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Australia archives guide: Australia

Archives Guides

IALS Archives subject guide: material in the IALS Archives

The records below, which hold references to Australia, were transferred to the Records of Legal Education Archives (now subsumed into the IALS Archives) by individuals and organisations with a particular interest in legal education, both the UK and abroad. A particular focus was on legal education in the Empire and later the Commonwealth, including Australia. 
The records listed have been selected for specific references to legal education and the law in Australia. There may be more relevant material under general headings such as Commonwealth. To browse the Archives catalogues for more information see this link:
The records are open 20 years after last date on file; CLOSED items are designated in red.
All the records listed below, other than those which are currently closed, may be viewed by prior appointment in the IALS Library. Requests for an appointment to examine any of the records should be made to the Archivist (

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British and Irish Association of Law Librarians: Archives, 1969-2021

British and Irish Association of Law Librarians: Archives, 1969-2021

Administrative history: the British and Irish Association of Law Librarians (BIALL) arose from an Ad Hoc Committee which was convened at the First Workshop on Law Librarianship, Leeds, 1968.  The purpose of the Ad Hoc Committee was to investigate the possibility of setting up a British equivalent to the International Association of Law Libraries.  
BIALL was formally established on 16 April 1969 at the Second Workshop on Law Librarianship, in Harrogate.  The first AGM was held in September that year.  Although affiliation to other groups such as the International Association of Law Librarians and The Library Association had been suggested, BIALL was set up as an independent body.  
Aims: the original aims of the organisation were: to hold conferences and provide forums for people to meet and discuss questions relating to law libraries; to promote the better administration of law libraries; to promote the role of law librarian; to promote bibliographical study and research; to publish information of interest to the membership; and to work with other bodies for the benefit of the Association.

Selected items:

BIALL 10: Allied/Affiliate Groups, 1964-2006

Reference Title Dates
BIALL 10/03 Allied Groups A-B.  Includes Australian Special Libraries Group c.1970-c.1991

BIALL 33: Joint Study Institute, 1997-2013 

Administrative history: the Joint Study Institute was sponsored by the various associations of law libraries.  The first conference in 1998 was sponsored by BIALL.

Reference Title Dates
BIALL 33/01/02 Conference Pack: Joint Study Institute: The Australian Legal Landscape: Global and Comparative Perspectives, 13-16 February 2013. CLOSED until 2034 2013

Commonwealth Legal Association (CLEA): Records, 1971-1995

Administrative history: the Commonwealth Legal Education Association (CLEA) was founded during the Fourth Commonwealth Law Conference in New Delhi in 1971.   The idea was initiated by Indian lawyer Dr Laxmi Singhvi, CLEA's first chairman.  The Association's objects were to foster high standards of legal education and research in Commonwealth countries: to build up contacts between interested individuals and organizations, and to disseminate information and literature concerning legal education and research.
The CLEA's structure, objectives and functions are set out in its Constitution, adopted soon after its foundation.  Membership is open to individuals, schools of law and other institutions concerned with legal education and research.  Patrons are appointed from various Commonwealth countries.  The affairs of the Association are managed by an Executive Committee, drawn from the Commonwealth regions, which meets annually: its actions are reviewed at 5 yearly General Meetings, the first of which was held in Edinburgh during the Fifth Commonwealth Law Conference in 1977.  There is an Advisory Panel in the United Kingdom.  The administration of the Association was carried out by a chairman and two secretaries, one in London and one abroad.  In 1990 the office of chairman was replaced by a president and executive chairperson (since renamed vice president).  The President may be elected from any part of the Commonwealth: the Vice President must be established in the UK.  In 1994 a South Asian regional chapter was formed.

Selected items:

CLEA 06: Miscellaneous CLEA Publications and Offprints, 1978-1992




CLEA 06/07

CLEA paper: Distance Teaching in Law - a proposal for Commonwealth Co-operation, John Goldring, Australian Law Reform Commission


CLEA 06/09

Peter Slinn, Conference on Emerging Educational Challenges for Law in Commonwealth Asia and Australasia: the Implications for Legal Education, CLEA


CLEA 07: Conference on emerging educational challenges for law in Commonwealth Asia and Australasia: the implications for Legal Education – conference papers, 1992
Administrative history: this conference was run by the CLEA together with the Hong Kong Law Teachers’ Association, the City Polytechnic of Hong Kong and the University of Hong Kong from April 10-12, 1992.  




CLEA 07/03

Hilary Lewis-Ruttley, IALS: The Internationalisation of Legal Practice in Commonwealth Asia and Australasia


CLEA 07/04

Prof S C Srivastava, Kurukshetra University: Horizons of New Lawyers of the Commonwealth Asia and Australia


CLEA 07/05

E Eugene Clark & Dr Martin Tsamenyi, University of Tasmania: An Australian Perspective on Overseas Students and International Legal Education


CLEA 07/06

Helen Endre, Queensland University of Technology & Erika Martens, University of Adelaide: Deconstruction, Decolonisation and reconstruction in the Australian Legal Culture: the place of the Indigeneous Australian


Commonwealth Legal Records Project (CLRP): Archives, 1989-1993

Commonwealth Legal Records Project (CLRP): Archives, 1989-1993

Administrative history: the Commonwealth Legal Records Project (CLRP), which began its investigations in 1990, was jointly sponsored by the Association of Commonwealth Archivists and Records Managers (ACARM) and the Commonwealth Legal Education Association (CLEA), and was financed by a grant from the Leverhulme Foundation.  It comprised a three-year programme of research into modern legal records throughout the Commonwealth.  The objectives of the study were to:

  • analyse questions relating to the nature, extent and potential uses of legal records of all kinds;
  • collect information about the state of legal records in selected Commonwealth jurisdictions;
  • analyse factors relevant to devising informed policies regarding the management, appraisal, preservation and destruction of legal records and suggest guidelines;
  • produce and disseminate the findings of the study in a form that would be useful to interested institutions and individuals in different jurisdictions in the Commonwealth, especially developing countries.  

Publications: the project produced one book, Legal Records in the Commonwealth, and one major study, Legal Records in Accra (Ghana).

Selected items:

CLRP 03: Research Files - General




CLRP 03/07

(Parts 1-2)

Correspondence, papers and copies of disposal schedules - Australia


Sir William Dale (ref: DALE): Papers, 1930s-2003

Biographical history: Sir William Leonard Dale (1906–2000), lawyer and civil servant, was born on 17 June 1906 at The Rectory, Preston in Holderness, in the East Riding of Yorkshire, the elder son and eldest of the three children of the Revd William Dale (1852–1934), Church of England clergyman, and his wife, Rose (1870–1963), daughter of Herbert Leonard, farmer, of Marfleet, Yorkshire.
After Hymers College, Hull, Dale entered into articles with solicitors in the city. After an external London University LLB, he read for the bar, supporting himself on a Gray's Inn scholarship and occasional appointments as a suburban church organist. Call in 1931 was followed by a London pupillage, practice briefly on the north-eastern circuit, and a return to chambers in the Temple. He then joined an English solicitor practising in Jaffa. In 1935 he applied for a legal post in the Colonial Office. 
Dale moved to an administrative position in the wartime Ministry of Supply in 1940, returning to the Colonial Office after VJ-day to the legal complexities of Raja Brooke's cession of Sarawak to the British crown. He was made CMG in 1951, in which year he fielded a request to identify a legal adviser for the new kingdom of Libya by promptly volunteering himself. He returned in 1953, despite the Libyan government's entreaties to stay on as a Supreme Court judge.
A move to the Ministry of Education in 1954 produced a change of work. But Lord Hailsham's arrival as minister in 1957 led to clashes, to which Dale responded by declaring himself semi-redundant, and taking up work for half the day at the Foreign Office. In 1961 he became the legal adviser to the Commonwealth Relations Office (CRO), and in the following year he was seconded to the central Africa office to help deal with the break-up of the Central African Federation. He was promoted KCMG in 1965, and retired a year later, a period which spanned the CRO's amalgamation with his old department, but not the final merger into a single Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In London on 17 June 1966, his last day in service, he married Gloria Finn (b. 1922), textile designer, of Washington, DC, daughter of Charles Spellman, stockbroker. They had one daughter, Rosemary.
A spell in the law officers' department (1967–68) was followed by a decision to move to Beirut as general counsel to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees. Return home in 1973 opened the most productive and creative phase of Dale's legal life, and a working partnership with Kutlu Fuad, head of the legal division in the Commonwealth Secretariat, which had been founded in Dale's CRO days. First came a study of how to provide competent Commonwealth draftsmen, commuted into a fuller investigation into what legislative style would best meet the needs of newly independent countries, and unlocking Dale's interest in simpler approaches to writing statutes. Then came the call to take over the Government Legal Advisers course (another Dale–CRO creation), through which over the next quarter-century Dale persuaded eminent British figures into nurturing the practical skills of generations of overseas lawyers. The final flowering came in the decision of London University's Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS) to found a centre for legislative studies in Dale's honour on his ninetieth birthday. The mark of his continuing vigour and determination lay in his becoming its founding Director and establishing a firm base for its activity before stepping down shortly before his death.
Dale published in 1994 an autobiography under the title Time Past, Time Present, which told among other things how his most enduring published work (The Law of the Parish Church, 7th edn, 1998) first came to birth as the winner of a Gray's Inn essay prize in 1931. In 1983 came The Modern Commonwealth, a sound guide to that subject. But he was proudest of all of his Legislative Drafting, a New Approach (1977), which, though less a new recipe than a justified critique of the stuffiness of the English parliamentary drafting style, was well received. 
He died of prostatic cancer on 8 February 2000 at Compton Lodge, 7 Harley Road, Camden, London, and was buried at St Pancras Church, Finchley, London. He was survived by his wife and their daughter.

Selected items:




DALE 01/01/07

Correspondence, memoranda, notes and other papers relating to Sir William’s legal opinion on Australia’s participation in the Commonwealth Telecommunications Council


International Law Association (ILA): Archives, 1866-2019

International Law Association (ILA): Archives, 1866-2019

Administrative history: the International Law Association (ILA) was founded in Brussels in 1873 as an association 'to consist of Jurists, Economists, Legislators, Politicians and others taking an interest in the question of the reform and Codification of Public and Private International Law, the Settlement of Disputes by Arbitration, and the assimilation of the laws, practice and procedure of the Nations in reference to such laws' (afternoon sitting of the first conference of members, 19 November 1873: reference ILA 01/01). It was initially called the Association for the Reform and Codification of the Law of Nations, changing its title to the International Law Association in the early 20th century. 
The Association was to consist of a Council of officers comprising a President, vice presidents, secretaries and other members of the Conference (called the Bureau), plus a series of local, departmental or provincial committees who were to report to the President. These committees have since expanded into International Committees. The ILA has consultative status, as an international non-governmental organisation, with a number of the United Nations specialised agencies. 

Access: The ILA stipulates a 30 year closure rule. Closed items are designated in red.

Selected items:

ILA 01: Records of the Executive Council, 1873-2010
ILA 01/07: Papers and correspondence of Officers of the Association, 1873-2010

Reference Title Dates
ILA 01/07/03/01 Papers of Wyndham Bewes, Honorary secretary, 1919-1936. Includes: The Commonwealth of Australia Service and Execution of Process Act 1901-1922  1919-1936
ILA 01/07/05/04 Papers and correspondence of Francis Temple Grey, 1873-1930: Samoa Relief Force 1918. Includes: two small notebooks labelled A.T.S. 66 and 67, Royal Australian Navy, with details of patient symptoms 1918-1919
ILA 01/07/11/04 ILA Secretary's registered correspondence files: branch files, 1949-1993: Australian branch 1959-1987
ILA 01/07/16 Correspondence of Sir Laurence Street, 1992-1993. Correspondence relating to the management of the Australian branch, following Street's service as President of the International Law Association. CLOSED until 2024 1992-1993

ILA 02: Conference, 1874-2014

Administrative background: the focal point of the ILA's activities is the series of Biennial Conferences.  These conferences, of which 69 have so far been held in different locations throughout the world, provide a forum for the comprehensive discussion and endorsement of the work of the ILA's international committees.

Reference Title Dates

ILA 02/01/09

'Possible venues or invitations'. Correspondence re miscellaneous invitations to host International Law Association conferences in Israel, Bulgaria, Australia, Bolivia, Italy (Florence). Includes some general administrative correspondence; administrative correspondence re 1984 Paris conference; correspondence re possibility of hosting the 1986 conference in Sydney; offer by Canadian branch to act as an alternative host country in 1986 in the event of political upheaval in Korea


ILA 02/32

Conference at the Hague, 1970. Administrative documents and correspondence, with programme and list of delegates. Reports presented at the F54th conference in the Hague, including:

- Committee on Deep Sea Mining, and the Australian Branch Committee on Deep Sea Mining



ILA 02/42

Conference at Queensland, 1990. Administrative correspondence, papers and reports relating to the 64th Conference


ILA 02/42/01

Administrative correspondence re the proposal of an Australian venue for the conference in 1990. Includes: discussion of locations and feasibility; formal invitation from the Australian branch; proposal for Egyptian venue; notification of acceptance of the Australian branch's invitation by the Executive Council of the ILA


ILA 02/42/02

Administrative correspondence re preparations for the conference. Includes discussions of delegate expenses; promotion of the conference; programming; labels for member mailshots.


ILA 02/42/03

Promotional material. Includes programme (two copies); pre-publicity flyer; promotional leaflet (three copies) for 'The Cape York Space Port: The legal and business issues', a two-day seminar held immediately prior to the conference by the Australian branch of the ILA


ILA 02/42/04

'Organisations invited to send Observers'. List of organisations approached, invitations and replies


ILA 02/42/05

Reports presented by the following committees:

- International Committee on the Enforcement of Human Rights Law;

- Committee on International Monetary Law;

- Committee on Legal Aspects of Long-Distance Air Pollution;

- Committee on International Criminal Law;

- International Space Law Committee;

- International Committee on the Legal Status of Refugees;

- International Committee on the Legal Aspects of Air Traffic Control;

- International Committee on the Legal Aspects of Inter-Country Adoption and Protection of Children;

- International Committee on State Immunity;

- Committee on International Securities Regulation;

- International Committee on the Legal Aspects of Extraterritorial Jurisdiction;

- International Committee on Legal Aspects of a New International Economic Order;

- International Committee on Cultural Heritage Law;

- Committee on International Commercial Arbitration.


ILA 03: International Committees, 1875-2019




ILA 03/22/01

Committee on International Commercial Arbitration: Administrative correspondence, chiefly on nominations to the Committee. Includes: procedures for reporting at the 1990 ILA conference in Australia; topics for study; Committee Report to the 1990 ILA conference in Australia. CLOSED until 2024.


ILA 03/23/01

Committee on Extradition and Human Rights Administrative correspondence. Subjects discussed include: Report from Brian Opeskin on Australian Extradition Law (1993). CLOSED until 2024.


ILA 03/24

Committee on Legal Aspects of a New International Economic Order. Administrative correspondence. Subjects discussed include the composition of the Committee; attendance at the 1986 ILA Conference in Seoul and the 1988 ILA Conference in Australia. Includes: -

- Programme of preparation of report for the 1990 ILA Conference in Australia;

- Report of the International Committee on Legal Aspects of a New International Economic Order to the International Law Association Queensland Conference (1990);

- ‘From NIEO to Sustainable Development’: background paper to the re-constitution of the Committee in 1991, following the Queensland Conference in 1990, and other discussion notes on the re-constitution and re-naming of the Committee


ILA 03/25/01

Committee on Sustainable Development: Includes:

- ‘Implementing Sustainability’, photocopied article by Ben Boer in the Delhi Law Review, volume 014 (1992), and Annual Report of the Australian Centre for Environmental Law, 1992, sent to the ILA by Ben Boer on his appointment to the ILA Committee on Sustainable Development. CLOSED until 2024


ILA 03/27/02

Committee on International Monetary Law: Administrative correspondence. Includes:

- ‘The International Law of External Debt Management: Some Current Aspects’, report prepared for the 1990 ILA Conference in Australia (two copies).


ILA 03/33/02

Committee on International Law in Municipal/National Courts: Administrative correspondence. Includes:

- Reply to Committee questionnaire re courts in Canada, Poland, the United Kingdom and Australia.

- CLOSED until 2029


ILA 03/40

International Committee on Human Rights. ‘United Nations Fact-Finding Missions in Field of Human Rights’ by Robert Miller, a lecture delivered on 9th July 1971, for the ILA (Australian branch).


ILA 04: Regional branches of the ILA: records, 1877-2013




ILA 04/52/04

Philippines Branch.   Pamphlets, including:

- ILA Australian Branch, 'The International Status of Human Rights Non-governmental Organizations, with particular reference to Intergovernmental Organizations and International Law', 1978


ILA 04/64

Australian branch: Bound volume 'Martin Place Papers No. 4: The East Timor Case in the ICJ [International Court of Justice]', edited by M. Brewster and I.A. Shearer, papers of a seminar convened by the Australian Branch of the ILA

CLOSED until 2026


ILA 06: Library material, 1866-1969




ILA 06/27

Pamphlets relating to issues of empire and colonialism, including:

- ‘The Australian Natives: Tragedy and Romance’ by Sir John Harris, published by the Anti-Slavery and Aborigines Protection Society, 1937.

- ‘Australian Aborigines’, leading article reprinted from The Times, Thursday November 25 1937.


Society of Legal Scholars (formerly Society of Public Teachers of Law): archives

Society of Legal Scholars (formerly Society of Public Teachers of Law): archives

Administrative history: The Society of Public Teachers of Law (SPTL) was founded in 1909 by Dr Edward Jenks, the then Principal and Director of Studies of the Law Society. 
Aims: Rule 2 of the Society states that "The objects of the society shall be the furtherance of the cause of legal education in England and Wales, and of the work and interests of public teachers of law therein by holding discussions and enquiries, by publishing documents, and by taking other steps as may from time to time be deemed desirable" (see SPTL 06: List of Members and Rules 1910).
The Society was to consist of a) ordinary members (any public teacher of law in England and Wales) and b) honorary members (any past teacher of law, overseas teacher of law or person who has "conferred important benefits on the Society or on legal education") (Ibid. Rule 6, p.11).
The Society's affairs were to be managed by a General Committee, whose officers were to consist of a President, Vice-President, Treasurer and Honorary Secretary. Other Committee members were to comprise one member for each university conferring degrees in law, and one member for each body conferring professional qualifications in law. Thus all branches of legal education would be represented.
Since its inception, the SPTL has acted to improve the quality of legal education and research through publishing reports, setting up working parties, putting forward submissions, holding conferences and producing journals and newsletters on matters relevant to legal education. Its representation on the different law teaching bodies in England and Wales has meant that it has operated with great effectiveness as a pressure group for change.
In 2002 the Society of Public Teachers of Law was renamed the Society of Legal Scholars.

Selected items:

SPTL 15: Printed Papers relating to SPTL interests, 1966-1993#




SPTL 15/04

Australasian Universities Law Schools Association (AULSA): Report of the Committee on Australian Legal Education – Law Libraries in Australasian Universities


Professor William L Twining, Law Teacher (TWIN): Papers, 1944-2006

Professor William L Twining, Law Teacher (TWIN): Papers, 1944-2006

Biographical history: William Lawrence Twining (b.1934) has had a long and distinguished career in law teaching and has been involved in many projects relating to legal education.  He was educated at Charterhouse School, Brasenose College, Oxford and the University of Chicago.  He has held numerous university posts and been an active officer of many legal education associations, including the Commonwealth Legal Education Association (records held in the IALS Archives; ref: CLEA).  He was Supervisor of the Commonwealth Legal Records Project (records held in the IALS Archives; ref: CLRP). 

Selected items:

TWIN 03: Papers relating to research projects, 1965-2014




TWIN 03/02/09

Papers relating to ‘Legal Studies in Australia. A Conference on Law for Non-Lawyers’ Held in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia from 22 to 24 August 1977.

Including ‘Legal Education For All’, a paper by William Twining. Together with a covering letter from Twining to David Mitchell of the University of Newcastle Department of Legal Studies, 10 October 1978.


TWIN 03/07/01

Correspondence relating to law degrees. Correspondence regarding four year law degrees, predominantly on behalf of the Committee of |Heads of University Law Schools (CHULS) but including earlier correspondence regarding degree length in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.  Includes draft of grant application to support CHULS' work.


TWIN 04: Third party research material and articles, 1944-2006 

Reference Title Date

TWIN 04/02/23

Report of Academic Course Appraisal Committee on Legal Knowledge Required for Admission to Practise, Council of Legal Education, Victoria, Australia


TWIN 04/02/24

University of Sheffield Centre for Criminological and Socio-Legal Studies Annual Report 1982-3


TWIN 04/02/25

Report: Draft Interim Report to Faculty on Implementation of Decision Arising from the Review of the Legal Workshop, The Australian National University Faculty of Law, Legal Workshop Committee of Management


TWIN 04/02/27

Report: A Strategy Plan for the Practical Legal Training Course (Full Time) for the Year 1986-87, The College of Law [New South Wales, Australia]


TWIN 04/02/28

Review of the [New South Wales, Australia] College of Law's Practical Legal Training Course


TWIN 04/02/29

Report: The Canadian Law Clinics: Reflections and Prospects (Including a Report Concerning the Fifth Canadian Law Teach Clinic), Neil Gold and LA Fisher


TWIN 04/02/30

Legal Education in Australia: The Submission of Australian Law School Deans to the Commonwealth Tertiary Education Commission Assessment Committee for the Discipline of Law