ALRC Contributor

Dr William Isdale

Senior Legal Officer

Dr William Isdale joined the ALRC in January 2021 as a Senior Legal Officer. In this role, he leads research and writing for specific aspects of ALRC inquiries.

At the ALRC, William has worked on the following Inquiry:

Prior to joining the ALRC, William worked as a solicitor with MinterEllison, where he specialised in financial services regulation and commercial legal advice. Before commencing practice he was an Associate to the Hon. Justice John Dowsett AM on the Federal Court of Australia.

William holds a PhD in law from the University of Queensland, for a thesis on native title compensation. He was supervised by Adjunct Professors Jonathan Fulcher and the Hon. Justice Andrew Greenwood (a judge of the Federal Court of Australia). His thesis addressed issues relating to native title law, tort law, constitutional law, and the law of remedies. His thesis won the 2021 Holt Prize and was published as a book (‘Compensation for Native Title’) by The Federation Press in 2022.

William also holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from the University of Queensland, a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice from the Australian National University, and an LLM in International Financial and Commercial Law from King’s College London.

He is a weekly contributor of case notes to the Queensland Law Reporter, and has published a number of academic articles on issues in both private and public law. He is an Adjunct Fellow of the T.C. Beirne School of Law, at the University of Queensland.


User-friendly legislation: Why we need it, and how to achieve it

Modern smartphones are some of the most technologically sophisticated pieces of equipment ever invented. And yet, to operate one, you don’t need a PhD in computer science or years of experience. For the most part, their operations are intuitive and their functions easily navigable. If only the same could be said for all modern legislation.

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The Wondrous Universe of Law: The ALRC’s DataHub and a new age of legal exploration

In this article the ALRC announce the launch of the DataHub, which will enable greater explorations of our Universe of Law. Using the DataHub and new tools of discovery, this article summarises four key learnings about our law. They concern the law’s scale, expansion, complexity, and tendency to disorder. These learnings, and others gleaned from the DataHub, can help improve our Universe of Law, for the benefit of all.

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RECORDING Legislation Renovation: What Interim Report B means for you

On Wednesday 16 November 2022, the ALRC hosted a webinar to examine Interim Report B and its proposed legislative model. Hear about the research and novel data analysis underpinning the ALRC’s most recent report into simplifying the legislative framework for corporations and financial services legislation.

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All Roads Lead to Rome: the ALRC’s new Background Paper on unconscionable and misleading or deceptive conduct

This article provides a high-level summary of the ALRC’s latest Background Paper on unconscionable and misleading or deceptive conduct provisions in financial services legislation. The ALRC proposes a consolidation of such provisions, to improve the expressive power of the law, and to reduce the burden of compliance and enforcement. Dr William Isdale  Starting in around

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The Design of Everyday Law

In this article the ALRC considers how principles of ‘human-centred design’ could be used to improve the ‘user experience’ of Australia’s legislation — and increase the likelihood that it is understood and complied with.

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Re-designing our House of Law: Legislative hierarchy and design in financial services law

The ALRC launches Interim Report B as part of its Review of the Legislative Framework for Corporations and Financial Services Regulation. The report focuses on the role of legislative design and hierarchy in ensuring that the law is coherent and navigable, while remaining flexible enough to meet future needs.

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Without Fear or Favour: The ALRC’s Report on Judicial Impartiality

Australian Public Law Blog Article by Dr William Isdale and Sarah Fulton

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Without Fear or Favour: the ALRC’s new report on judicial impartiality and the law on bias

In its just-released report, Without Fear of Favour: Judicial Impartiality and the Law on Bias, the Australian Law Reform Commission has outlined 14 recommendations which, if adopted, will buttress impartial decision-making and help maintain the legitimacy of the federal judiciary in a changing world. This article outlines the context for the Inquiry, consultation views and empirical data considered by the ALRC, and summarises a number of the report’s key recommendations.

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Judicial impartiality in a changing world

Proctor Article by Dr William Isdale and Sarah Fulton

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RECORDING What we’ve heard and where to next

Delve into the praise and critique of the ALRC’s proposals and questions raised in Interim Report A of the Financial Services Legislation Inquiry in this recorded webinar held on Friday 17 June 2022. Watch the recording to understand what we’ve heard so far, and how this feedback will shape the ALRC’s approach to the simplification of financial services and corporations legislation.

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