Law & Culture

Law and CultureIn our Law & Culture column, you will find original works of fiction, reviews of a wide range of publications — not just conventional legal texts — as well as broader cultural forms such as films, TV shows, CDs, DVDs, art exhibitions and so on. The column links in with the Alternative Law Journal’s focus on law for the disadvantaged, human rights law and law reform.

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Promoting Justice Through Clinical Legal Education

Kristoffer Greaves

Promoting-Justice-Through-Clinical-Legal-EducationJeff Giddings; Justice Press,* 2013; 
448 pages; $20+postage/packing (paperback)

It is a good year for resources concerning Australian clinical legal education, with Jeff Giddings’ book an excellent companion to the ‘Best Practices Australian Clinical Legal Education’ report released earlier in 2013.

Clinical legal education involves students ‘learning by doing and reflecting’ via supervised legal work on behalf of real clients, or through simulated scenarios drawn from legal practice. In Promoting Justice Through Clinical Legal Education, Giddings argues:

Clinical methodologies can make a more substantial contribution to legal education as part of an integrated and effectively sequenced program than on a stand-alone basis. [p 3]

An integrated approach, says Giddings, promotes justice through legal education by providing law students with opportunities to appreciate the importance of access to justice, to develop professional ethics, take responsibility for their work, and experience the limitations of the law and legal processes.

(2013) 38(3) AltLJ 200

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Consumer Law and Policy in Australian and New Zealand

Mabel Tsui

consumer-law-and-policyJustin Malbon and Luke Nottage (eds); 
Federation Press, 2013; 480pp; $125 (paperback)

Despite the youthfulness of the Australian Consumer Law (which came into full force in 2011, replacing the Trade Practices Act regime), if the recent International Association of Consumer Law Conference held in Sydney is anything to go by, this Law has already generated much discussion among academic and practitioner circles about its merits and operation. Consumer Law and Policy in Australia and New Zealand, edited by Professor Justin Malbon and Associate Professor Luke Nottage is therefore a welcome addition to the literature on this area. Although the book looks at two jurisdictions, the editors make it clear at the beginning that given the close economic ties and efforts to create a single economic market between the two countries, it is necessary that ACL reform be viewed in the context of these developments. Also worthy of consideration is that in recent years, both countries have mutually influenced each other in their domestic laws, and thus, it is only right that their laws should be discussed together.

(2013) 38(3) AltLJ 201

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Seesaw

Mike Daly

Seesaw-cd-coverBeth Hart/Joe Bonamassa; J&R Associates 
(though Only Blues Music); $23.99; CD

Roots music doesn’t get any better than this powerhouse blend of soul and blues covers. Songstress Beth Hart and blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa first teamed up in 2011 to record the highly successful Don’t Explain, but if that collaboration pushed a tad too hard at times to box the musical compass, Seesaw is more tightly focused. It achieves a perfect stylistic balance without sacrificing energy or conviction.

Hart plays to her strengths as never before, sourcing acknowledged influences from Billie Holiday to Etta James and Aretha Franklin, yet managing to take ownership of the songs they made famous. She segues with amazing ease from a brittle, much-travelled jump-swinger like Them There Eyes — set to Lee Thornburg’s brash horn arrangement and Bonamassa’s reverb-heavy Les Paul-style licks — to sultry torch temptress on Close To My Fire.

(2013) 38(3) AltLJ 202

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Satellite Boy

Sam Blashki

satellite boyWritten and directed by Catriona McKenzie; starring David Gulpilil, Cameron Wallaby, Joseph Pedley; Hopscotch Films, 2013; 90 mins.

Satellite Boy tells the story of Pete (Wallaby), a young Indigenous boy living in the outback town of Wyndham with his grandfather, Jagamarra (Gulpilil). When a mining corporation threatens to take over his home, Pete becomes determined to walk into the city and confront the company responsible, recruiting his friend, Kalmain (Pedley) to join him. When Pete’s idea doesn’t go to plan, the boys find themselves in a dire situation, lost and trying their best to stay alive.

(2013) 38(2) AltLJ 136

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The Intercept

Mike Daly

the intercept by dick wolfDick Wolf; Sphere Hachette, 2012; 400pp; 29.99 (paperback)

For two decades Law and Order was a must-watch TV for crime aficionados and legal professionals alike. By avoiding sensationalism and focusing instead on the routine of criminal investigation, trial preparation and process, the US series provided unsensational, yet engrossing insights into the work of New York police detectives and the district attorney’s team of prosecutors.

It spawned spinoffs from Los Angeles to the UK, Paris and Russia, plus the superior Law and Order Criminal Intent and voyeuristic Law and Order Special Victims Unit (still running) until finally, series creator and prolific screenwriter Dick Wolf has turned novelist.

(2013) 38(2) AltLJ 136

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