Thomson Reuters has been the proud publisher of The Australian Law Journal (ALJ) for 90 years. The first issue rolled off the presses in May 1927.
To mark this significant milestone, Thomson Reuters Legal ANZ hosted a special 90th Anniversary celebration on 8 June 2017 in the Banco Court, at the Supreme Court of NSW, Sydney.
The Australian Commonwealth Attorney-General, Senator the Hon George Brandis QC, was a guest speaker at the event. According to Senator Brandis, the ALJ is Australia’s “most important law journal”.
Commenting on the parallel development of the ALJ and the legal profession in this country, the Attorney-General said:
The Australian legal profession is privileged to have been able, for these 90 years, to rely upon the ALJ as both a source of legal news and information, as well as a source of well-reasoned argument and comment in an age where such qualities are increasingly difficult to find.
In his speech at the event, the journal’s current General Editor, the Hon Justice François Kunc, commented on the ALJ’s milestone and its standing in the legal community:
Justice Kunc said the journal has four guiding principles:
- An appreciation of legal history, how we got to where we are today;
- A commitment to both the clear exposition of the law as it is today and to its principled development for the future;
- A firm sense of moral purpose, including to maintain a civil society which enables all its people to flourish; and
- An openness to the application of human imagination and creativity.
These principles led to Justice Kunc and the Editorial Board commissioning a special 90th anniversary issue on Indigenous Australians and the Law.
It’s a timely edition.
The ALJ anniversary coincides with the 50th anniversary of the landmark 1967 constitutional referendum. This led to Australia’s Indigenous peoples being included in the census and enabled the Commonwealth to make laws for them. It’s also 25 years since the Mabo High Court decision that established native title land rights in Australia.
More recently, the Referendum Council, appointed by the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, has been holding dialogues around the country on steps towards recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Australian Constitution.
Professor Megan Davis, the inaugural Pro-Vice Chancellor Indigenous at the University of NSW, was guest editor for the Special Issue. She’s also been a pivotal member of the Referendum Council. This culminated in Prof Davis reading the “Uluru Statement from the Heart” last month, following the Uluru First Nations National Constitutional Convention.
Among other special guests at the ALJ 90th event were distinguished members of the judiciary, including the former Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia, the Hon Sir Gerard Brennan AC KBE GBS, former High Court Justice the Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG, former ALJ General Editor the Hon Peter Young AO, past and present journal section editors and contributors, as well as representatives from the legal profession, academy and students.
Congratulations to the ALJ and its editorial and production team, as it celebrates 90 years and looks toward the centenary and beyond.