Frances Forbes Society – Forbes Lecture paper and 2020-21 membership renewal


The Forbes Society for Australian Legal History invites members to renew membership and welcomes applications from new members. We also invite donations to the Francis Forbes Fund. Members have already been advised that the paper from the 2020 Forbes Lecture given by Justice Leeming last month is now available, as below.

The Society is dedicated to studying and documenting the history of Australian law. Its membership includes legal practitioners, academics, journalists and students. A membership form is available here. Completed forms should be sent to the address on the form or by email to Any queries should also be sent to that email address.

Francis Forbes Fund: One of the Society’s objects is to encourage and promote research into Australian legal history, and it maintains a fund for that purpose to which donations may be made – the Francis Forbes Fund. The Society encourages donations to the Francis Forbes Fund to enable us to continue to support such worthy projects. All donations to the Forbes Fund of $2.00 or more are tax deductible. There is provision for a donation on the membership form, or a separate form for donations is available here and on the website at DONATIONS.

Forbes Lecture: The 2020 Forbes Lecture delivered by Justice Leeming under the title “Lawyers' uses of history, from Entick v Carrington to Smethurst v Commissioner of Police”, on Tuesday 19 May 2020, chaired by Justice Gageler, attracted excellent attendance. The paper Justice Leeming foreshadowed is now available on the Society’s website. The programme from the Lecture is also available and we hope to make a sound recording of the lecture available as well in due course. The Lecture programme has details of the Society’s tutorial series and the 2019 Forbes and Plunkett Lectures, and projects that have been supported by grants from the Forbes Fund. They include the publication of Pitt Cobbett's ‘The Government of Australia’, about which Professor Anne Twomey spoke in the 2019 Forbes Lecture.

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