26 September 2023

Legal Officer raises bar for writing prize

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A Senior Legal Officer at the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC), William Isdale (pictured) has been awarded the 2021 Holt Prize for excellence in unpublished legal works.

President of the ALRC, Sarah Derrington congratulated Mr Isdale as the recipient of the award for his manuscript Compensation for Native Title.

Justice Derrington said the Holt Prize was awarded every two years to a first-time author and the judging panel described the manuscript as “a significant piece of work on an important topic and will be an excellent and important book”.

“William’s work is an important contribution to Australian legal scholarship,” Justice Derrington said.

“Its focus on compensation for native title holders is both timely and welcome for the development of the jurisprudence in this important area of law,” she said.

“We are extremely pleased to have the benefit of one of the country’s outstanding legal scholars working with the ALRC.”

Justice Derrington said Mr Isdale was currently finalising his PhD on native title compensation at the University of Queensland.

Mr Isdale said the publication of his manuscript was expected to draw attention to the significance of native title compensation to Indigenous Australians and to the broader society.

“My hope is that my book will play a role in ensuring that compensation for native title is measured and made available on terms that are both consistent with sound legal doctrine, and ensure appropriate recompense for dispossessed native title holders,” he said.

“This is a burgeoning area of law that will play an important part in Australia’s incomplete journey towards reconciliation,” Mr Isdale said.

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