UTS Dean of Law appointed to head copyright inquiry

In summary: 
  • Dean of the UTS Faculty of Law Professor Jill McKeough will lead an Australian Law Reform Commission inquiry into copyright law
  • The inquiry will require the Commission to consult widely on controversial areas of copyright law in the digital environment and suggest strategies for improvement

Dean of the UTS Faculty of Law Professor Jill McKeough has been appointed by the Federal Attorney-General Nicola Roxon as Commissioner in charge of the Australian Law Reform Commission's (ALRC) Inquiry into Copyright Law.

Professor McKeough is a highly regarded academic, researcher and writer with a special focus on intellectual property – including copyright, designs, patents, trademarks, confidential information, biotechnology and indigenous cultural heritage. She will take leave from UTS to join the ALRC for the duration of the inquiry.

ALRC President Professor Rosalind Croucher welcomed Professor McKeough's appointment to the inquiry.

"This inquiry will require the ALRC to consult widely on controversial areas of copyright law in the digital environment and suggest strategies for improvement," Professor Croucher said. "Professor McKeough's in-depth knowledge and extensive experience in the area will be invaluable in helping the ALRC to traverse this complex area of law."

Professor McKeough has published many articles and books in the field, including Intellectual Property: Commentary and Materials 2006 (with Professor Kathy Bowrey and Professor Philip Griffith of UTS) and Intellectual Property in Australia , 2004 (with Professor Andrew Stewart of Flinders University and Professor Philip Griffith of UTS).

Professor McKeough said, "I look forward to contributing to the ALRC as it undertakes this important inquiry which raises complex and challenging issues for both creators and users of copyright material and will require a broad conversation between all stakeholders."

The ALRC expects to receive final terms of reference once the Government's process of stakeholder consultation on the draft terms is completed by the end of March.

The ALRC will publish a regular e-newsletter with news and updates throughout the inquiry and people can subscribe to this newsletter or find further information about the Copyright Inquiry on the ALRC website. The ALRC also uses Twitter to update followers about its work.

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Business and Law

While UTS is heading to higher ranking and better reputation, there are some administrative inefficiencies within Law Faculty. For example, one lady is in charge of multiple positions: Subject Coordinator, Lecturer, and Tutor for one core subject. Discrimination and bias are highly likely to occur. This is another form of systemic violence in the University, especially for international students.

The Faculty of Law acknowledges your comment and invites you to make direct contact to further discuss your concerns.

This appointment demonstrates the high caliber of academic members of the Law faculty, not only on a scholarly level but also within practical reform affecting the industry. As a fourth year combined Law and Business student I wish Professor McKeough all the best for the inquiry.

I think it is inspiring that it is not just a professor that got the job, it is OUR dean that will be involved in a subject that will influence an Australian digital future. It should instill a feeling of pride, that not only did we choose the right Faculty of Law, but we get the opportunity to follow developments that could shape our options in legal education.