Centre on the Legal Profession

The Centre on the Legal Profession (COLP) aspires to build a bridge between the legal profession and the school.

Encompassing research and internationalisation, COLP’s vision encompasses fostering research, collaboration and networking both within Australia and internationally.


The Centre conducts research on matters of relevance to the legal profession. Of particular interest is the ongoing disruption in the market for legal services – triggered by globalization and automation. Center staff work on how the disruption is changing the work of lawyers and law firms, challenges to values such as the independence of the profession and access to justice, and the optimal forms of regulation capable of promoting innovation.

Conferences & Seminars

Learning from recent terrorist attacks

The Centre on the Legal Profession hosted a successful conference, 'Learning from Recent Terrorist Attacks' on December 5th 2017.

Deakin Law School's Centre on the Legal Profession brought together domestic and international experts to discuss the ways in which Australia has responded to terrorism and lessons to be learned from comparisons with responses to attacks in other countries.

'Learning from Recent Terrorist Attacks' also examined institutional and legal reforms that may be necessary to enhance our ability to prevent and respond to future attacks.

Diversity in law

On December 1st 2017, the Centre on the Legal Profession hosted a conference on 'Diversity in Law.'

The Deakin Diversity in Law Conference shone light on the glaring lack of diversity - gender, ethnic, sexual orientation, etc - in the legal profession and related areas.

2017 Conference – Disruptive Innovation in Law

The Centre on the Legal Profession hosted a successful ‘Disruptive Innovation in Law’ conference on Wednesday 24 May 2017.


Upcoming events

Maritime Order in the Indian Ocean

Deakin Law School's Centre on the Legal Profession will host a conference and workshop examining Maritime Order in the Indian Ocean from 30 April – 1 May 2018 at Deakin Downtown. In this conference, the Centre on the Legal Profession will gather leading academics and stakeholders in industry and government from countries around the world to examine topics that are key to ensuring that those who wish to live by the Indian Ocean, want to trade across it or access its natural resources can continue to do so now and into the future.

Past events

The Centre hosted a conference on Developing a Code of Conduct to Supplement UNCLOS in Sri Lanka in 2017 with regional leaders from the Asia-Pacific.

Executive Training for Officials of the Attorney General's Department – Sri Lanka

August 2017: The Centre on the Legal Profession provided a highly successful executive education program for the Officers of the Attorney General's department in Sri Lanka from 14-18 August, 2017 at our Melbourne Burwood Campus and Deakin Downtown.

Centre Forums

October 2016: The Honourable Mrs Justice Andrews of the Queen's Bench, High Court of England and Wales on ‘Brexit and its Legal Consequences’.

July 2016: Her Honour, Associate Justice Ierodiaconou on Health and Wellbeing in the Law. (with existing link to newsroom)

April 2016: The Honourable Michael Kirby provided our staff and students with valuable insight into what it's like to be a High Court Judge in Australia.

Continuing Professional Education

May 2017: The Centre hosted a two-day workshop on ‘Transitioning from Law School to Law Practice’ with Arnold Bloch Leibler. This two day workshop was designed to give law students an introduction to and overview of working in a commercial legal practice.

August 2016, the Centre hosted a second visit from an 11-member delegation from the Sri Lankan judiciary, who took part in a Professional Development program.

October 2016: the Centre hosted a visit from a delegation from the Sri Lankan Chamber of Commerce and provided legal Training for Sri Lankan business executives.

April 2016: 11 members of the Sri Lankan judiciary, including five Supreme Court judges and six judges from the Sri Lankan Court of Appeal were welcomed to Deakin Law School (DLS) for professional development.

Law orations

Delivering the 2017 Deakin Law Oration, Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister the Honourable Dr Ranil Wickremesinghe called for renewed regional attention to ensure free and safe navigation in the Indian Ocean. This was the first official visit to Australia by a Sri Lankan Prime Minister in 60 years.

Read more about the 2017 Deakin Law Oration in the Deakin Law Newsroom (includes video)

International impact

The Centre on the Legal Profession aims to be a global force in legal education, with both a domestic and international footprint.

In mid-2016 we hosted an 11-member delegation from the Sri Lankan judiciary. This included professional development for five Supreme Court judges and six judges from the Sri Lankan Court of Appeal. 

On 7 October 2016 a delegation from the Sri Lankan Chamber of Commerce visited Deakin. This was part of our ongoing mission to impart legal education to global executives and professionals in the industry through executive education. An agreement was formed to send business executives and entrepreneurs from Sri Lanka to participate in Deakin's Short Executive Education Programs in the areas of Business Conduct, Business Law and Legal Frame Work, Import/Export Laws and Barriers and Trade and Intellectual Property. 

On 19 December 2016 our Executive Director, Athula Pathinayake, met with Sri Lanka's Prime Minister, the Honourable Ranil Wickremesinghe, to present a special letter from the Vice-Chancellor.

The centre plans to expand our local and international partnerships to other countries, such as Malaysia. In 2017, the Centre signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the private Centre for Australian Training and Education (CATE).

 Athula and Sri Lankan PM

Our staff

Director, COLP
Professor Sandeep Gopalan

Executive Director, COLP
Athula Pathinayake

Executive Director, COLP
Dr Claudio Bozzi

Staff list

Staff names

The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG

Paul Sokolowski

Program Manager
Sriram Srinivas

Research Fellow
Janette Nankivell

Shiri Krebs

Susan Lamb

Amir Pichhadze


The Centre on the Legal Profession has two directors:

Athula Pathinayake

  • Over 30 years in the legal profession
  • Specialising in criminal and civil cases
  • Holds qualifications in law, management and education
  • Current research focused on Sentencing

Claudio Bozzi

  • 12 years a barrister
  • Practice in commercial, technology and maritime law
  • Advisor to major private clients and government
  • Principal current research and engagement interests in New Economy, Innovation, Frontier Technologies, procedural law and training law students to be effective lawyers

Contact us

Centre on the Legal Profession
Email COLP