ACU has launched the Faculty of Law in Sydney, with its focus on international law and ethical practice.
Community engagement through pro-bono practice is a mandatory requirement of the law degrees at Australian Catholic University, ensuring the coursework has a foundation of ethical practice and a commitment to social justice.
In launching the Law Faculty at Australian Catholic University’s North Sydney campus on Tuesday, Executive Dean of Law Professor Brian Fitzgerald said the degrees had been designed for the 21st century, with an emphasis on international law and a commitment to ethical practice.
"Students take extra commercial subjects around competition law, consumer law, international trade law, and we have an ethical dimension to the degree where they study international human rights, as well as legal ethics. They also have to do a unit called community engagement, which is a capstone unit requiring students to do 80 hours per year of pro bono work in the community from second year onwards. It’s a commitment we are taking very seriously."
The ethical dimension of the law degree is in addition to Core Curriculum subjects all ACU students undertake as part of their commitment to public service.
ACU Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Craven – a distinguished constitutional lawyer – said that the focus on international components, and strong international connections would provide students with a valuable outlook.
"We have unrivalled contacts with Catholic law schools and universities around the world, which delivers a global perspective for our students giving them great international opportunities."
NSW Attorney-General The Hon. Greg Smith, High Court Justice Stephen Gagelar, Federal, Supreme, and District Court Judges, Magistrates, Barristers and Lawyers joined Faculty staff and members of ACU at the launch.
ACU’s Faculty of Law began operation in 2012 in Melbourne, with the first intake of students in 2013. It will deliver Law programs in Sydney from 2014. The Foundation Executive Dean, Professor Fitzgerald, was appointed in March 2012.
Photo caption: Executive Dean of Law Professor Brian Fitzgerald, Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Craven, opera singer Maroochy, Father Frank Brennan and senior lecturer Rachel Tooma.