There has never been a more important time for lawyers to be leaders and role models for their younger counterparts entering the profession, said the Honourable Justice Andrew Greenwood in his recent address to Griffith Law School alumni at the Commonwealth Law Courts in Brisbane.
“One of the most significant set of challenges now facing the community is a substantial loss of confidence by our citizens, in the capacity of well-recognised institutions to address the challenges of proper governance and integrity, and, to put it very simply, behave in a decent way.
“We’ve seen over recent times some appalling behaviour in the governance of the churches, banks, and poor performance in insurance companies and now aged-care providers.
“It seems to be that the standards of governance we historically and traditionally believed in are being challenged. Never has there been a more important time for the profession to be leading and demonstrating to young lawyers that this type of conduct is unacceptable conduct and we need to be very focussed about dealing with it.”
He said it was important that young lawyers have a sense of what their professional obligations are and where they lie.
“It falls to alumni and to the people running law firms to understand their pastoral obligations to young lawyers, to imbue them with a sense of professional pride, keep them challenged and focussed and have a vision for what is important in the profession.”
Justice Greenwood addressed the alumni gathering as part of the Judge-in-Residence program during which time he visited Griffith Law School classes at Nathan and Gold Coast campuses to provide guest lectures, and undertook private consultation sessions with students, discussing their career ambitions and offering his professional guidance.
Griffith Law School Dean and Head of School Associate Professor Therese Wilson said the Judge-in-Residence program provided a unique opportunity for law students to have access to a member of the judiciary and to learn about what it means to be a member of the legal profession.
“Students have had a great opportunity to meet with and learn from the Judge, and they have made the most of it, with the classes at which he was lecturing well attended and with all student consultation time-slots quickly filled,” she said. “I was so pleased to receive the Judge’s feedback regarding the high calibre of the Griffith Law students with whom he met.”
The Honourable Justice Andrew Greenwood is a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia. He was appointed to the Court on 4 August 2005.
He is a National Co‑ordinating Judge in the national practice area of the Court’s jurisdiction in Intellectual Property. He is the President of the Australian Copyright Tribunal, a Presidential Member of the Australian Administrative Appeals Tribunal and a Member of the Australian Competition Tribunal.
Justice Greenwood was also a member of the advisory committee responsible for the establishment of Griffith Law School 26 years ago, and continues to serve on Griffith Law School’s Visiting Committee.