Kirby Cup Law Reform Competition – Call for Entries

The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) and the Australian Law Students’ Association (ALSA) today called on law students to register their interest in entering the 2009 Kirby Cup, one of Australia’s most prestigious student law reform competitions. Registration closes on 10 April 2009. The topic for this year’s competition is on animal rights and teams will be asked to consider the key issues that arise from the present federal regulatory framework for animal welfare.

The Kirby Cup Law Reform Competition is held each year in association with the ALSA Conference and encourages law students to engage in a practical way with the process of law reform.

Teams of two are asked to prepare a written submission on the topic by 4 May 2009. Up to three teams are then chosen to advance to the Oral Advocacy Round, which will be held in Brisbane during the ALSA Conference in July.

ALRC President Professor David Weisbrot said, “The treatment of animals is increasingly becoming a social and legal issue, as well as an important economic one. To date, the focus largely has been on human health in relation to food standards and labelling, with little consideration of the treatment of animals in the farming and food process.

“However, as with other social justice movements, activists are seeking to push the existing boundaries and achieve law reform through a range of strategies, including lobbying for legislative change; utilising targeted and test-case litigation; undertaking community and professional education campaigns; and harnessing the power of consumers in the marketplace. This area of law is set to become a major focus of reform in the coming years”.

The Kirby Cup Law Reform Competition asks students to consider appropriate law reform recommendations, and assess whether Codes of Practice for animal welfare provide a reliable and satisfactory mechanism for regulating animal welfare; or whether a national Animal Welfare Act or harmonisation of state and territory legislation would be more appropriate.

Teams wishing to participate must register for the competition by 10 April 2009.

Entry forms are available on the ALRC website at <>. Written submissions must be lodged with the ALRC by 4 May 2009, with the oral advocacy component held during the ALSA Conference in Brisbane, 13–19 July 2009. Full terms and conditions are available on the ALRC website.