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The Internationalisation of Legal Education

The Internationalisation of Legal Education

The Future Practice of Law

Edited by William van Caenegem and Mary Hiscock

The legal academy is responding in many varied ways to the challenge of producing lawyers adequately prepared to operate in a global environment. There is a renewed focus on lawyering skills, on core principles, on cultural context and on comparative research and study. This work advances the discussion of these issues while developing solid solutions and approaches to teaching law students destined for the future practice of law.

Chapter 11: The internationalisation of legal education: An opportunity for human rights?

Gillian Triggs

Subjects: law - academic, comparative law, legal philosophy, legal theory


The following chapter explores some of the implications of the internationalisation of the law on legal education, and on the implementation of human rights law in Australia. First, however, some comments about Australia’s sixth Chief Justice, Owen Dixon, whose contribution to Australian law has been described by Lord Denning as the bringing of the ‘golden Age of the High Court’. I suspect the Chief Justice would not have approved of such language as ‘internationalisation’ or ‘globalisation’ of the law and would have found the concept mysterious, even empty. True it is that Justice Dixon rarely referred to public international law as such. It tells us something of the quality of his legal scholarship that his comment about the relationship between international law and English law in Chow Hung Ching v The King in 1949 is oft cited and well known to law students. While rejecting the notion that international law is automatically incorporated into domestic law, he considered that international law is, nonetheless, ‘one of the sources, of English Law’. This is an idea echoed by Justice Brennan in Mabo v Queensland (No 2) 43 years later in 1992, where he observed that, ‘international law is a legitimate and important influence on the development of the common law, especially when international law declares the existence of universal human rights’.

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