The Inaugural Andrew Rogers Lecture in Private Law and Legal Practice was launched at the Fountain Room, Lismore City Hall on 2 May 2019. The new lecture series, named in honour of the Hon. Andrew Rogers QC, former NSW Supreme Court judge and first Chancellor of Southern Cross University, focuses on the jurisprudence of the private law, and the academy’s relationships with the legal profession.
The Hon. François Kunc, SC, Justice of the NSW Supreme Court, Equity Division, launched the series with aplomb. His paper, ‘Courage as a Legal Virtue’ explored how, across history and geography, members of the judiciary have, at critical junctures, taken moral stands against prevailing political orthodoxy. The Hon. Justice Kunc is amongst other distinguished roles, the General Editor of the Australian Law Journal, and a director of the Opera Australia Capital Fund.
The Hon. Andrew Rogers QC was a Judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales from 1979 to 1993. From 1987 to 1992, he was the Chief Judge of the Court’s commercial division, in which role he introduced innovative procedural changes in the conduct of commercial cases. One of his best-known judgments concerns the piercing of the corporate veil in a case involving an indigenous man who had contracted asbestosis while working for a subsidiary of James Hardie Pty Ltd: Briggs v James Hardie & Co Pty Ltd (1989) 16 NSWLR 549, 567 (Rogers AJA). From 1992, he oversaw the establishment of the School of Law and Justice at Southern Cross University (then University of New England – Northern Rivers), in his role as chair of the University’s Law Advisory Committee. In 1995, Mr Rogers was installed as the first Chancellor of the newly formed Southern Cross University by the Governor of New South Wales, a position he held from 1995 to 1997.
Pictured above, from L-R: Associate Professor Nicole Rogers, SCU Vice Chancellor and President Professor Adam Shoemaker, former NSW Senator Helen Coonan, The Hon. Andrew Rogers QC, The Hon François Kunc SC, and Professor William MacNeil, Dean and Head of the School of Law and Justice.