The Hal Wootten Lecture was established in 2006 by UNSW Law & Justice in honour of founding Dean, Emeritus Professor Hal Wootten. This lecture is a highlight of the Faculty's year and commemorates Hal Wootten's founding vision for the Faculty.

2021 – Jennifer Robinson

Living Greatly in the Law: Law and Progressive Social Change

Throughout his life and career, the late Professor Hal Wootten encouraged law students to think about “living greatly in the law”: living and working with a passion for justice, seeing the law in its social context and ensuring that the law serves those most in need. Hal understood that the law can create positive social change and encouraged lawyers to seek out opportunities “to give a little nudge that sends the law along the direction it ought to go”, which – in turn, he wrote – “can affect where the world goes”.

In this year’s lecture, Jen Robinson will reflect on Hal’s legacy and the role of law in protecting human rights, addressing the climate crisis and contributing to progressive social change. Drawing on examples from her own practice and experience around the world, Jen will share her own journey, how she came to share and espouse Hal’s view about “living greatly in the law” and why it is more relevant now than ever before.

Read Jennifer Robinson's speech.

Previous lectures in this series