Thinker in Residence Blog

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Melbourne whirlwind…literally

Posted by peggyhora on August 25, 2009

Dr. Michael King, Monash University School of Law

Dr. Michael King, Monash University School of Law

First, I made it home to Adelaide. Winds were 60-75 mph, 100-120 kph, so my flight was delayed and when it did get off the ground, it was very bumpy. I passed on a beverage in flight because I didn’t want to be wearing it. There was a bulletin issued earlier in the day urging employers to let their staff go early so they could get home before the storm. My lecture to the law students was reduced from 90 minutes to one hour. They were attentive and asked good questions and they seemed to enjoy it but with “kids” that age, who knows. I did get two very nice compiments from two young women with whom I shared the rest room afterwards. My adventure started on Mon. when Ingrid Haythorpe (whose photo you saw on one of my first posts) from the SA Atorney General’s Office and I flew to Melbourne and went straight to the Neighborhood Justice Center in the suburg of Yarra. It is a one-stop shopping service center for members of a troubled community. It is in its third year and offers about everything you can imagine from victim services to job seeking. The meeting rooms may be used by community members irrespective of whether they have business at the court. The Magistrate who presides over the court, David Fanning, is terrific and we definitely spoke the same language. I thought of my old bailiff, David You, when I went into the courtroom and saw it was surrounded by glass. My first thought: Is it bullet proof? Answer, no. It is also built with a glass wall from the corridor so the concept of transparency is certainly carried out. After leaving the Centre, I checked into my hotel which was very nice (the Monash University School of Law had booked me a modern suite), freshened up and dashed off the the book launch of “Non-Adversarily Justice” by Michael King, former magistrate of the Perth Drug Court whom I met during my trip here in 2006, Arie Freiberg, Law School Dean, and Lecturers Becky Batagol and Ross Hyams. I’ve only just started the book but it apprears to be excelent. David Wexler wrote the Forward. The Chief Magistrate, Ian Gray, did the formal launch then I presented a 30 minute talk on “American Drug Courts: A Personal Journey.” It was quite well received and I was pleased. A number of us proceeded to Sycamore, a small plates restaurant, where we feasted on squid, octopus, olives, and other delicacies. Off to bed then a 9:00 am meeting with the Dept. of Justice. Victoria (the state) has a very progressive Attorney General who has initiated a number of programs of interest to me. He even has a section on innovation. I was able to meet with about 13 people running programs I may want to recommend and it was very helpful. Ingrid went back to the airport to make an afternoon meeting and I went out to the large Monash University campus about 40 minutes from down town. I met up with Michael and we went to the Faculty Club for lunch with 6 of his colleagues. It was just lovely, very tradition but with great food (chicken on a bed of beans and chirizo). I then did a presentation for the law faculty on drug courts and why they work (thanks Doug Marlowe and Carolyn Hardin for some of the slides I used), had about 40 minutes to check email and then to the student lecture. I’m not going to the office until a little after 10:00 when Pamela (Project Coordinator), Sue (Prokect Accelerator) and I debrief and make notes from the past few days. I’m meeting with Adelaide University Law School’s Dean and others for a briefing at noon and then with the Legal Services Commission later in the day. This evening I’m presenting a program for local judges, both state and federal, in the swanky and very modern new Federal Building.


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