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Law Council of Australia

Mahla Pearlman Oration 2022

Sorry! The event is no longer available

**in-person and dinner registrations are now closed. Virtual tickets still available.

Virtual registrations are open and close Monday 25 July 2022 unless fully subscribed prior to the deadline.

Key Speakers

We are pleased to announce the key speakers for this event.

Mr Bret Walker AO SC
Barrister, Fifth Floor, St James Hall

Bret Walker AO SC was admitted to the New South Wales bar and as a practitioner of the High Court of Australia in 1979. He was appointed senior counsel in 1993 and served as the President of the Law Council of Australia from 1997 to 1998, and later as the President of the New South Wales Bar Association from November 2001 to November 2003. Mr Walker was Australia’s inaugural Independent National Security Legislation Monitor 2011 – 2013.

Mr Walker has served as a member of numerous councils and foundations, including the Board of Governors of Law Foundation of NSW, various Advisory Committees to the Australian Law Reform Commission and the Uniform Legal Services Council. He was the Chairman of the Law Council of Australia National Criminal Law Liaison Committee from 1998-2001 and continues to act as a Constitutional Law Advisor to the Law Council of Australia. Mr Walker was also the Editor of the New South Wales Law reports from 2009 to 2018. Mr Walker has been appointed to several inquiries as a Commissioner, including the Special Commission of Inquiry into Sydney Ferries (2007) and the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Royal Commission (2018-2019). He most recently has been appointed as Commissioner on the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Ruby Princess (2020).

Federal Court of Australia

184 Phillip St, Sydney NSW 2000

This event will be available to online attendees via the Zoom platform. For those who register, you will recieve a Zoom link prior to the event. 

If you have any issues, please contact the Section Administrator, Chelsea De Silva on 02 6246 3722 or by email,

Australian Young Environmental Lawyer of the Year Award 2022

The Mahla Pearlman Award for the Australian Young Environmental Lawyer of the Year is awarded to a young lawyer who has made a significant contribution to environmental law. Each recipient is recognised not only for their contribution to the practice of environmental law but also for their contribution to the legal and wider community.

The award is named in honour of the former Chief Judge of the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales, and former President of the Law Council of Australia, the late honourable Mahla Pearlman AO.

The award is conducted annually by the Australian Environment and Planning Law Group of the Law Council's Legal Practice Section.

Nominations closed 27 June 2022.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the award, a nominee must be:

  • engaged in practice in any Australian jurisdiction (including in private practice, a government law firm, as in-house counsel or in an NGO) or be an academic teaching or researching in the field of environmental law or related area at an Australian university; and
  • under 35 years of age as at 30 April 2022.

The key criteria for the award are:

  • outstanding contribution to the field of environmental law in Australia or internationally; and
  • voluntary contribution to the community, including through environmental non-government organisations (NGOs) or teaching roles. 

There is no set form for a nomination – a letter or document that describes how the nominee meets the criteria described above is sufficient. References, while not essential, are appreciated.

The recipient of the award will be invited to be an observer on the Law Council’s Australian Environment and Planning Law Group for the following year.

Read the Law Council's Event Terms and Conditions here.