UQ welcomes new leader for law school

16 May 2018

The University of Queensland has appointed Professor Patrick Parkinson as the new Academic Dean and Head of School for the TC Beirne School of Law.

Professor Parkinson, a family law and child protection specialist from The University of Sydney, said he would help position UQ as a national leader in educating lawyers for tomorrow's legal jobs.

“UQ will remain focused on preparing students well for law-related jobs in a time of great change, as new technologies make different ways of practising law possible and raise new issues for regulation,” Professor Parkinson said.

“UQ is one of the country's most outstanding universities and the law school has developed in very positive directions under the leadership of former Dean, Justice Sarah Derrington.

“The University is taking a different approach to other law schools in Queensland and around the country.

“It is the right approach, and I look forward to working with staff of the law school and the broader university to take it to another level of excellence in teaching, research and community engagement.”

UQ Faculty of Business, Economics and Law Executive Dean Professor Andrew Griffiths said the appointment followed an extensive international search.

“Professor Parkinson brings a great deal of experience, knowledge, networks and academic leadership to the role,” Professor Griffiths said.

“He has previously served as Head of School and Pro-Dean (Teaching Programs) at The University of Sydney Law School and held academic roles at the University of Wales and the University of Illinois.

“Professor Parkinson is well-known for his community work concerning child protection and chaired a review of the Child Support Scheme that led to the enactment of major changes to the Scheme.”

Professor Parkinson has served as President of the International Society of Family Law and Chairperson of the Family Law Council, an advisory body to the federal Attorney-General.

He has been a member of the NSW Child Protection Council, and chaired a major review of state law which led to the enactment of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998.

Professor Parkinson has been the national examiner for specialist accreditation in family law and has published extensively in the area of family law.

He was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia in 2009, and awarded the Stanley Cohen Distinguished Research Award by the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts in 2013.

After graduating in law with first class honours from the University of Oxford in 1980, Professor Parkinson completed a Master of Laws at the University of Illinois.

He will start at UQ on 2 July.  

Media: Caroline Enright, TC Beirne School of Law Communications, media@law.uq.edu.au or +61 3365 2596.