The Laws of Australia, Thomson Reuters’ legal encyclopaedia, is edited by a team of legally-trained editors here in our Pyrmont, Sydney office. Today we talk to our Senior Legal Editor, Natasha Gould, about her legal studies, work background, and experiences working on The Laws of Australia (TLA).
How long have you worked on TLA?
Natasha: I started work with TLA in June 2011, so it’s been three years now.
What was your background before joining the TLA team?
Natasha: Since completing my studies and getting admitted as a lawyer, I have gained experience in publishing having previously worked at a legal e-publisher and for the New South Wales public service.
What was your favourite subject at law school? Why?
Natasha: Of the core subjects I enjoyed criminal law the most, and of my electives I most enjoyed medical malpractice law. Neither of them are happy subjects, but they are definitely interesting and, I find, always topical.
What do you enjoy most about working on TLA?
Natasha: My colleagues in the TLA team are a lovely group of people (and I promise I’m not just saying that because I know they’ll be reading this). Everyone is intelligent and hard working, but also really friendly and always ready to have a laugh.
I also enjoy working with the diversity of subject areas covered in the encylopaedia. As TLA Legal Editors, we get to work on Subtitle manuscripts from the entire breadth of the 320 plus TLA subtitles, giving us a great variety in our work.
What interesting facts have you come across while working on manuscript?
Natasha: A great many. However, I must admit, one case which has stuck with me is Lucasfilm Ltd v Ainsworth  1 AC 208;  3 WLR 487;  4 All ER 817;  UKSC 39; (2011) 92 IPR 647 because of its movie and pop culture connection. I had the opportunity to learn about this case while editing Subtitle 23.1 “Copyright” for the book Copyright – The Laws of Australia. One of the issues in question in this case was whether or not a model for an “Imperial Stormtrooper” helmet that was used to make props for the Star Wars films was a “sculpture” for the purposes of copyright law.
What is the most interesting Subtitle you have worked on?
Natasha: That’s a tough question; I really don’t think I can choose just one!
Subtitle 23.1 “Copyright” is one of the most interesting that I’ve worked on, especially considering the many and varied challenges faced by lawmakers in shaping copyright law. In particular, I think the issue of copyright law keeping pace with rapid advances of technology is an area to keep an eye on.
Another Subtitle that I found quite interesting was Subtitle 20.12 “Medical Technology”, which I worked on in my early days with TLA. Chapters 1–3 of this subtitle discuss the regulatory framework that exists to protect the participants in human medical research, as well as the framework for regulating genetic technology in medicine.
What other interests do you have outside of TLA?
Natasha: I like to learn and try all kinds of crafts – presently I’m enjoying knitting and can knit pretty much anything (provided that “pretty much anything” is a scarf which the recipient doesn’t mind is full of holes from dropped stitches). Drawing (particularly cartooning) has also been a long-term interest of mine. I also enjoy watching lots of movies and television. In recent years I have been trying my hand at baking and am always on the lookout for a recipe for some new kind of cake or dessert to try and make.
How do you like to unwind after a day at work?
Natasha: By watching a funny movie or television show with a hot cup of tea and good piece of dark chocolate.
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