Technology and lawyers: past, present and future

Date & time

5.30–6.30pm Monday 19 August 2019


McDonald Room

Menzies Library
2 Menzies Place


Justice Alan Robertson
Dr Philippa Ryan


For interstate visitors, we offer suggestions for accommodation near ANU.


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ANU College of Law Visiting Judicial Fellow Program
Alan Robertson Phillipa Ryan

For the next event in our Visiting Judges Program, Justice Alan Robertson will focus on the impact on barristers and on Australian courts of developments in technology from 1980 to the present. Dr Philippa Ryan, from the ANU College of Law, will speak to the future of legal practice and the use of new technologies.


  • Justice Alan Robertson »

    Justice Alan Robertson is a graduate of the ANU. He was admitted in 1980 as a legal practitioner of the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory. From 1981 to 1983, he worked as assistant to the Commonwealth Solicitor-General, Sir Maurice Byers. In 1983, Justice Robertson moved to the New South Wales Bar and, in 1995, was appointed Senior Counsel. His area of specialisation was public law, including constitutional and administrative law, revenue law, competition law and appeals. He was for many years convenor of the Constitutional and Administrative law section of the New South Wales Bar Association. He was a part time member of the Administrative Review Council between 1992 and 1997. He was appointed a judge of the Federal Court in April 2011, based in Sydney. He has been appointed a Deputy President of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and a Deputy President of the Australian Competition Tribunal.  He is the Deputy President of the Australian Academy of Law.

  • Dr Philippa Ryan »

    Dr Philippa Ryan's area of expertise is commercial equity, in particular the liability of third parties to a breach of trust. Her PhD formulated a new classification for accessorial liability.

    Her current research explores trust and distrust in digital economies and autonomous systems, including smart contracts enabled by blockchain technology. Dr Ryan designed and coordinates a commercial equity elective that examines directors’ duties, Ponzi schemes and the trust as an alternative to a corporate arrangement. Her teaching research investigates how authentic legal processes can improve law students' problem-solving.

    In conjunction with the UTS Connected Intelligence Centre, she is piloting the use of discourse analytics software powered by AI to improve law students' legal writing skills and self-assessment. In the Faculty of Law, Dr Ryan facilitates the Allens Neota UTS Law Tech Challenge for Social Justice.


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