The Four pillars of Australian legal education

David Barker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Legal education has shared with Australian universities the fact that they have generally evolved in a non-structured way. Not until after the Second World War was a formalised inquiry into Australian universities conducted by the Committee on Australian Universities (the Murray Report), which was published in September 1957. While there was no specific mention of law in the Murray Report, the document is seen as the forerunner of later reports in the field of law which did have a major influence on the development of legal education from that time to the present. Four major reports since the Murray Report can be regarded as having had a major effect on the development of legal education in the post-war years: three at the federal level (the Martin and Pearce reports, and ALRC's Managing Justice report) and one at state level (the Bowen Report). This paper discusses their influence chronologically, from 1964 to 2000. An examination of the contents and outcomes of these reports may prompt readers to consider whether their influence has stood the test of time and also what their current relevance might be within the context of legal education and access to justice in Australia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-105
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the Australasian Law Teachers Association
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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