NB. Entry to the 2012 competition closed on 24 August 2012.

Competition topic – 2012

Suggest one or more new statutory exceptions for the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth), consistent with Australia’s international legal obligations, and explain why it/they should be introduced. Alternatively, explain why further exceptions should not be introduced.


The competition is open to all students currently enrolled in a tertiary law course (including law courses offered by universities and legal practitioner admission boards).

Students may participate in the competition as individuals or as a team of up to four members. Team members may be, but are not required to be, from the same education institution. There is no restriction on the number of teams from an education institution that may enter in the competition.

There is no requirement to register to participate in the Kirby Cup Law Reform Competition.

For the 2012 competition, written papers are due to the ALRC by Friday 24 August 2012.

Entrants do not require the endorsement of their university or campus law students’ association.

Structure of the competition

The competition previously consisted of a written and an oral advocacy component. The competition structure was reviewed in 2010 and now consists of a written component only.

To enter, law students must submit a written paper (between two and four thousand words) that must address an issue, which will be set by the ALRC and published on the ALRC website. The submitted paper shall comply with the following requirements:

  • No longer than 4000 words in length;
  • Times New Roman font shall be used with a font size of 12 in the text and 8 in the footnotes;
  • Spacing shall be 1.5 lines;
  • Include contact details for the competition entrant (email and telephone number/s). If the paper has been prepared by more than one student, please supply contact details for each competition entrant.

Judging criteria

In assessing the papers, the competition judges will have regard to:

  • substantive argument;
  • originality;
  • writing style, with an emphasis on clarity of expression and plain English.

Submission of entries

The submissions must be provided in electronic form via e-mail to the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) at kirbycup@alrc.gov.au.

The closing date for submissions is 5.00 pm (Sydney, NSW time) on Friday, 24 August 2012. Late submissions arising from technical malfunction only (for example, a problem with the ALRC e-mail system) may be accepted at the absolute discretion of the ALRC.

Interpretation and application of these guidelines

In any matter requiring interpretation and/or application of these Guidelines, the decision of the ALRC will be final.


Appeals about the application of these guidelines, other than appeals about judging decisions, may be made to the ALRC. Decisions in relation to the respective merit of entries will be final. No appeals in relation to judging decisions will be accepted.

Published on 1 July 2010. Last modified on 26 June 2013.