Reforming Australian Legal Education to match Canadian

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Legal Education in Australia

On January 25, 2005 one of Canada’s most respected law schools, Osgoode Hall Law School of York University (Osgoode), announced the launch of its new LL.B./JD programme with New York University Law School (NYU). The program provides an opportunity for students to earn both a Canadian LL.B. and a U.S. (ABA - American Bar Association approved) JD degree in four years. An LL.B. is a three-year Canadian law degree. A JD is a three-year U.S. law degree. A JD that is “ABA” approved allows U.S. law graduates to take the bar exam in any U.S. state. The program has been structured so that students will do two back-to-back years at Osgoode and two back-to-back years at New York University Law School. Students will receive both the LL.B. and JD degrees at the end of the fourth year. It is necessary to note that Osgoode Hall is not the only school to enjoin with an American university. Both Windsor and Ottawa have already established bilateral degree arrangements with U.S. law schools. Windsor has partnered with the University of Detroit whereas Ottawa has partnered with both Michigan State University as well as American University in Washington. Effectively, therefore, three of Canada’s seventeen law schools now have agreements with U.S. law schools allowing students to graduate with both Canadian and U.S. law degrees. In addition, McGill University in Montreal awards students both civil and common law degrees in three years. Commentators have suggested that it is only a matter of time before other Canadian schools will seek to establish similar programmes.


Like Australia, common law Canada has historically conferred the law qualification in the form of a Bachelor of Laws or LL.B. However, in recent times ...

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...donesia. She is a former shop assistant and beauty student from Queensland. She was sentenced on May 27, 2005 and is currently serving her sentence in Kerobokan Prison, Indonesia. Despite the conviction, Corby maintains that the drugs were planted in her bag, and that she did not know about them. Her trial and conviction were a major focus of attention for the Australian media.

2 The ‘Bali Nine’ is the name given to nine Australian citizens arrested on 17 April 2005 in Denpasar on the island of Bali, Indonesia, in a plan to smuggle 8.3kg of heroin valued at approximately $4 million from Indonesia to Australia. Andrew Chan, Si Yi Chen, Michael Czugaj, Renae Lawrence, Tac Duc Thanh Nguyen, Matthew Norman, Scott Rush, Martin Stephens and Myuran Sukumaran, all aged between 18 and 28 at the time of their arrests, were convicted. Several have been handed the death penalty.

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