Advisory Board members

The Advisory Board for the Centre for Legislation, Its Interpretation and Drafting advises the Director on the activities, strategies and general direction of the Centre, including:

a) links between the Centre and organisations outside La Trobe University.

b) topics worthy of research.

c) the audience that ought to be addressed by the work of the Centre and the manner of reaching the audience.

d) how to promote, to legal and lay audiences, knowledge of and interest in legislation, its interpretation and drafting.

e) ways of promoting the work of the Centre, including forthcoming events and dissemination of its publications.

Parliamentary Counsel

Geoff Lawn

Geoff Lawn has been the Parliamentary Counsel in the Western Australian Parliamentary Counsel’s Office since November 2015. Geoff graduated from the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand in 1978 with an LL.B (Hons) (First Class). He was a Junior Lecturer in Law, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, 1979-1980, and a Legal Adviser, Law Reform Division, Department of Justice, Wellington, New Zealand, 1981-1985. Geoff was appointed a Parliamentary Counsel in the New Zealand Parliamentary Counsel Office in 1985, and Deputy Chief Parliamentary Counsel in 1997. He worked on secondment to the New Zealand Law Commission as a Senior Consultant in 2008-09, and was appointed a Senior Parliamentary Counsel in the Parliamentary Counsel’s Office, Western Australia, in September 2009.

Fiona Leonard

Fiona was appointed as the Chief Parliamentary Counsel and Chief Executive of the New Zealand Parliamentary Counsel Office in May 2016. Fiona was first appointed as a Parliamentary Counsel in 1998 after several years’ experience as a litigation solicitor in private practice and as a legal adviser for the New Zealand Government. She previously held the position of Deputy Chief Parliamentary Counsel before her current appointment. She is experienced in drafting a wide range of law, including commercial, environmental, and social justice legislation. A particular area of expertise is anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism. Fiona has acted as a legal expert for several mutual evaluation reports of countries in relation to reporting against anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing recommendations issued by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). From 2003 to 2006, she practiced as a barrister providing legislative drafting services and advice on the implementation of legislation for various Pacific Islands and international organisations, including the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Pacific Island Secretariat, and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Fiona returned to the New Zealand Parliamentary Counsel Office and drafting for the New Zealand Government in 2006, and has continued to be involved in initiatives relating to legislative drafting in the Pacific Islands. She was involved in securing funding for the establishment of a Pacific Island desk which provides legislative drafting expertise and assistance to Pacific Island countries with a focus on Nuie, Tokelau, and the Cook Islands. The desk is funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and has been operating successfully since 2011. Fiona has also been an adjunct lecturer at Victoria University lecturing in legislation. Fiona graduated from Canterbury University with an LLB degree with honours in 1991 and completed a LLM degree at Cambridge University in June 2001. Fiona also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and political science from the University of Canterbury.

Peter Quiggin

Mr Quiggin is the First Parliamentary Counsel of thePeter Quiggin Office of Parliamentary Counsel (OPC), which is responsible for drafting all principal legislation, all regulations and a range of legislative instruments for the Australian Government, including taxation legislation. OPC is also responsible for the publication of Commonwealth legislation through the Federal Register of Legislation. Mr Quiggin’s initial 7 year appointment as First Parliamentary Counsel started on 13 May 2004. He has since been reappointed for a further 7 years, commencing on 14 May 2011. He has been a drafter with the Office of Parliamentary Counsel for over 25 years and has drafted legislation covering a wide range of topics including taxation, native title and immigration. Mr Quiggin is the President of the Commonwealth Association of Legislative Counsel (CALC). Prior to working at OPC, Mr Quiggin worked for a number of years with the Tax Office and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

Mary Toohey

Mary is theMary Toohey current Parliamentary Counsel for the ACT.  She grew up in Melbourne and studied law at Melbourne University. The following 7 years saw her working initially in private practice then in various legal roles in the Victorian public service - corporate affairs, public prosecutions, and legal policy and research. She then took time out of the paid workforce to have a family and live overseas for several years before returning to Australia, to Canberra, in 1991. She undertook a graduate diploma in public law at the ANU, and worked as a sessional tutor at both the University of Canberra and the ANU before discovering legislative drafting in 1996 through a job at the then Office of Legislative Drafting in the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department. She has worked happily in the world of drafting and publishing legislation ever since. In 2001 she moved from the Commonwealth to the ACT Parliamentary Counsel’s Office, and became deputy parliamentary counsel in 2009.  She was appointed to the position of parliamentary counsel in August 2016.

Aimee Travers

Aimee TraversAimee was appointed as the South Australian Parliamentary Counsel in March 2016. The South Australian Office of Parliamentary Counsel (OPC) is a Division of the Attorney-General’s Department and prepares all Government Bills and subordinate legislation as well as all private members Bills and in-house amendments to Bills. In addition, the OPC provides advice on legislative matters to government and to all members of Parliament and is also responsible for revising and publishing the State’s legislation and managing the legislation website (www.legislation.sa.gov.au). Aimee has worked in various positions in the South Australian OPC since 1993 and has drafted legislation in every area of law during that time, with extensive work within the Transport and Justice portfolios. Before becoming a legislative drafter she worked in general legal practice, primarily engaging in criminal defence work. Aimee has a Bachelor of Architectural Studies as well as her legal qualifications.

Kenneth Hayne

Kenneth HayneCentre Patron

Until June 2015, Kenneth Hayne was a Justice of the High Court of Australia, having been appointed to that Court in September 1997.

At the time of his appointment he was a judge of the Court of Appeal of Victoria having been appointed one of the foundation judges of the Court in 1995.

He graduated in Arts and Law from the University of Melbourne and as a Bachelor of Civil Law from the University of Oxford. Elected Rhodes Scholar for Victoria in 1969.

He joined the Victorian Bar in 1971 and was appointed Queen's Counsel for Victoria in 1984. He practised in State and Federal courts principally in commercial, constitutional and general civil matters.

He was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria in 1992.

Since late 2015, he has been a judge of the Abu Dhabi Global Market Courts.

He was appointed a Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia in 2002. He is an Honorary Fellow of Exeter College Oxford and an Honorary Professorial Fellow at Melbourne Law School in the University of Melbourne.  In 2016 he was admitted to the degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) in the University of Melbourne.

Peter Butt

Peter ButtPeter Butt is Emeritus Professor of Law at the University of Sydney.

He holds the degrees of BA, LLB, LLM and LLD.  He is admitted as a lawyer in Australia, and is an honorary member of the Inner Temple (UK).

Relevant to the Centre’s objectives, Peter is the author of a book on legal drafting (Modern Legal Drafting, 3 editions) and has edited a book on the same subject (Piesse’s Elements of Drafting). He was a co-editor of the first edition of Butterworth’s Australian Legal Dictionary, and has edited several editions of the Concise Australian Legal Dictionary.  He was the foundation director of the Centre for Plain Legal Language at the University of Sydney, and is a past President of Clarity (an international organisation encouraging the use of plain language in law).

Peter also teaches and writes in the area of land law.  His book, Land Law, has gone to 6 editions.  He has also written books on conveyancing, the Torrens system of land registration, Australian native title, and the rule against perpetuities.

Peter has lectured on plain language and legal drafting to lawyers and law students in many countries, including Australia, England, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, United States of America, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore.  Each year he teaches a Master of Laws course in legal writing at the University of Cambridge.

Steven Churches

Steven has been at the WA, NSW and SA Bars for over 25 years, and is currently based in Adelaide.

He argues in appellate courts in WA, NSW and SA as well as the High Court.

His practice focuses on public law and statutory interpretation, and his High Court arguments reflect that bias: for example Bropho v WA (1990), Webster v Lampard (1993), Teoh (1995), Wilson v Minister for Aboriginal Affairs (1996), Yougarla (2001), Minister for Immigration v B (2004, the Bakhtiyari children case), McNamara v CCCT and RTA (2005), Ferdinands (2005) and K-Generation (2009), and in the SA Full Court:  Police v Conway (2006) 95 SASR 83, Telford v Severin (2007) 98 SASR 70, Police v Lymberopoulos (2007) 98 SASR 433, Attorney General (SA) v Bell (2013) 117 SASR 482, Mericka v WorkCover (2014) 120 SASR 317, R v Ballam (2016) 126 SASR 189 (CCA). Steven taught Statutory Interpretation at tertiary level from 2003 to 2014, principally at the University of Adelaide Law School. Steven has been a member of Elliott Johnston Chambers in Adelaide since 2005.

Jacinta Dharmananda

Jacinta Dharmananda is an Assistant Professor at the Law School of the University of Western Australia (UWA). Her teaching and research areas are statutory interpretation, the legislative process, and legal ethics.  Jacinta designed and implemented a new unit for law students on the legislative process and statutory interpretation, called Legislation in Practice, which commenced at UWA in 2012.

Jacinta is currently also a doctoral (PhD) candidate at the Australian National University College of Law. Her thesis topic is the relationship between the legislative process and the task of statutory interpretation. She is the recipient of a 2017 Parliamentary Library Summer Research Scholarship to undertake research at the Australian Parliamentary Library in Canberra.

Jacinta graduated with a B.Juris (Hons) and LLB from the Law School of UWA. She began her career at Freehills in Perth (now Herbert Smith Freehills) as a solicitor in project finance and corporate transactions. After receiving a government language scholarship to study Japanese, Jacinta moved to Tokyo for nearly 4 years where she studied Japanese, and then worked as an in-house lawyer for Nippon Mitsubishi in their oil and gas overseas projects department. After moving back to Australia, she returned to Freehills as a Senior Associate before joining BHP (now BHP Billiton) in Melbourne as Senior Counsel in their petroleum division.

Following several years with BHP, Jacinta joined law firm Covington & Burling in New York City where she worked as a Corporate Associate, passing the New York Bar Exam and being admitted to practice in New York State. Jacinta subsequently joined another US law firm, Milbank, where she worked as a Corporate Associate in Singapore and then Tokyo.  After returning to Perth, she joined UWA Law School in 2011.

Jacinta is a member of the Australasian Study of Parliament Group (WA Chapter), the UK Statute Law Society and UWA Law School’s Contemporary Government and Regulation Research Hub. She has published and presented numerous papers on legislation and statutory interpretation, including presentations to the Australia-New Zealand Scrutiny of Legislation Conference, the Australasian Drafting Conference, WA Parliament, the WA Supreme Court, and the WA Bar Association. Jacinta was also a member of the Council of Australian Law Deans’ drafting team for the Good Practice Guide to Teaching Statutory Interpretation (2015).

James Emmett

James Emmett has been practising at the NSW Bar since 2006, primarily in the areas of general commercial law and public law.  He has lectured in Statutory Interpretation at UNSW since 2007 (including creation of the course), and in Conflict of Laws since 2008.  He is presently a senior adjunct lecturer at UNSW and gives regular seminars to practising professionals on various aspects of statutory interpretation.  Other positions currently held by James include Chair, National Association for the Visual Arts, Chair, Inner City Legal Centre Foundation, and Director, Twenty10 Association incorporating the Gay & Lesbian Counselling Service.

Marina Farnan

'Marina Farnan is currently the Chief Parliamentary Counsel of Victoria. Before her appointment to this role in January 2017, Marina had worked as a legislative drafter in the Commonwealth Office of Parliamentary Counsel for over twenty years. She was a Second Parliamentary Counsel for around half that period. Marina has also worked in broader policy and legal roles, including as a lawyer in the Commonwealth Department of Industrial Relations and as a policy officer in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Marina holds a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from the Australian National University. She has drafted legislation across a wide range of subject areas and has particular expertise in constitutional law, maritime law, health and disability law and workplace relations law. Marina has delivered papers to national and international drafting conferences. She is interested in legislation, public law generally and Plain English drafting, and is keen to contribute to furthering an understanding of these areas among students, practitioners and the community.

John Keyes

John Mark Keyes is a sessional professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa, teaching mainly in the field of public law and legislation. He is also an instructor with Athabasca University in its Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Legislative Drafting Program.  He has published over 25 academic legal articles and a monograph, Executive Legislation, now in its second edition (Lexis Nexis, 2010). He graduated from the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto and was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1981. He obtained a Diploma in Legislative Drafting in 1983 from the University of Ottawa and an LL.M from the same University in 1985.

Professor Keyes is a member of the Board of the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice (CIAJ) and chairs the organizing committee for its bi-annual drafting conferences. He is also the treasurer of the Commonwealth Association of Legislative Counsel (CALC) and the editor of its journal, the Loophole. His pursuits extend as well beyond the legal world into community theatre as the president of the Ottawa Little Theatre.

Professor Keyes has also worked in the Department of Justice (Canada), first in the Privy Council Office Section examining draft regulations, then moving to the Legislation Section to draft government bills. From 1999, he worked in various managerial positions in the Legislative Services Branch and was the Chief Legislative Counsel (Assistant Deputy Minister Responsible for Legislative Services) from 2005 until 2013. He was also the departmental champion for Sustainable Development, the co-champion for Official Languages and the co-chair of the Justice Workplace Charitable Campaign. Professor Keyes’s awards include the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for service in Government and to the community (2002), the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal for significant contributions and achievements by Canadians (2013) and the President’s Award of the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice for volunteer service (2016).

Alan Page

Alan Page, Professor of Public Law at the University of Dundee since 1985.

He was Deputy Principal, Research Governance (2011-2015) and Dean of the School of Law (2006-15), having previously been Head of the Department of Law (2004-2006 and 1985-95), Dean of the Faculty of Law (1986-89) and Head of the Department of Public Law (1981-86).

He has published extensively in the fields of public law, EU law and financial services law.  His books include: Legislation (2nd edn; Sweet and Maxwell 1990) (with David Miers), Investor Protection (Weidenfeld and Nicolson 1992) (with Robert Ferguson), The Executive in the Constitution: Structure, Autonomy and Internal Control (OUP 1999) (with Terence Daintith), and Constitutional Law of Scotland (W Green, Thomson Reuters 2015), which provides the first complete account of the constitutional law and governance of Scotland since devolution.

In addition to his published work, he has acted as a specialist adviser to parliamentary committees in both the United Kingdom Parliament and the Scottish Parliament, and to the European Union, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, and the United Nations in respect of many of the 'transition' countries of central and eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

Helen Xanthaki

Professor Helen Xanthaki is Professor of Law at UCL; Director of the International Postgraduate Laws Programme of the University of London; and Senior Research Fellow at the IALS, University of London. She is a leading expert in legislation, law-making and legislative quality. She was the first and only Professor of Legislative Drafting in the UK, and served for 18 years at the Sir William Dale Centre for Legislative Studies (most of them as the Director).

She have published extensively in the field of legislation and legislative drafting, most recently as the author of two books in the field: Helen Xanthaki, Drafting Legislation: Art and Technology of Rules for Regulation (2014, Hart Publishers, Oxford)[1]; and Helen Xanthaki, Thornton’s Legislative Drafting 5th Edition, (2013, Bloomsbury, London). She has edited two collections: Helen Xanthaki, (ed) Enhancing Legislative Drafting in the Commonwealth: A Wealth of Innovation (2014, Routledge, London); and the forthcoming Ulrich Karpen and Helen Xanthaki (eds), Legislation in Europe: A Handbook for Scholars and Practitioners, forthcoming Hart Publishers, Oxford). She has contributed to most journals in the field, including the Theory and Practice of Legislation, Statute Law Review, Hukim Journal on Legislation, European Journal of Law Reform, The Korean Legal Research Institute Journal of Legislation and Evaluation, Studi parlamentari e di politica costituzionale. She has offered evidence to the House of Lords, the House of Commons, the European Commission, the European Parliament (Legal Affiars Committee).

She has served as a consultant to the European Commission, the European Parliament, governments, the World Bank and many other national, regional, and international fora.