Friday, May 15, 2009

The 2009 Essay Writing Competition attracted high-quality jurisprudential papers from every state of Australia making shortlisting and judging a competitive process. But, as announced at the ALPSA Launch Event, we have our winners! They are as follows:

Congratulations to NICOLAS ELIAS (Juris Doctor, University of Melbourne), who's essay entitled "Law's claim to Ethical Responsibility: The Law and Morality of Torture" was awarded the first place prize of $300.
Second place was awarded to THOMAS GRAHAM (Final Year Undergraduate, University of Melbourne) with "Securities Related Litigation in the People's Republic of China" winning $150.
LIZ KOFOED's (Juris Doctor, University of Melbourne) essay "The Relationship between Technical and Aspirational Aspects of Law Pertaining to the Figure of the Refugee" won third place and $50.

We sincerely appreciate the time our Judges, the Hon. Justice PA Keane (Qld Court of Appeal), Prof. Wilfrid Prest (University of Adelaide) and Prof. Woljiech Sadurski (University of Sydney), generously gave to consider the shortlisted essays; without their distinguished opinions this competition would not have been possible. Thank-you to all of the contestants who put aside their time to get another essay together alongside their assignments! And, we extend our gratitude to the University of Queensland who donated the $500 prize money.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Come along to a free talk on the topic 'The Growth of Legislative Activity: Challenges & Implications', with:

The Hon. Justice Fraser
(Queensland Court of Appeal)
Mr Ian Davis
(Queensland Law Reform Commission)
Professor Suri Ratnapala
(TC Beirne School of Law)

Date: May 6th
Time: 6-7 pm
Cost: Free
Location: Banco Court, Supreme Court Complex (George Street, Brisbane)


Practitioners may claim 1 CPD point for attendance

Hope to see you all there!

Friday, February 27, 2009

2009 ALPSA National Essay Competition Rules

  1. By submitting their essay to the ALPSA National Essay Competition (“the Competition”), entrants agree to be bound by the 2009 ALPSA National Essay Competition Rules (“the Rules”).
  2. The Competition closes Tuesday 31 March 2009 at 5pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) – for your information please visit, which explains AEST. Essays submitted late may or may not be considered, which decision is wholly at the discretion of ALPSA’s Executive.
  3. Entrants must submit their essays in Microsoft Word format by email to The email should detail the entrant’s full name, preferred email address, contact number, current university study (program of study and name of institution), postal address, and the word count of the essay.
  4. The essay must be written and submitted by a person currently enrolled in an undergraduate or postgraduate level program at an Australian university.
  5. Entrants may not submit essays which have previously been published or are currently being considered for publication, or essays which have previously won prizes or awards in academic competitions.
  6. Entrants may not submit more then one essay.
  7. The submitted essay must be between 2000 and 8000 words in length. Word count excludes footnotes, unless footnotes include substantive essay content.
  8. Entrants must be the original author of their submitted essay. All non-original material and sources must be referenced in accordance with general academic standards. Failure to reference or cite non-original material may be considered plagiarism. Entrants may use any generally accepted academic referencing standard, such as the Australian Guide to Legal Citation or Harvard Referencing. The Executive reserves the discretion to report instances of plagiarism to any affected or interested parties.
  9. Submitted essays will be shortlisted and judged according to the following criteria: Quality of legal philosophical discussion and argument, including knowledge and synthesis of information, innovation and articulation of argument, and structure of analysis; Academic quality, including choice and application of formatting and referencing style, clear and correct spelling and grammar.
  10. The 2009 ALPSA Executive (“the Executive”) will read all submitted essays and determine a shortlist. It is anticipated that entrants will be notified by email of which essays have been shortlisted.
  11. Shortlisted essays will be judged by the Honourable Justice PA Keane, Professor Wojciech Sadurski and Professor Emeritus Wilfrid Prest. It is anticipated that entrants will be notified by email or phone of which essays have placed first, second and third.
  12. First place will win $300, second place will win $150, and third place will win $50.
  13. Entrants give the Executive licence over the submitted essay as is reasonably necessary for the conduct of the Competition. This licence includes permission to make and distribute copies between members of the Executive and the Judges for short-listing and judging processes, reproducing entry details and excerpts in ALPSA publications, and keeping copies of submitted essays as archival records.
  14. The Executive may exclude an essay from the Competition for a breach of these rules or for conduct deemed contrary to the spirit of the Competition. At their discretion the Executive may notify an entrant by email or phone if their essay has been excluded from the Competition.
  15. All decisions of the judges and the ALPSA Executive are final. No appeals will be heard. The Competitions Convenor has discretion to vary the Competition Rules.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

2009 ALPSA National Essay Competition

The 2009 ALPSA National Essay Competition is your chance to polish an old assignment into a paper that showcases your ability to discuss the complexities of legal philosophy shrouding a historical or controversial topic of your choosing.

If shortlisted your essay will be judged by an eminent and diverse panel consisting of the Honourable Justice PA Keane (Queensland Court of Appeal), Professor Wojciech Sadurski (Sydney Law School) and Professor Emeritus Wilfrid Prest (University of Adelaide Law School).

Instead of just gathering dust, your assignment could win 1st place and $300 of the cash prize money generously provided by the University of Queensland, whilst 2nd will receive $150 and 3rd $50.

Entries are open to undergraduates from around Australia, whether you are studying law, philosophy or international relations, to submit unpublished essays between 2000 and 8000 words long.

Please submit your paper by 5pm on Tuesday 31 March to!

If you have any questions or need more information, please comment on this blog entry (as others may have a similar query), or email Michelle Delport (ALPSA Competitions Convenor) at

Monday, November 17, 2008

ALPSA AGM Thursday 20 November - Call for Nominations

ALPSA will be having its Annual General Meeting on Thursday 20 November at 6.30 pm, to be held in the Moot Court at UQ's St Lucia Campus.

Nominations are invited from all interested parties; prior membership or involvement with ALPSA is not a requirement. The positions available are:
  • President
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary
  • Competition Convener
  • Public Relations Officer
  • Officer without portfolio

If there is more than one nomination for a position (excluding President, Treasurer or Secretary), the Meeting may allow two people to jointly hold the position.

We encourage all to get involved- anyone who is interested is more than welcome to play a role in ALPSA for 2009. Nominations should be sent to - simply include your name and a contact phone number, as well as which position you intend to stand for.

Nominations should be submitted as soon as possible, but may be made from the floor at the meeting. Please feel free to contact us at if you have any questions or queries.

See you on Thursday!

ALPSA Annual Report in UQLS Res Ipsa Magazine

See here for the UQLS yearbook, Res Ipsa, which contains a report on ALPSA's year in 2008.


Congratulations to all the teams that participated in the ALPSA 2008 Legal Philosophy Moot in late September this year.

The moot was based on the problem of the Speluncean Explorers written by Lon Fuller, and required teams to consider philosophical and jurisprudential issues. Judges from UQ, QUT and
Griffith put teams to the test, raising issues that ranged from questions of criminal procedure to the nature of the social contract.

Teams competed in three rounds of competition, and a team of UQ mooters comprising Chris Curtis, Michelle Delport and Edmund Robinson ultimately won the Grand Final, which was judged by the rather intimidating panel of Professor Ratnapala, Dr Crowe & Acting Judge John Devereaux SC.

Runners-up in the Final were Louise Young and Luke Gamble of QUT, with Louise winning the Best Speaker Prize for both the General Rounds and the Grand Final.

Thanks to all the teams that participated, as well as the following judges of the general rounds:
Associate Professor William MacNeil (Griffith University), Dr Nick James (UQ), Mark Thomas (QUT), Professor Jim Allan (UQ), Dr Francesca Bartlett (UQ) and Ryan Goss.