Bond University has won two of the world's most prestigious legal mooting competitions in the past month, defeating challengers from some of the world's top universities.
Bond University on the Gold Coast.
A group of four Bachelor of Laws students has triumphed at the renowned International Criminal Court (ICC) Trial Competition in The Hague, adding to the recent Willem C. Vis (East) International Commercial Arbitration Moot win in Hong Kong.
The ICC Trial Competition takes place annually at one of the world's top centres of justice - The Hague, providing students with the opportunity to showcase their international criminal law knowledge.
This year, the Bond Law team again triumphed against competitors including Yale University, Leiden University and William and Mary Law School, winning the final against teams from India's NALSAR University of Law and Canada's Osgoode Hall Law School.
Students Cale Davis, Tegan Little, Gabrielle Morriss and Susan Forder walked away with not only the championship but were also recognised as Best Prosecution, while Susan Forder was named Best Victim's Counsel. The team excelled under the guidance of academic advisors, assistant professor Jodie O'Leary and senior teaching fellow Joe Crowley.
With more than 10 mooting opportunities available throughout the year, Bond University prepares students for the real life court room. Dean of the Faculty of Law, Professor Geraldine Mackenzie, said the benefits for students taking part in mooting competitions during their university studies stretch beyond the trophies and accolades on offer.
"Put simply, mooting gives students the opportunity to argue a specific fictitious case in front of a Judge or Judges against opposing Counsel," Prof. Mackenzie said.
"Generally speaking, each mooting competition focuses on a specific area of law, so students have to come to grips with a specialised area of the law such as family law, international law, criminal law, intellectual property law and so on, to a level of detail that they would not necessarily attain in their normal classes."
Bond University vice-chancellor Robert Stable congratulated the students on their outstanding performances in both competitions.
"Mooting is a wonderful opportunity for students with an interest in certain areas of law to work with like-minded peers and network with global contacts in the legal industry," he said.
"For Bond University to take out two top international legal competitions in one week is an incredible feat. Arguably, Bond University is now the best advocacy-teaching university in the world with such an outstanding record."
Bond University has won four international (including a win at the ICC Trial Competition in 2009) and three Australian mooting competitions in the past three years.
Slater & Gordon has today (August 13) completed a $57million acquisition of leading Queensland personal injury specialists, Trilby Misso. The acquisition, which was announced on June 28, 2010, had been subject to capital raising and due diligence. It was approved at a meeting of Slater & Gordon shareholders on Monday this week and finalised this afternoon.
Slater & Gordon executive director, Ken Fowlie said Trilby Misso had a well established reputation in Queensland for delivering high levels of client satisfaction and positive results.
Trilby Misso chief executive officer, Graeme McFadyen said the change would bring about new opportunities for staff and management.
"For the 150 staff members working in South East Queensland, the acquisition will not mean a change to their current working life, but it will mean that they are now part of a national law firm and all of the expertise and resources that includes," Mr McFadyen said.
"This is a very exciting time for Trilby Misso and we look forward to building our business under this arrangement. We are proud of the work that we have performed and our achievements and we look forward to building on that good work."
Slater & Gordon's Mr Fowlie said Trilby Misso, which will continue to run as a stand-alone business under its own name, was a good fit with his firm's core work and values.
"Both Slater & Gordon and Trilby Misso have a long history of assisting people in need of legal advice and then fighting hard for the best possible outcome," Mr Fowlie said.
"We have admired the work and reputation that Trilby Misso has developed in Queensland and we are pleased that we're now joining forces with a law firm that has the same commitment to quality client care and strong results.
"For more than 50 years, Trilby Misso has been delivering great results to people in Queensland who have been injured and they have done this with the upmost care and concern for those clients," Mr Fowlie said.
Trilby Misso has five offices in South East Queensland. The firm specialises in motor vehicle accident and workers compensation claims. Slater & Gordon has 36 offices nationally, including four in Queensland (Brisbane, Southport, Ipswich and, from July, Townsville).
Proposed changes to Australia's bankruptcy laws have received support from the Council of Small Business of Australia (COSBOA).
New laws may help when companies like SkyAirWorld go down.
COSBOA has affirmed support for the Bankruptcy Legislation Amendment Bill 2009 which will ultimately improve the position for many small businesses that experience difficulties recovering small consumer debts.
Statistics have shown that where debt agreements or repayment plans can be negotiated, returns to creditors are on average much better than those achieved through bankruptcy proceedings.
"Businesses recover consumer debts at a rate of 70c in the dollar if people are not declared bankrupt, as opposed to just 2c in the dollar if bankruptcy takes place,"
COSBOA CEO Jaye Radisich said.
"The benefit of increasing the threshold far outweighs the downside risk where some people will inevitably run up bills with many creditors before one gets big enough for action to be commenced.
"It is much more important to legislate to support the majority of people who do the right thing most of the time, instead of second-guessing the actions of the lowest common denominator."
Ms Radisich said an overhaul of the Bankruptcy Act was long overdue, and congratulated the Attorney General Robert McClelland for taking action.
"The priority for small business is the ability to efficiently and effectively collect money that is legitimately owed. To that extent, proposed reforms increasing thresholds and providing a greater opportunity to negotiate the repayment of debts, is likely to result in better outcomes for Australian small business.
"An increase in the bankruptcy threshold from $2000 to $10000 could cause some nervousness among small business owners with small debts to recover - but the best chance of repayment results if bankruptcy is not declared," Ms Radisich said.
"The last thing small businesses need is a fire sale of assets and a liquidator taking a big cut before any creditor gets anything."
The amendments also include an increase in the time allowed for a defaulter to organise matters.
"It makes much more sense to allow 28 days rather than seven days for a defaulter to get their house in order before bankruptcy proceedings commence."
Ms Radisich said other provisions in the Act aimed at streamlining the process are overdue.