Call for more statutory interpretation at law school

In a speech to Monash University on Thursday, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Marilyn Warren, called for a greater emphasis on statutory interpretation in legal education. Noting that “the ‘Priestley 11‘, the core subjects for a law degree… have not altered over the decades”, she observed that “[w]hilst cases on statutory interpretation feature significantly in the High Court of Australia and intermediate appellate and superior courts’ jurisprudence, statutory interpretation is not a compulsory subject.” The Chief Justice of the High Court, Robert French, expressed a similar view in 2011. When asked “What is the one piece of advice that you could bestow on a young law student?”, he replied, “I have got three words here: understand statutory interpretation. … I’m not sure there is enough emphasis given to it in legal education today.”

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