Law and the greater good: Honouring an outstanding contribution

Published: Wednesday 18th March 2015

The Thomas More Academy of Law honoured Justice Barry O'Keefe on the evening of 18 February 2015, officially naming the Moot Court in the North Sydney campus 'The Hon Barry O'Keefe AM QC DUniv(ACU) Moot Court', and presenting the inaugural Hon Barry O'Keefe AM QC DUniv(ACU) Memorial Lecture in the Ryan Auditorium.

Justice Barry O'Keefe was honoured for his outstanding contributions to the community through his service to the law, local and state government.

His contributions include Chair of Interpol's International Group of Experts on Corruption, and Chair of the Truth, Justice and Healing Council examining institutional responses to child sexual abuse. Justice O'Keefe was a Judge of the Court of Appeal, Court of Common Law Division and Court of Criminal Appeal.

ACU awarded Justice O'Keefe the University's highest honour, an honorary doctorate, two weeks before he passed away in 2014.

ACU was honoured to have members of the O'Keefe family, the judiciary and the Bar in attendance for the events. Justice O'Keefe's son, Andrew O'Keefe, spoke about his father's life and career. Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Craven and Associate Vice-Chancellor (Sydney) Professor Marea Nicholson also spoke about the significance of Justice O'Keefe's contribution to the community.

VC and Andrew O'Keefe

Image (left to right): Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Craven with Andrew O'Keefe, who spoke on behalf of Justice O'Keefe's family

Hon Barry O’Keefe AM QC DUniv(ACU) Memorial Lecture

Former Chief Justice of the High Court the Hon Murray Gleeson AC QC delivered the inaugural Hon Barry O'Keefe AM QC DUniv(ACU) Memorial Lecture. It was an honour for the University to welcome Justice Gleeson, whose career includes outstanding contributions in the areas of criminal and administrative law and the administration of justice. In 1985 Justice Gleeson received the Order of Australia for service to the law.

Justice Gleeson's presentation spoke to the topic, The contribution of law to the greater good and human flourishing. It was a privilege for the audience, particularly commencing 2015 law students who attended the evening as part of their law induction program.

The evening, compered by the Dean of Law Professor Brian Fitzgerald, concluded with the conferring of prizes by Andrew O'Keefe to students for outstanding academic achievements in 2014.