Surfing QC on a beach break
THE ‘hang 10 judge' of Southern Cross University's Summer Law School has returned to Byron Bay to impart his legal wisdom – but he won't be advocating for a wave at The Pass this year.
Former Supreme Court judge, the Hon Greg James QC – who acquired his nickname from colleagues for his infamous longboard antics – turned up with his arm in a sling and no surfboard.
“One week before coming up I lost a wrestling match with a wheelie bin so this time you won't get the opportunity to see me on a board down on Main Beach – where, I might add, one of your photographers nearly killed me in a photo shoot a couple of years ago,” he laughed.
SCU's 13th Summer Law School hit full swing this week offering students, lawyers and academics from Australia and the world courses in advocacy and human rights.
The popular patron said the courses compared favourably with the big city universities because they attracted high-calibre participants.
“I was lucky enough as a Supreme Court judge to be asked to head the SCU law school's advisory committee, and also to be a mentor to the law school and summer school,” he said.
The charismatic QC said he came not just to assist the various lecturers, but also to mentor students on academic and career options, and practical tips on everything from legal ethics to how to frame an argument in a courtroom.
“Sometimes you will see things in court that are really difficult to comprehend, which is particularly silly if it's going on in front of a jury,” Mr James said.
“Much of it is like the journalist's trade – sometimes you can make the point perfectly in one clear four or five word sentence,” he said.
Summer Law School co-ordinator, Associate Professor Sam Garkawe, said students in his unit would learn how they could make a difference.
“The emphasis of the unit will be the protection of human rights within ASEAN nations – our close neighbours and an area of growing importance to Australia,” he said.
“It's an exciting and academically rigorous program in one of the most beautiful locations in the world.”