Melbourne University Law Students' Society

One of the highlights of the Education Portfolio calendar is the annual Sir Anthony Mason lecture. The Sir Anthony Mason Honorary lecture was inaugurated in 1995, the year of Sir Anthony Mason's retirement as Chief Justice of the Hight Court of Australia. The lecture serves to celebrate Sir Anthony Mason's outstanding contribution to the legal profession and the common law of Australia, as well as offering the opportunity for students of the Law School to meet and hear those who have helped to shape the law as we study it. It provides a substantial contribution to legal debate within the Law School, as well as inspiration and insight to many students.

The lecture discusses a pertinent and sometimes controversial issue within the legal and social community. As a result, the lecture cultivates debate and has been highly successful in attracting large and enthusiastic audiences. 

The Hon Robert French AC will be delivering the Sir Anthony Mason Lecture this year. The lecture will be held at 6:30pm in the David P Derham Theatre at Melbourne Law School on Friday 4th August. The topic is 'Executive and Legislative Power in the Implementation of Intergovernmental Agreements'. To RSVP, email


Previous Speakers


2016 'International Human Rights and Australian Exceptionalism' by Professor Gillian Triggs.
2015 'Proportionality and its Use in Australian Constitutional Law' by The Hon Sir Anthony Mason (High Court of Australia, Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal).
2014 'Breaking Ranks: Overruling of Previous Decisions by the High Court' by The Hon Justice Debra Mortimer (Federal Court of Australia).


'Federal Implications Under the Australian Constitution' by Mr Stephen McLeish SC (Solicitor-General for Victoria).
2012 'Threats to Judicial Independence' by The Hon Justice John Dyson Heydon, AC (High Court of Australia).
2011 'Proportionality - A Rule of Reason' by The Hon Justice Susan Keifel, AC (High Court of Australia).
2010 ‘Procedural Fairness: Indispensable to Justice?’ by The Hon Chief Justice Robert French, AC (High Court of Australia).
2009 ‘The Short Man is Always Right: Reforming the Adversarial System’ by The Hon Justice Finkelstein (Federal Court).
2008 ‘Reflections on 13 Years on the High Court’ by The Hon Justice Michael Kirby (High Court of Australia).
2007 ‘Why be a Lawyer?’ by Chief Justice Marilyn Warren (Supreme Court of Victoria).
2006 ‘A Mandate to Legislate?’ by Chief Minister Jon Stanhope (The Australian Labour Party).
2005 ‘Globalisation and the Law’ by The Hon Sir Anthony Mason (High Court of Australia, Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal).
2004 ‘Human Rights—The Direction for Victoria’ by The Hon Rob Hulls MP (Victorian Attorney-General).
2003 ‘Common Experience, Judicial Notice and Opinion Evidence’ by The Hon Justice John Dyson Heydon (High Court of Australia).
2002 ‘The Courts Facing New Challenges’ by The Hon Justice Anthony Max North (Federal Court of Australia).
2001 ‘The Courts and the Public’ by The Hon Chief Justice Michael Black (Federal Court of Australia).
2000 ‘What’s to Become of Lawyers?’ by Professor David Weisbrot (Australian Law Reform Commission President).
1999 ‘Constitutional Interpretation and Original Intent: A Form of Legal Ancestor Worship?’ by The Hon Justice Michael Kirby (High Court of Australia).
1998 ‘Civil Courts and Criminal Cases—Judicial Review and the Criminal Justice System’ by The Hon Justice Mark Weinberg (Federal Court of Australia).
1997 ‘More About the Walrus and the Carpenter—Interveners in Australian Courts’ by The Hon Justice Susan Kenny (Court of Appeal, Supreme Court of Victoria).
1996 ‘After the Mason Court’ by The Hon Justice Michael Kirby (High Court of Australia).

‘The Influence of International and Transnational Law on Australian Municipal Law’ by The Hon Sir Anthony Mason (High Court of Australia).