I am writing to welcome you to The Australian Law Journal (ALJ) under my General Editorship. It is an honour to succeed the Hon P W Young AO after his record breaking term as General Editor and to build on his formidable legacy.
The ALJ occupies a unique position in the national legal landscape. It is not a university law journal or a law society or bar association journal. Its purpose is to be the national journal of record for the practising profession, the academy and the judiciary in Australia. Among other things, its role as the journal of record puts it in a different position from that occupied by the many other legal publications available today.
The ALJ will fulfil its purpose by doing three things:
- Providing a national forum to disseminate information and encourage thoughtful conversation by publishing the best writing about significant developments in law and legal practice in or relevant to Australia
- Contributing to informed public debate in Australia on important matters of general interest through clear and rigorous legal exposition and analysis
- Recording and discussing the significant events and personalities, past and present, in or relevant to Australian law and the various branches of the profession.
The audience for the ALJ is larger and more varied than ever before. However, it will especially direct itself to the academy, the bench, the bar, in house counsel, solicitors and law students. I hope that representatives of all those groups will not only read the Journal but contribute to it. Whatever their particular involvement in the law, I hope the ALJ will recommend itself to readers who, quite apart from any specialty they may have, want to stay in touch with major developments and the best high level thinking across the spectrum of legal subjects and practice.
I have a number of ideas for the future of the ALJ which I have written about in greater detail in the June issue. Some are already in train such as the inauguration of a section devoted to the teaching of law and our law schools, the expansion of the editorial committee to include a senior solicitor academic and the commissioning of the first of our special issues, this one dealing with the numerous intersections between indigenous issues and the law.
I hope you will enjoy reading the ALJ and, if you wish, responding with your thoughts and suggestions to help assure its place as Australia’s national legal journal.
The Hon Justice François Kunc
General Editor, The Australian Law Journal