Professor David Hambly on five decades at ANU

Professor David Hambly is seated at a desk, in front of law journals
Emeritus Professor David Hambly FAAL

Many of my personal and professional associations have been with people whom I met when they were undergraduates, including a substantial number of the current academic staff. I hope the alumni community continues to prosper.

For more than 55 years, Professor David Hambly FAAL has watched the ANU College of Law’s alumni pass through the campus as undergraduates before leaving, qualification in hand, to make their mark on the world.

“I began at ANU in 1962 when there was a staff of six academics, and 120 law students, most of whom were public servants studying part-time,” he recalls.

“I’ve been at the ANU ever since, apart from three years in the 1980s when I was a full-time Commissioner in the Australian Law Reform Commission, working on the reform of family law. I have seen the College of Law grow to be a complex, vibrant institution with a high international reputation. Since my retirement, I have appreciated the opportunity to continue my association with the College as an Emeritus Professor.”

Professor Hambly’s recent work has included co-authorship of the 8th edition of Torts: Cases and Commentary, published in 2017.

“I’ve had a writing partnership with Professor Harold Luntz for more than 40 years,” he explains. “In recent editions, we have been joined by some co-authors, including Joachim Dietrich; many alumni will remember him from his years at ANU. He is now a Professor at Bond University. “

Professor Hambly also follows developments in Australian family law, having had a prominent role earlier in his career in the development of that area of law as a field of research and teaching, and in the movement for reform of family law.

“We are going through another period of upheaval. The Australian Law Reform Commission is undertaking a comprehensive review of the family law system in the light of profound social changes since the ‘70s and ’80s, and the Government has introduced a controversial proposal to merge the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court. “

A former Dean of Law at ANU and Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law, Professor Hambly is fond of the alumni community, which today exceeds 20,500.

“Right from the 1960s, I’ve greatly valued associating with successive generations of students,” he says.

“Many of my personal and professional associations have been with people whom I met when they were undergraduates, including a substantial number of the current academic staff. I hope the alumni community continues to prosper.”

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