28 May 2003

Former Governor-General The Honourable Sir William Patrick Deane AC, KBE will be awarded an Honorary Doctorate at UQ’s Faculty of Business, Economics and Law (BEL) graduation ceremony tomorrow (Thursday, May 29).

The ceremony will take place at the UQ Centre located at The University of Queensland’s St Lucia campus.

Sir William, who was Australia’s 22nd Governor-General from 1996 to 2001, will also be guest speaker at the 5pm ceremony.

He will be presented with a Doctor of Laws honoris causa in recognition of his distinguished career and his outstanding contribution to Australia in his role as Governor-General.

As Governor-General Sir William spoke of his desire to see meaningful reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians. In his previous role as Justice of the High Court of Australia he sat in judgement over significant cases such as the 1983 Franklin River case and the 1992 Mabo case.

2003 Queensland Rhodes Scholar Kateena O’Gorman will graduate with a Bachelor of Laws with first class honours. She will travel to the University of Oxford in the UK later in the year to take up her scholarship.

Ms O'Gorman will initially enrol as a probationer research student and hopes to then complete a Doctor of Philosophy.

She said her research would draw on her interests in corporations law and international human rights law.

“The project will examine how the legal system in Australia and England can be used to make corporations accountable for breaches of human rights standards,” she said.

Ms O’Gorman said she had been inspired to pursue a career in human rights advocacy after working in a Jesuit refugee camp in Bangkok, interviewing detained asylum seekers to see if they qualified as refugees.

“This work involved travel to the Thai-Burmese border where refugees told of fleeing from the construction of the Unocal pipeline in Burma,” she said.

“There is now litigation in the US to try to make Unocal accountable for alleged human rights violations at the hands of the Burmese military.” She can be contacted on telephone 0421 283 739.

Siobhan McKeering, who will receive her Bachelor of Laws with honours, will deliver the student valedictorian address.

Ms McKeering, who will graduate with first class honours, was awarded an Allens Arthur Robinson Moot Court Bench Scholarship in 2002 and was also a member of the UQ team that was runner-up in the Willem C Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot in Vienna in 2000.

She is currently the Associate to the Honourable Justice Margaret Wilson in the Supreme Court of Queensland and in 2004 she will be the Associate to the Honourable Justice Ronald Sackville in the Federal Court in Sydney.

Other graduands of interest at the ceremony include the following:

Freedom of speech

Dr Hassan Saeed from UQ’s TC Beirne School of Law will be awarded a PhD for his research into freedom of speech in Malaysia. His research concluded that excessive regulation of freedom of expression in Malaysia does not enhance economic development or social harmony. Dr Saeed, who is Chief Judge (Criminal Court) of the Republic of Maldives, said the initial reasons for curbing social and political expression in Malaysia had diminished or disappeared over the years. “Existing restrictions on traditional mass media such as television, radio and newspapers are becoming increasingly irrelevant with the development of the Internet,” Dr Saeed said. “This revolution in communication has given rise to online-based media alternatives, and as sources of news and commentary these have not only broken the Government’s hitherto unchallenged monopoly over dissemination of information, but operate largely above the existing legal framework.” Dr Saeed, who holds a Bachelor of Laws and Master of Comparative Laws from the International Islamic University in Malaysia said the Malaysian leaders and intellectuals he contacted were very supportive of his research. “Their ideas and guidance helped me enormously in refining my arguments,” he said. Dr Saeed is also the Acting Chief Judge of the Juvenile Court and a member of the Board charged with protecting the rights of children. He can be contacted on telephone (Rep. of Maldives) 00960 322 633.

Medal winner

Kylie Weston-Scheuber will graduate with a Bachelor of Laws with first class honours and will receive a University Medal. This will be her second University Medal as she was awarded the QUT Medal for her Bachelor of Music, which she completed in 1997. Ms Weston-Scheuber has successfully represented UQ in a number of moot competitions. In 2002 she was a member of the first UQ team to qualify for the international rounds of the world’s largest international moot competition, the Philip C Jessup International Moot Court Competition in Washington DC. The UQ team coached by law lecturer Anthony Cassimatis went on to be ranked ninth in the world with Ms Weston-Scheuber receiving a first place ranking as an oralist in the Australian rounds and a sixth place ranking in the international rounds. “Competing in the Jessup was a fantastic experience and one I would recommend to all law students,” she said. This year, Ms Weston-Scheuber took on the role of assistant coach to the Jessup team, which again qualified for the international rounds and went on to be ranked 12th. In 2002 Ms Weston-Scheuber was a member of the UQ team that won the national International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Moot Competition in Adelaide. She is currently the national coordinator of the 2003 IHL Moot Competition and was a finalist in the 2003 Australian Law Students’ Association Paper Presentation Competition. She is due to have her paper on state responsibility in international law published later this year. She can be contacted on telephone mobile 0409 891 143.

For information contact Chris Saxby at UQ Communications (telephone 07 3365 2479, email: c.saxby@uq.edu.au).