my mid-sem’s were full

week. So firstly, congratulations to all four of

starts in Week 10 coinciding

of work and assignments and

our Negotiation Competition grand-finalists. The

with our Careers Week, which

I hope that is not the same for

grand final winners were Dominic Rohde and

brings the legal community

you. I hear the Hunter Valley is

Scott Rogers. Runners up were Daniel Austin and

here to Notre Dame to get you

great this time of year...

Caroline Michel. Negotiation is my favourite

guys thinking about your future.

competition and it was a pleasure to be involved

Take a note in your diary for

this year guiding students through such a great

next semester - Mooting is much


better than Client Interview. You

Yours in law,

will learn a lot from mooting

Eden Christopher

and develop the skills needed

“O Captain, My Captain”

everyday to be a lawyer.


The Obiter, Issue 4 | 3

Notre Dame Sydney Law Society

Upcoming Events and Notices April 24

Study Boot Camp Lite Facebook Event Here

April 26

Education Review Closes Complete It Here

May 3

Final day of submissions for NDSLS Education Report

May 7

Allens Linklaters Client Interview Competition Commences

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Notre Dame Sydney Law Society

Contact Us

Follow us on all our online portals! Just click where you want to go! Like us on Facebook Our Facebook Page is called ‘Notre Dame Sydney Law Society - NDSLS’. We do not post on this older page:

Follow Us on Twitter Subscribe on YouTube Subscribe via RSS

For social media enquiries, contact the Marketing Director, Alex Carlos at For website enquiries, contact the IT Director, Peter Gray at The Obiter, Issue 4 | 5

Notre Dame Sydney Law Society


Last Thursday night, 11 April, members of the NDSLS, competitors, friends and family attended the 2013 Clayton Utz Negotiation Competition. After a few surprises in round 1 and 2, the competition was at its best, with only a four-point margin separating our Grand Final winners and runner-ups. I am pleased to announce that our 2013 Clayton UTZ Negotiation GRAND FINAL winners are Scott Rogers and Dominic Rohde. Huge congratulations to Daniel Austin and Caroline Michel, our runners up, and all of the other competitors. I hope you enjoyed yourselves, and that we’ll see you all back at the negotiation table in 2014! The winners have received a scholarship from the NDSLS to attend this years ALSA conference! Next up on the Competitions agenda is Client Interview, click here for listings. Our video highlights and photos from the 2013 Negotiation competition will soon be on our website and Facebook page. Once again CONGRATULATIONS on a job well done and thanks to Clayton Utz for their ongoing support!!!

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Notre Dame Sydney Law Society

R O F S P P A 0 1 TOP ! S T N STUDE BY PETER GRAY IT DIRECTOR It is without a doubt that technological developments have transformed how we do things and have a substantial effect on almost every aspect of our lives. Whether you use your smart phone or tablet for socialising or procrastination, these gadgets are also a valuable tool for law students. If there is one complaint or whinge I hear about most from peers, it’s the cost, size and weight of textbooks that we must lug around each semester. Books are heavy, but mobile alternatives fit right into your pocket and avoid the need to go to the index. A little known fact is that there is a vast range of resources available in app form that makes study, assignments or presentations just that little bit more awesome and time efficient. According to the Cisco Visual Networking Index report of 2012, it is forecast that there will be a combined 66% growth of smart phones and tablets between 2012 and 2017. Already technology and mobile devices are changing how our courtrooms function and how our education is delivered. In the US for example, attorneys are using iPads to present their evidence and remotely connect with witnesses using a highly popular app known as TrialPad. Here are my top 10 apps for law students! 1. Blackboard Learn - FREE Since the university upgraded to a newer version of Blackboard, you can now browse and download your much anticipated take home exams and receive notifications when your lecturer posts your next problem question. Simply use your ND login credentials and you’re all set!

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2. Austlii - FREE

Notre Dame Sydney Law Society

This handy app has a library of over four million documents and conveniently resizes the Austlii website to fit the dimensions of your mobile device. 3. Constitution - FREE This application takes you from 1901 to 2013, bringing the nations’ founding document to your fingertips. Constitution provides you with a quick reference to all eight chapters and other documents of significance including the Statute of Westminster Act. 4. LexisNexis Butterworths Concise Australian Legal Dictionary - FREE Providing over 10,000 legal terms, this app features citations for Australian judicial and legislative authorities and cross-referencing to related terms. 5. Torts - $10.49 Being the first Torts app of its kind in Australia, this app features more than 60 case notes and presents a new way to digest Donoghue v Stevenson. 6. SignNow - FREE Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you needed a signature for a document? With “SignNow”, you can upload a document and sign with a finger, without the need to print, sign or fax documents again. 7. iAnnotate PDF - $9.99 This app allows you to “annotate” your Word and PowerPoint files with pens, highlighters, notes, underlines, photos and voice recording tools. With this app, your notes are essentially paperless! 8. DropBox - FREE With most mobile devices lacking a USB port, Dropbox lets you synchronise any file from any computer or device. Sharing is easy with the ability to share files and folders. This is particularly useful when collaborating on a group project. For a free account you can store up to 2GB. 9. Facebook – FREE Traditionally used as a social network and communication tool, Facebook is great for following your law society and building contacts for your career in the law. Many firms have facebook pages and allow users to contact them directly and participate in online discussions. 10. Twitter - FREE Twitter, commonly known as the short 140 character, micro-blogging site is also a valuable tool for law students. With more and more legally minded experts, law firms, parliamentarians and government authorities joining the site every day, it’s about time you follow them. For starters, why not follow: @NDSLS, @unda_library, @ALSAonline, @survivelaw, @austlii, @NSWLawReform, @AusLawReform, and @HonMichaelKirby.

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Notre Dame Sydney Law Society

FAMILY LAW GUEST SPEAKER WRITTEN BY THOMAS DE ANGELIS Notre Dame Law School offers Family Law as an elective unit of study in fourth and fifth year.

On Monday 25 April, Federal Magistrate Dale Kemp gave a lecture to Notre Dame’s Family Law students. It was an excellent opportunity to hear from someone who works at the coalface of Family Law in this country, and also to be informed about the recent developments in this field. Federal Magistrate Kemp was candid in telling us his views on the current state of the law, and all were greatly impressed by his knowledge and passion for his field.

Federal Magistrate Kemp spoke of the responsibility he feels as the ultimate decision-maker in the lives of some very vulnerable people. His job does not simply revolve around the division of property following the breakdown of a marriage, it also extends to protecting the rights of children and ensuring that any orders made are made in the child’s best interests. Federal Magistrate Kemp was an excellent speaker and very generous in giving of his time to speak to our class.

How to Contribute The Obiter welcomes original student written pieces. If you would like to have something included in our publication, don’t be shy- we are now accepting a range of original works whether they be short articles, long essays or maybe just a piece of advice for other students. As long as they are focused on a legal or university related issue/topic we would love to publish your work! If you are a budding writer why not send us something? You can either upload your document here, or email it directly to Caroline, the Publications Director at It’s that easy. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Notre Dame Sydney Law Society

YourSay - Last Week

“I want to secure justice for the world” and “I want to make good money” - two approaches to the legal profession. Apparently we all idealistically signed up to law school because of the former and leave with the latter realism... What’s the deal? Our Vice Chancellor said of the appointment of our new Dean: “His legal experience will be a great asset to Notre Dame’s Law students and his outstanding record of professional leadership will see him continue the University’s tradition of graduating lawyers who have a sound understanding of the academic application of the law, but who are also well-rounded individuals with a deep understanding of the nature of justice.” Do others not involved in the law (as students or professionals) have unrealistic expectations of us? As difficult and pretentious as it is to say, I think it is appropriate to hold high expectations of law students.
This is not to say that students of other disciplines should not be held to a high standard however.
The law requires individuals who are intelligent, conscientious and diligent and so it is logical that many will have the experiences and insights into the injustices of the world. It’s a terrible mistake to think that you can’t be passionate about justice (broadly defined: giving to each their due) and also want a high-paying job. Advancing justice is a task for everyone, e.g., maybe we don’t need that luxury car… Yet lawyers do have a special role in justice as dispensed by courts and, in fact, have the potential to greatly advance this or greatly hinder it by their advice. Don’t forget your idealism, and make your world a better place. Make it to the best firm you can, and foster a selfless attitude among your peers. I am one of “those people” who decided to study law for idealistic reasons. I quickly learnt to keep those reasons to myself as lecturer after lecturer sought to remind us that a profession in the law will be sorely disappointing if your goal is to seek justice or some other grand aim. Such a wakeup call can be helpful if one has been unrealistic but it may also discourage those with selfless yet realistic ambitions. Having experienced a short period in the role of an advocate I can say that opportunities do arise where you can definitively point to a circumstance and say “justice was done here” it feels good. Lecturers could be inspiring us with such experiences; do they remember their own? There is certainly a disconnect between law and non-law academics when it comes to the perception of the interplay of justice with law. When I think about the course subjects I find it hard to see why the Vice Chancellor could be justified in making such a claim with regard to ND’s students understanding the nature of justice. We don’t study justice but the law.

The conflict we are seeing between the apparent pragmatic views of law professionals and the lofty ideals of non-law academics like the Vice Chancellor and Deputy Vice Chancellor (see article he wrote about Thomas Moore in 2010 with similar sentiments) may have its roots in the modern shift of legal philosophical theory. Within both the law profession and academia, the Natural Law Theory on which our Western system of law was built has to a large extent been replaced with legal positivism. Under Natural Law Theory notions of justice and law are intrinsically linked. Under legal positivism there is no such connection. Such a disconnection between the two perspectives would likely not occur in a secular university where notions of Natural Law have all but been wiped out. The Obiter, Issue 4 | 11

Notre Dame Sydney Law Society

YourSay Issue Four This week:

The high price of legal services means that many Australians would find it difficult to pay for a lawyer for anything but the most basic legal issues. When people who can’t afford a lawyer turn to government funded legal assistance services, they find that due to chronic funding shortages, ongoing help is often restricted to those on the lowest incomes, and then only for a limited range of mainly family law and criminal law issues. Unike the health and education system in Australia, there is no universal safety next for legal help: report by Community Law Australia, July 2012. We have Medicare and public hospitals, as well as free public schooling. Why is there so little in the way of schemes and funding for universal access to lawyers? Let us know what you think! Jump online and send us your thoughts to have your say published in the next Obiter! Contribute by clicking here. Disclaimer: All submissions will be considered for publishing provided that they do not contain offensive language or themes. The NDSLS reserves the right to refuse a submission if it is inappropriate.

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The NDSLS would like to recognise the significant contributions of our Gold Sponsors. These sponsors have been with us for many years and have made significant contributions to YOUR society during that time. Check out their website and Like them on Facebook to stay informed on how they can help you more.

Copyright and Disclaimer Š The Notre Dame Sydney Law Society. This publication is copyright. Except where permitted under the Copyright Act, no part of this publication may be reproduced or stored by any process, electronic or otherwise, without the express permission of the Notre Dame Sydney Law Society. This is a publication of the Notre Dame Sydney Law Society. Its sponsors, contributors, the University of Notre Dame Australia, its affiliates or its employees do not necessarily endorse any facts or opinions contained within this publication

Obiter, Issue 4, 2013  

Week Eight Semester One, Sunday 21st April 2013.

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