Five more questions before you graduate: Libby Defranciscis

Libby Defranciscis

These teachers have inspired me to hopefully one day give back to the ANU learning community

Why did you decide to study law?

After completing a Graduate Certificate in Indigenous Policy and Development at the ANU, I decided that the most effective way for me to make a contribution in the area of Indigenous affairs was through channels of law reform, and legal research and advocacy.

What was the best thing about your time at ANU College of Law?

The ANU College of Law provided me with access to amazing lecturers and tutors.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to learn from such lovely, knowledgeable, and professional people.  I believe that the interaction with such wonderful teachers and colleagues is something that has given me an edge above graduates from other universities.  These teachers have inspired me to hopefully one day give back to the ANU learning community (if ever deemed worthy!)

What would you say to someone who is thinking about studying law?

Combined with my previous study and work experience, the ANU Juris Doctor equipped me with a unique way of approaching and thinking about the problems we encounter in the world.  So if someone were to ask me if they should study law at the ANU, I would say go for it – but set your personal expectations high.  You will be so enriched by the experience, it would be a shame not to have a clear ambition about how you intend on utilising your new-found skills in the wide, wide world of opportunity.

What was your honours thesis about?

For my honours thesis, I wrote about the native title compensation decision in Griffiths v Northern Territory of Australia (No 3) [2016] FCA 900.  The decision of Mansfield J to award an unprecedented amount of compensation to the native title holding group was land-mark, but there are still questions lingering about how this award fits amongst the Commonwealth and Territory land acquisition laws, and the “just terms” provisions in the Australian Constitution.  I, for one, am excited to see how “the vibe” evident in this decision will be treated on appeal by the Full Federal Court (and no doubt the High Court) in the near future.

What’s next?

The day prior to graduation I commence maternity leave!  So I will spend the next chapter of my life beginning my family and taking a break from full-time work and study.

Once I recommence work, I will complete my GDLP studies with my employer, and look for opportunities to apply my new skills in my preferred field of study and interest, Indigenous affairs.  An associateship is also potentially in my sights!  I honestly feel like the world is my oyster, and I can’t wait to get out there and apply myself to new and exciting opportunities.


Updated:  10 August 2015/Responsible Officer:  College General Manager, ANU College of Law/Page Contact:  Law Marketing Team