12 Macquarie L.J. 1 (2013)

handle is hein.journals/macq12 and id is 1 raw text is: 






EDITOR'S NOTE


Volume 12 of the Macquarie Law Journal is a general publication which has attracted some
high quality submissions that highlight the great variety of research topics currently being
undertaken by Australian law academics. We are pleased to present seven articles that in their
own ways contribute to a better understanding of a range of issues traversing international
law, legal history, refugee law, human rights law and comparative jurisprudence.

This volume starts with the 2013 Annual Tony Blackshield Lecture, which was presented
recently at our law school by Professor George Williams. His incisive commentary on the
spate of laws enacted in various Australian jurisdictions in response to the threat of
international terrorism was very well received by the large audience present. Professor
Williams' comprehensive presentation covers the initial justification for the anti-terror laws,
but also critically considers their development, their real and potential effect on human rights
in contemporary Australia and the prospects for reform. He also took the opportunity to
reflect personally on his experiences as Tony Blackshield's student and colleague, a
reflection that we publish as a short postscript.

Professor David Clark's article on a neglected aspect of Australian judicial history makes a
significant contribution that builds on previous research about individual judges in the 19th
century Australian context. However, his exhaustively researched piece has raised the bar for
its thoroughness and scope in relation to existing secondary literature as well as primary
sources. It has done a great service to future scholars in this area. The article also elevates this
complex aspect of our colonial history, highlighting the strained relationship between the
judiciary and the colonial executive, to more abstract issues that help us also interpret our
constitutional law in historical context.

Professor Holly Cullen has prepared an interesting and topical description and evaluation of
the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, a relatively unnoticed example of international
soft law. In her insightful evaluation of the scheme to date, Professor Cullen focuses on three
sovereign states, each of which has had a unique experience of blood diamonds and the
scheme designed to prevent their trade. Each heralds different lessons for its future. Her
article also exposes the inherent difficulties underscoring such experiments in international
law. It draws attention to the limitations of contemporary international consensus-based
decision-making insofar as it aims to secure compliance with voluntary undertakings by
sovereign states.

We are delighted also to publish an article from a recent Macquarie Law School graduate,
Lauren Hirsh, whose scrupulously prepared argument for the adoption of Australian gun laws
in the United States deserves commendation. Lauren's contribution is in some ways a
pioneering work which, based on an astute doctrinal analysis of two pivotal superior US court
decisions, explores the constitutional and cultural barriers to the possibilities for more
comprehensive gun control in America on the Australian model.

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