Lifetime Achievement Medal

Celebrating a lifetime of contribution the Australian Legal Academy

The ALRA Lifetime Achievement Legal Research Medal recognises individuals who have made a significant and enduring contribution to Legal Research relative to opportunity.

The recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Legal Research Medal will receive a specially minted medal and an Award Certificate. The inaugural 2020 Awards will be awarded at the annual conference of the Australasian Law Academics Association (‘AALA’) to be held in Sydney 1‑4 July 2020.

Applications for the 2020 ALRA PhD Award are due by close of business on Tuesday 17 March 2020, and should be sent (together will all requisite documentation) to

Eligibility Requirements

The Lifetime Achievement Research Medal is Australia’s most prestigious Legal Research Award made to an individual nominee who has:

  • an established and lengthy history of distinguished legal research (within the HERDC definition of research)
  • made a lasting contribution to research practice
  • exhibited leadership and provided inspiration to others in the law
  • positively influenced and achieved impact in legal research on a state, national or international level.

The Lifetime Achievement Legal Research Medal is made in recognition of an individual nominee’s outstanding contributions to legal research. These contributions must be novel, creative, uncertain, systematic and transferable and/or reproducible. Importantly, the contributions should be above and beyond the everyday and have had an enduring impact on the law.

Nominees should have:

  • made a positive impact on the law [at either state/territory or national level]
  • 25 years, or more, of sustained service to legal research;
  • earned recognition by the judiciary, the legal profession, government, or other industry or employer groups;
  • achieved the respect of professional peers;
  • general acknowledgement as having reached the pinnacle of their profession;
  • demonstrated an enduring contribution to the legal community;
  • an ongoing appointment, adjunct or emeritus position or other significant affiliation with an Australian law School; and
  • personal integrity.

Application and Nomination Process

Any current Australian Law Dean may nominate, to the Executive of the Council of Australian Law Deans, a person, other than themselves, for the Lifetime Achievement Legal Research Medal.

  • The nomination should include an overview, not exceeding 3 pages, of the person, their achievements and the reason for the nomination. 
  • The award is based on the strength of the information contained in the nomination in meeting the selection criteria. The Executive, in consultation with CALD members will determine whether the Lifetime Achievement Legal Research Medal will be awarded to the person nominated.
  • No correspondence will be entered into with the nominating dean or any other party concerning the process or outcome of the nomination.

Assessment Process

All applications will be assessed by the Executive of the Council of Australian Law Deans against the following criteria:

  1. History of Research: The nominee’s history of legal research – in particular, the degree to which it is:
  2. aimed at new findings (novel),
  3. based on original, not obvious, concepts and hypotheses (creative),
  4. uncertain about the final outcomes (uncertain),
  5. planned and budgeted (systematic), and
  6. leads to results that could possibly be reproduced (transferable and/or reproducible)
  • Significant Contribution and Positive Influence on the Law: The nominee’s significant contribution(s) to the advancement of legal research, including the teaching research nexus, awards or recognition from professional or industry groups and institutions, innovative approaches to difficulties. How the nominee’s story may inspire others to higher standards in their research or raise the community’s perception of legal research?
  • Leadership: The nominee’s leadership in the field of legal research including, but not limited to, positively influencing policy or practice on a state, national or international level. This may include, but is not limited to Government committees and workgroups, advocacy, senior positions, other training, mentoring or committee participation. How have they “made a positive difference”?

The CALD Executive has discretion to award a single medal, multiple medals or no medal in any given year.

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