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Anonymous asked: Do you believe that Australia should have a Bill of Rights? Why or why not?

While I have generally been somewhat of a bill of rights skeptic (even - in the past - nodding my head in approval while reading the writings of Professor Jim Allan), in recent years I have become more open to the idea.

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Anonymous asked: McDonald's in South Melbourne reportedly trialling a Home Delivery service, how do you feel about that takeaway giant offering such a service?

While I personally wouldn’t use a service (I don’t eat McDonald’s at all), I have no issue with them offering that service.

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Anonymous asked: Do you think the 50% requirement for a successful referendum is too high? Why or why not? Would you suggest any alternatives to amend the legislation?

No I think that’s a reasonable requirement.  However, I wonder if the additional requirement of a majority of votes in a majority of states could be removed.

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Anonymous asked: Hottest male politician?

Scott Ludlam, followed by Jason Clare and Malcolm Turnbull.

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Anonymous asked: Hottest male celeb?

Chace Crawford.

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Anonymous asked: Is there somewhere or someplace one can get the thoughts of Nigel Stobbs on the Bayden-Clay verdict?

I’d suggest you ask Nigel on Twitter @NigelStobbs.

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Anonymous asked: Hi Peter, I was in Nigel Stobbs's criminal law lecture last semester, and he advised the cohort to use the word 'unlawful' instead of 'illegal'. Till this day, I do not know what the distinction is. Care to shed some light?

Grammar Girl has a good summary here.

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Anonymous asked: Have you read 'A PUBLIC CONVERSATION ON CONSTITUTIONALISM AND THE JUDICIARY BETWEEN PROFESSOR JAMES ALLAN AND THE HON MICHAEL KIRBY AC CMG'? If so, who do you agree with?

I read that a few years ago, and my recollection is that I found it quite a frustrating read and that I was unable to agree with either of them.  That said, I’d have to another read of it to comment properly. 

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Anonymous asked: Does QUT use the 'bell curve' method to assigning grades at all?

No it doesn’t - QUT uses criterion referenced assessment.  The full policy is online here.

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Anonymous asked: Hi Peter, not sure if you have read the article by UQ law lecturer James Allan criticising Australian law schools and systems of tertiary education; unfortunately I can't include the link in the question due to Tumblr rules, its called 'Why Our Universities Are Failing' on Quadrant online. Wondering what your thoughts on the matter were, especially as you seem to use a lot of online materials in your teaching; and QUTs heavy support of external programs.

I have read Jim Allan’s article, "Why Our Universities Are Failing" and I pretty much agree with all of it (and I don’t usually agree with Jim).

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Anonymous asked: Tim Carmody QC is now the Chief Justice of Queensland. Now that he has been sworn-in, is it time for the profession to get behind the Chief Justice irrespective of their personal views about his appointment to the role?

I think it is still appropriate for the profession and members of the public to have questions surrounding the appointment process, as well as the appointment itself, but the focus of those questions really should move away from any personal criticisms of the Chief Justice or the Attorney-General (which would have the potential to further undermine public confidence in our legal institutions) and instead be directed towards calls for policy improvements surrounding the appointment of judges.  In particular, I think we should revisit the idea of establishing a judicial appointments commission who recommends candidates to the government (similar to what happens in England).

In any event, I also hope we will see the profession and the judiciary give Chief Justice Carmody time to prove himself in his new position.

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Anonymous asked: How is the Floods class action being brought in the NSW Supreme Court?

My understanding is that the proceedings were lodged in the NSW Supreme Court because there is currently no provision to launch class actions in Queensland.

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Anonymous asked: Besides what I would presume const and admin to be, what was your favourite law subject that you undertook during your LLB?

I didn’t actually like Administrative Law that much, but I obviously loved Constitutional Law. Strangely, I also really enjoyed Corporations Law.

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Anonymous asked: Why are so many staff leaving this semester?

Several staff took advantage of a Voluntary Early Retirement Scheme offered by QUT. As for any other reasons, that would be pure speculation … 

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Anonymous asked: What's the best thing about being an academic?

The intellectual freedom - I get to teach and research about the areas of law that interest me.