Law blogs (blawgs?) are increasingly popular as a way for lawyers, law students and legal academics to communicate to new audiences, create communities of shared interests, and generally vent about the peculiarities of the law. They are also one of the few ways people can access and exchange legal information and analysis for free (although there is a cost to the blogger, there is little cost to the bloggee). I recently had to hunt down a variety of blogs for an article I was writing, and I realised its hard to locate an up to date list of ‘Oz Blawgs’. Here is a list of the ones I found so far. It complements my list of Australian Legal tweeters here and Legal Info here. Read on The blogs are sorted into categories, where possible, based on the ‘blurbs’ provided by the blog editors themselves, but most of them fit into more than one category. Other than collating and sorting, I have not editorialised. Some blogs are better than others, but I will leave that for you to decide. As this is a work in progress (last updated 18 Nov 2014), please add your suggestions via the comments below.
‘Quis custodiet ipsos custodes‘ Kyle McDonald, barrister, on Summary Crimes (mostly Victorian, but also other jurisdictions).
Reasonable Grounds: News on criminal justice, politics and human rights.
Melbourne Criminal Lawyers Blog: “Talking about what matters in Melbourne criminal law” Maintained by Doogue O’Brien & George.
What’s the State of Queensland: This blog curates a variety of resources about recent developments in Queensland laws, and its governance.
RPA News. Regulation. Prosecutions. Action: Victorian’s Legal Services Board have a blog/newsfeed of prosecutions and developments.
Future Criminals: “This blog is a collection of web-bits and articles on science/technology – and how sometimes we don’t play well with others. It charts the interaction of progress in technology with progress in criminal enterprise and military might, as well as the use of science within the criminal justice context.” Maintained by Jarryd
Strict Legalism: Musings on law, politics and anything that interests me. Most of the posts will be on justice, evidence and current issues in criminal law maintained by Felix Ralph.
Find Legal Answers News Watch blog: HSC Legal Studies blog, maintained up to 27 June 2014, by the Legal Information Access Centre (LIAC) based at the State Library of NSW.
The Civil Lawyer: “This is the commercial law blog (or ‘blawg’) of Andrew Downie of the Victorian Bar. The posts include updates, case-notes, topics of interest, legal affairs and practice management.”
Curl: Legal academic Kate Galloway writes on “Property law, public/private, contemporary legal issues”. Also examines legal education issues.
Australian Insurance Law: Comments on Insurance Law in Australia by Darren Ferrari, Barrister.
Australian Regulatory Compliance Review: Maintained by David Jacobson, who also maintains the following blogs
Australian Technology and IP Business Credit Union and Mutual Law National Consumer Credit Reform Personal Property Securities Australia Australian Private Health Insurers Wills, Trusts, Super Mutuals Resource Centre BILS Blog: “insolvency news and events, case comment and developments from Australia and round the world., and links to our publications and website. We aim to stimulate discussion and collaboration amongst insolvency academics, practitioners and policymakers worldwide”. Authored by Associate Professor Christopher Symes and Associate Professor David Brown, Adelaide Law School, University of Adelaide.
BrrMedia-Law: Commercial law news, CLE podcasts and videos.
Mark McKillop Barrister: “Insolvency, banking and commercial law and practice”
PeterAClarke: “Illigitini non carborundum” Commentary on insolvency, commercial, torts issues.
West Australian Medical Negligence Law Blog: “Insights on medical negligence from the Perth Area and around Australia” Maintained by Julian Johnson.
Bill Madden: This website provides updates on medical and health law issues in Australia.
Developments in insolvency & commercial law: Carrie Rome-Sievers maintains this “as a tool to assist legal practitioners, insolvency professionals and their staff to keep up to date with recent cases and developments in insolvency and commercial law, particularly recent Victorian Supreme Court, Federal Court, High Court and some New South Wales Supreme Court decisions”
All about GST: Chris Sievers provides “a resource whereby people can stay up to date with developments in GST, particularly recent Court and Tribunal decisions and publications by the ATO”
Sam Hopper: A Victorian property and insolvency barrister maintains this blog on retail leases and related property law issues.
Property Law Collective: Property Law |Policy | Social Justice | Sustainability. A collective blog on contemporary issues in property law, with a focus on how property law relates to social justice and sustainability (International, with Australian resources)
Human Rights/Civil Rights Law
Castan Centre for Human Rights Law Blog: “Commentary on human rights from Castan Centre Directors, Associates, staff members and special guests” maintained by the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, Faculty of Law, Monash University.
Discrimination, Higher Education and Disability issues: Commentary by Dale Reardon on discrimination and anti-discrimination law issues and Higher Education and Disability issues
Australian Migration Law & Policy Blog: Maintained by Paul Cutler, NSW.
Australian Gay and Lesbian Law Blog: “Australian gay and lesbian law issues by an LGBTI friendly Brisbane lawyer. All about discrimination, parenting, property settlement, same sex domestic violence,same sex law issues”. Maintained by Stephen Page.
Julian Burnside: Collected links, speeches and resources by Julian Burnside QC.
MyAccess Australia: “Practical advice, information and guidance which should assist you with preparing and lodging your own Australian visa application”. Maintained by Peng Cheng.
Bioethics and the Law: “This blog is a quick post collection of links related to health law, bioethics, medico-legal matters, biogenetics and anything else in cyberspace with a focus on the bodily, legal and ethical.” Maintained by Jarryd.
The Murphy Raid: Thoughts on security, terrorism and human rights, with a focus on Australia. Authored by Andrew Zammit
Art and Human Rights: A tumblr is about the intersections of art and human rights. Maintained by a human rights law professor.
Workplace/Employment Justicia Lawyers: “Insight and opinion on recent employer-related legal matters”
The High Court/Public Law
Law Geek Down Under: NSW Barrister comments on significant High Court cases and issues.
Public Law Research Community: “updates on the work of the public law research community at the [Adelaide] Law School” and “explanations of, and views on, recent events, including new cases, legislation and policies, and upcoming court challenges”. Maintained by legal academic Gabrielle Appelby, Adelaide Law School, University of Adelaide
Constitutional Critique: Constitutional critique and commentary on current issues, maintained by Professors Anne Twomey and Helen Irving of the Constitutional reform Unit at University of Sydney.
A Woman’s Constitution: Reflections on constitutional law and scholarship from a woman law professor’s perspective, maintained by Professor Helen Irving. Opinions On High: The Melbourne Law School High Court Blog aims to provide a public forum for discussion of the judicial decisions of the High Court of Australia. It provides commentary on and analysis of recent High Court decisions, general information about the Court, as well as marking significant activities and events at the Court.
Legal Theory in Australia: This blog covers legal theory and philosophy of law publications and events with relevance to Australia. Posts are by Dr Jonathan Crowe, University of Queensland. Shit Judges Say: Selections of the best snippets of judicial snark, mostly, but not only, from the High Court of Australia.
The Kennel: Administrative law issues, maintained by Sean Mulcahy.
Derwent and Tamer Chambers: “Derwent and Tamar Chambers is a collective of some of Tasmania’s most experienced barristers aptly housed in Hobart’s first gaol”. Blog maintained by a group of Tasmanian barristers, including Chist Gunson and Stephen Estcourt.
The Black Letter: Ali Besiroglu considers that ‘fickle beast known as the black letter law’.
Barnold Law: Maintained by Bruce Arnold who “teaches law at the University of Canberra. He consults in governance, privacy, cultural property and new media.” ~ This blog covers “legal or other issues that have caught my attention, expressions of opinion, works that I’m reading and miscellaneous stuff”.
Australian Uniform Evidence Acts: Peter Faris QC maintains a digest of significant cases.
We too are one David Mejia-Canales tries to ‘make the common law a little more common’ with a variety of posts on different legal concepts
Journlaw: Mark Pearson’s commentary on legal aspects of journalism, social media and free speech issues.
MsLods: Leanne O’Donnell, a senior lawyer with expertise in commercial litigation, copyright, telecommunications and social media maintains a weekly round up of law and technology news.
Open and Shut: Considers “all issues associated with Freedom of Information (FOI) and privacy legislation in Australia. It also includes comment about open transparent and accountable government and privacy issues generally drawing on developments in Australia and overseas”. Maintained by Peter Timmins.
IP Wars: “Mainly intellectual property (IP) issues Down Under” from Warick Rothnie.
IP Whiteboard: “We write about intellectual property issues which are amusing, curious, and sometimes downright astounding. We aim to bring readers a perspective on issues which affect our day to day lives”. Maintained by IP Whiteboard editorial committee from King & Wood Mallesons’ Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane offices.
Nic Sozur Net: Dr Nicolas Suzor is a researcher in intellectual property and technology law.
Bram’s Pyre: Dr Melissa deZwart’s commentary on legal aspects of intellectual property, copyright, internet and technology.
Defamation Watch: “Defamation cases in Australia and around the world” Maintained by Justin Castalan
Media, Entertainment + Sport Law Blog: “Queensland Media, Entertainment and Sports Law News, Views and Commentary” Maintained by Walsh Halligan Douglas Lawyers.
CG Lawyers Blog: “Here we discuss and demonstrate Australian law and the creativity of artisans, artists, authors, creative agencies, designers, marketers, musicians, performers, playwrights and publishing houses”
Legal Profession/Legal Education/Ethics
Amicae Curiae: “Girlfriends of the Court” Covers Women, Law, Legal Education and includes posts on legal and lawyering issues (You are reading this blog now, please have a look around).
Bloggers at the Bar: This blog is a forum for discussion at the Victorian Bar. Posts are by individual barristers, comments from the general public are welcome.
A Barristers Blog: “By Paul Cutler: the Lighter Side of the Law”.
BLawgEd: An exploration of legal issues affecting the practice of education. Maintained by Michael Waterhouse
The Professional Liability Blog: Stephen Warne on “professional negligence, regulation and discipline around the world”.
Pleagle Trainer Blog: “Lawyer, Practical Legal Training, PhD candidate in Professional Education and Training, Research, Scholarship, Eclectic Interests, Best Practice.”
Ignorantia Juris Non Excusat: “A link blog for students and teachers of VCE Legal Studies, sharing news and legal professional updates, by Rob Corr.” Useful for first year law students at university, and others interested in Australian legal news.
LIVPresident’s Blog: “Geoff Bowyer, LIV President 2014 on the latest issues and topics. Read and comment.”
Not-for-Profit Law Information Hub: A blog with legal information for community organisations.
S|M| i |L|E – Social Media in Legal Education: a collaborative resource to promote and support the integration of social media into legal education.
Armstrong Legal Family Law Blog: “Fresh insights into issues families face when relationships break down” Maintained by Peter Magee.
Australian Divorce Blog: Australian divorce and family law. All about property settlement, spousal maintenance, children, child support and domestic violence. Maintained by Stephen Page.
Australian Surrogacy and Adoption Blog: “Surrogacy and adoption law in Australia by Stephen Page, a Brisbane family and surrogacy lawyer”.
Family Matters Blog: “The go-to blog for all legal issues related to your family” Maintained by Walsh Halligan Douglas Lawyers. Ross Bowler Barrister: Commentary and updates on issues of Criminal Law, Family Law and Litigation. Maintained by Ross Bowler.
Australian Dispute Resolvers: “A place to take part in a national discussion about the best ways to resolve disputes and achieve better outcomes” Maintained by Chris Whitelaw
ADRResearchNetwork: Maintained by the ADR Research Network, a group of dispute resolution academics from across Australia.
Justinian: “Australia’s most revered and disturbing law journal. For over 30 years, with loving attention to detail, it has chronicled the exquisite finery and the dirty linen of the legal profession” Published by Richard Ackland.
Sceptic Lawyer: Two lawyers, a journalist and a legal academic comment on a wide variety of legal issues.
CCH Law Chat: Law Chat is produced by a team of CCH writers and editors.
A State of Mind: Mr Tiedt’s commentary on legal and political issues (mainly, but not only NSW).
LawCrimePolitics: “committed to provide a forum for progressive political discussion, debate, ideals and action. We focus on Australia’s challenges such as immigration, climate change, law and order, justice and human rights, defence, economic growth and opportunity, education, and health care.” Editor Dr Hugh McDermott.
Law & Politic Blog: “Opinion is more powerful than the news” Edited by Luiggi Berrospi
CLXI: “An eclectic collection of miscellanea on politics, law, Linux, philosophy & food.” Edited by Ben Powell.
The Northern Myth: Bob Gosford in the NT – “politics, law and life in the Northern Territory”
Anton’s Weekly Digest of International Law: “This Digest is designed as a current awareness tool for international law scholars and practitioners. The Digest draws on independent research together with information gleaned from the RSS feeds of a host of international law publishers, law libraries, and blogs to provide as a complete a picture as possible of international law scholarship and news on a weekly basis.” maintained by legal academic Donald K Anton (in hiatus for 2014). International Law RoundUp: Developments in International law, maintained by legal academic Donald K Anton (on hiatus for 2014).
Life in the Law/Careers
Wellness For Law: “A community of legal academics, practitioners and students who are committed to: first, addressing the high levels of psychological distress experienced in law; and second, promoting wellness at law school, in the legal academy, and in the profession.” Maintained by legal academics.
Little Law Network: “community for Australian young lawyers” and “other lawyers within and outside Australia, as well as other people somehow connected to the Australian legal profession, such as law students, legal support staff, judges, judges’ associates, lecturers etc”. Maintained by Bennett Green.
Survive Law: “Here you’ll find plenty of tips and tricks to survive those never-ending readings, obfuscating essay questions, killer exams and assessments, plus discussions of mental health and well-being, unorthodox and straight-shooting careers in law, and those all important ongoing odes to highlighters, coloured tabs, textbook burning and coffee to flow black through your veins.” They keep a list of the best student blogs of the year, 2013 list is here.
Private Law Tutor: ‘Private Law Tutor is a specialist tutoring firm providing tutoring, study support and guidance to law students across Australia. Our blog covers anything law, from articles, legal analysis, opinions and study tips. Contributors include law students, Solicitors and Barristers’. Maintained by Vincent Licciardi.
Bizelaw: a legal careers blog maintained by the company of the same name, aims to be a “hub for information about legal job vacancies in the Asia Pacific region.”
New Lawyer Language: newlawyerlanguage is a new discourse for emerging lawyers, which aims to promote dialogue about what being a professional means in the modern legal landscape. It also aims to build resilience in emerging lawyers and encourage a healthy balance between practitioners’ personal and professional lives.
Life of a Lawyer: Cassandra Heilbronn, a Brisbane based lawyer, writes about “all things Life of a Lawyer to give you an insight into this world and life! I aim to encourage young girls to realise their dream”.
Beyond Law: Job-search, news and resources for Australian law students, graduates & young lawyers.
Castan Centre Global Interns Blog: Follows Castan Centre for Human Rights Law ‘Global Interns’ students as they work for some of the world’s preeminent human rights law organisations. Maintained by the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, Faculty of Law, Monash University (see their main blog above).
Alternative Law Journal: The Alternative Law Journal is “an Australian, refereed law journal focusing on social justice, human rights and law reform and critique of the legal system.” Down Under All Over regularly updates law reform and legal developments from across Australia.
Right Now: Human Rights in Australia. “Right Now is a volunteer, not-for-profit media organisation led by young people focused on human rights issues in Australia. We are committed to covering human rights issues through free, accessible, creative and engaging online, print and radio media. Our work begins with the belief that creating a positive, rights-respecting culture in Australia begins with the flow of information.”
Obiter Journal Blog: “OBITER is an intercollegiate law journal that aims to feature original, accessible and relevant content for our readers. Entirely independent and student-run, OBITER serves as an open and accessible platform of interaction by connecting students with their peers, leading academics and legal professionals across Australia.”
There are other lists for Australian law blogs, maintained by D J Jacobsen here and Andrew Downie here. If you want to start your own blog, check out the Arts Law Centre’s legal information for bloggers Fact Sheet, and Mark Pearson’s (aka JournLaw) book, or the short post here on “Blogging and Tweeting Without Getting Sued”.
Further afield: If you want to venture further afield, try the Blawg Review for a regular curated round up of North American Law Blogs (sadly this has ceased posting in April 2013), or the list of over 6,000 blogs at Justia. In the UK start with the Guardian Legal Network, or the curated UKBlogRoundUp. On Scottish law check ScotsLawBlog’s short list here. An up to date list of NZ law blogs is kept at Imperator Fish. A reminder; information found on these blogs is NOT legal advice. If you need legal advice and cannot afford it, see the National Association of Community Legal Centres site or the Access to Justice site. Thanks to Leanne O’Donnell and Kyle McDonald for their helpful suggestions for this list. Thanks also to Antonin Pribetic whose definition of the ‘flawg’ assisted me in forming the list. In his blog The Trial Warrior, Antonin defines a “flawg” as:
A legal blog without any substantive legal content that is created, monetized and promoted exclusively for profit. A Flawg will often contain posts about the latest legal tech gadgets, or the how to gain new clients through the awesome power of the internet, in the absence of anything remotely legal to discuss
My selection criteria for this list includes blogs with substantive legal content, discussion, opinion and updates on issues of Australian law and legal practice. I have not made a distinction as to whether blogs are set up for ‘business development’, for ‘legal education’ or just ‘the love of it’, but I have sought to avoid listing those that are pure marketing ‘shtick‘, I think they present an ethical problem. The Time Blawg has an interesting discussion on the different motivations for lawyers’ blogs here. You might also like to consider the pros and cons of law blogging yourself; barrister Andrew Downie addresses the merits of ‘taking a stand’ in blogging here. I
haven’t yet included the all the blogs of large commercial firms. Where a blog had not been updated in over a year I have left it off this list, but if you revive your blog, start a new one, or I have overlooked yours, please let me know here.