The law school gets a home

The law school gets a home

1968

The David Derham School of LawDerham had a distinguished career in the Australian Army before embarking on a legal career.

Educated at Oxford and Harvard, he came to embrace experimental approaches to legal education. He felt strongly that students should study the law in alongside humanities and social studies to give them a better  understanding of ‘the functions of law in society.’

He came to Monash from Melbourne, where he had been a professor of jurisprudence and an expert in Australian constitutional law. In designing the Monash undergraduate curriculum, he emphasised the need for small class sizes to enable students  to properly dissect legal cases.

Although he returned to Melbourne University in 1968, his approach to legal education made such an impact on the Monash law school that it was named after him.

The curriculum would be focused on strengthening the links between theory and practice, with an emphasis on examining legal case studies.