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Distinguished law professional to give oration in NT

By Leanne Coleman

The Hon Frank Vincent AO QC will deliver this year’s Austin Asche Oration The Hon Frank Vincent AO QC will deliver this year’s Austin Asche Oration

A renowned barrister and jurist, with a distinguished career of more than 40 years within the Australian legal system, the Hon Frank Vincent AO QC will deliver this year’s Austin Asche Oration titled “Law and Order in a Rapidly Changing Society”.

In his practice as a barrister, Mr Vincent’s focus was on criminal law, appearing as counsel in some 200 murder trials. He also has a strong connection to the Northern Territory, having worked with several Aboriginal legal aid services, particularly during the period 1975 to 1985.

In his oration, the former Justice of the Victoria Court of Appeal will focus on the Rule of Law, and some emerging legal, practical and moral challenges that impact on the Rule of Law.

“Australia’s various systems and institutions are under increasing stress, while at the same time the values and priorities on which such systems and institutions rest are being questioned more and more,” Mr Vincent said.

He was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria in 1985 and was the Principal Judge of the Criminal Trial Division of that Court until his retirement in 2009.

Mr Vincent was Deputy Chair and then Chair of the Victorian Adult Parole Board, a position he occupied for 17 years. He has served as a consultant to the Australian Law Reform Commission and Chairman of the Victorian Criminal Bar Association.

Since retiring as a judge of the Court of Appeal of Victoria, he has been appointed by successive Victorian Attorneys-General to conduct inquiries into matters of public importance, including the Victorian Parliamentary Committee Inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children in non-government organisations. He recently completed a review of the National Institute of Forensic Science on behalf of the Australian and New Zealand Police Advisory Agency, and is presently conducting an inquiry into the Victorian Witness Protection arrangements.

He was formerly the Chancellor of Victoria University (2001-2009), and is a Distinguished University Fellow at Victoria University. He is currently a Commissioner of the Victorian Law Reform Commission.

The Austin Asche Oration in Law and Governance will be held on Thursday, 4 September from 5:00 to 7:00pm at the Dining Room and Nitmiluk Lounge Level 4, Parliament House. The event is free and open to members of the public. The oration honours the contribution of The Honourable Austin Asche AC QC to the NT community. RSVPs are essential to E: or P: 8946 6554.