|The History Trust of South Australia’s Elizabeth Ho OAM, Chair of Trustees and Greg Mackie OAM, CEO, invite you to join us as our special guest at|
the Dame Roma Mitchell Oration
Civil Society and the Role of the Legal Scholar: Why they are both under threat
Over the past several decades, the university-based study of law has broadened and deepened. It is now asking the biggest questions: about climate change, about the meaning of work, about end-of-life decisions, about the very meaning of a person. Legal scholarship is now being pursued on a great scale. It is national and international, and even reaching out into space. It is robust, rigorous, evidence-based expert inquiry using appropriate legal methods.
At the same time, we are observing the rise of anti-democratic thought, even within the universities. Independent expert fearless research, which provides reliable knowledge about our world, is a vital reply to such thinking. It is needed more than ever.
To test big ideas, correct falsehoods, combat prejudice based on falsehoods and develop new knowledge, it is essential that legal research be conducted independently, according to the expertise of the scholar. Such fearless and sustained inquiry is now under threat, from both within and outside the universities, despite its ever-increasing importance. Emerita Professor of Law Ngaire Naffine will endeavour to explain how and why this is so.