Judge Paul Howard (pictured) of the Federal Circuit Court (FCC) of Australia has been named as a professional scholar for the Australian-American Fulbright exchange program.
He was recognised in Canberra last week, among several other outstanding Australians, who will head to the United States under the program. He is the only professional Fulbright scholar for 2017 in the legal discipline.
Three postgraduate law students are also recipients of the prestigious 2017 scholarship. Queenslanders Marryum Kahloon and Michelle Rourke are headed to Columbia University and Georgetown University respectively, while Sydney’s Alison Whittaker is destined for Harvard.
The prestigious Australian-American Fulbright scholarship is an annual award that recognises leaders and emerging academics across a number of disciplines.
The program combines a cultural exchange with long-term collaborative partnerships and academic research.
According to the Australian-American Fulbright Commission, the holistic program combines academic excellence, cultural exchange, social engagement, long-term collaborative partnerships, and the unique opportunity for scholars to add a global perspective to their research.
Judge Howard, who sits in the FCC’s Queensland registry, will be based in Washington DC where he will examine court funding processes in America’s federal jurisdiction.
The aim of his professional exchange trip will be to develop a proposal for the federal judicial landscape in Australia. The judge plans to study the interaction between the federal judiciary and the US Congress to this end, working from both the Federal Judicial Center and Harvard University.
He said the access to justice research would benefit both capital cities, as well as rural and regional Australia.
“The Federal Circuit Court has implemented a judicial docket system and case management practices which assist in the timely disposition of the court’s workload. The Court has always been at the cutting edge of case management in Australia and my research will focus on new and innovative ways for the court to efficiently finalise cases,” Judge Howard said.
For more than a decade the judge represented Australia in international legal forums through his involvement with Lawasia. At present he serves on the Lawasia Judicial Section’s Co-ordinating Committee and is also president of the Law Alumni QUT Chapter.