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Anonymous asked: What is your opinion of the High Court's recent judgment in NSW Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages v Norrie? Am I correct in assuming that a person registered as having no gender cannot marry under the marriage act? Would any Amendment to the marriage act recognising same sex marriage now also have to recognise those with no specific gender?

I agree with the High Court’s decision in NSW Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages v Norrie, although it is important to remember that the decision was limited to a question of statutory interpretation of a piece of NSW legislation and does not necessarily have any wider significance.

You are, however, correct that the marriage under the Marriage Act 1961 is currently defined to mean “the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life”, and that it would therefore not extend to those who have no specific gender.  I would hope that any amendment to the Marriage Act to provide for marriage equality would simply refer to a “the union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life”, therefore removing gender from the definition of marriage.

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Anonymous asked: How do you recommend someone actively pursue a legal teaching career if it's their 'second' career or as an additional career? I am a practitioner but have always had a love of teaching and i'd love to blend the two. I'm just not too sure where to start. I'm currently doing my masters in an applied law program (in a practice area that I adore).

If you only ever want legal teaching to be a second career, I’d recommend applying for sessional tutoring work, usually in first or second year subjects where there is a large cohort and the demand for sessional tutors is at its greatest.  Once you are part of the sessional teaching staff at a law school, it is then possible to move into subjects that you may find more interesting.

If, however, you are seriously considering a career as an academic at some point, then it is important to realise that sessional teaching (even with outstanding teaching evaluations) will not assist you much (if it at all).  Full-time academic jobs these days are really only given to people with research track records, so I’d encourage you start publishing! 

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Anonymous asked: What groups were you a member of in Uni?

I joined a bunch of clubs on Market Day in my first year but I was only ever really involved in two clubs - the UQ Debating Society and the UQ Law Society.

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Anonymous asked: Why do so many children follow their parents into law in Brisbane? It's kind of pathetic don't you think, considering how big a world it is out there and how many different occupations there are? You did it too. Do you feel a bit pathetic sometimes? It's very weird at UQ how you will see the third generation to study law or the like. #barf

No I don’t feel pathetic at all.  And I don’t think it is a phenomenon that is unique to law or to Brisbane.  To be honest, I don’t really see what your point is at all.

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Anonymous asked: In your opinion, who is the most attractive QUT staff member that you know? Why?

I don’t think there is a good way I can answer this question.

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Anonymous asked: whats your biggest fear?

Life passing me by without having ever achieved something.

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Anonymous asked: I have been curious about fooling around with a guy for the first time for awhile now. How should I do it? I have looked online like grindr and manhunt but it seems a little draughting when I get asked if I'm top or bottom and what I am into. I think I would be to shy to go to a gay bar. Do you think it would help if I hired someone to help me? On my first time?

It’s always hard to try and rush or force these things.  I’d suggest chatting to gay guys online - not necessarily just hook up or dating apps like Grindr and Manhunt - and maybe you’ll find a guy you feel comfortable exploring your sexuality with.  At the very least, you’ll hopefully begin to get a few gay friends you can talk to all this stuff about. 

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Anonymous asked: Are you single?

Always.

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Anonymous asked: Are you going to do the Global Corporate Challenge again this year?

If I can get a team of my colleagues together, absolutely!

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Anonymous asked: Are you travelling to Thailand this year?

No unfortunately I don’t have any plans to visit Thailand this year.

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Anonymous asked: You seem even busier than usual lately. Any special reason?

Probably because in addition to work, I now sit on five different non-for-profit boards, which take up a considerable amount of time.

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Anonymous asked: Do universities appreciate how bad the employment market is right now for law graduates? I am a current law student and I have heard many stories of solid students not being able to find jobs in law. Amongst law students, this is the elephant in the room. Why don't law schools give a damn about our prospects? They have charged us a lot of money for a degree that costs very little to teach.

Yes universities are aware of the poor employment market in the legal profession for law graduates at the moment.  And most universities are responding to this in different ways, to try and give their students an advantage in the marketplace.  It is also worth remembering that law is increasingly a generalist degree, and even if the chances of getting a job in the legal profession are lower today than they may have been in the past, there are still lots of opportunities for law graduates in government and business.

I also don’t think it’s fair just to blame universities for this; I would have thought law students need to accept some responsibility for enrolling in a degree where the job market is not as good as it has been in the past.  This is not, after all, a recent or sudden development.

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Anonymous asked: Thoughts on repealing s 18C of the Commonwealth Racial Discrimination Act?

To be honest, I have struggled with this for some time.  As I have generally been a bit of a free speech absolutist, I initially thought the provision should be repealed.  However, the more I have thought about this, and the more I have read about it, I think the provision as it stands (when read with s 18D) provides adequate protection for free speech.  That said, I would probably favour the removal of “offend” from the provision, keeping “insult, humiliate or intimidate”.

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Anonymous asked: If you could nominate the 2014 QUT Law Alumnus of the year, who would you pick?

I think Andrew Trotter would be an outstanding choice.

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Anonymous asked: According to your estimation (which I realise may be wildly incorrect), what do you think is the percentage of law graduates that graduate with first class honours, and the percentage of those that graduate with 2A honours?

It is just an estimate (and I could well be wrong) but I’d say around 8-10% get First Class Honours, somewhere between 12-15% get 2A and then 20-25% get 2B.  So approximately 45% of students get some form of Honours.