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On the Couch
6 July, 2007  
Gillian Triggs

Professor Gillian Triggs is soon to pack-up her London life so that she can take up her new job as dean of law at the University of Sydney. Originally from Melbourne, this noted international lawyer is attracted to Sydney by its vibrant poker-machine and pubs culture. We’ve got her on the couch, where she reveals her fantasies, her favourite stimulant and her fears


imageProfessor Gillian Triggs becomes dean of the faculty of law at the University of Sydney in October. She’s a highly regarded authority on international law and is currently director of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law in London. Previously she was the director of the Institute for Comparative and International Law at the University of Melbourne. Professor Triggs has published widely, including works on WTO dispute resolution, energy and resources law, law of the sea, territorial sovereignty, jurisdiction and immunity, international criminal law, international environmental law and human rights. She has been retained as an international law consultant to Mallesons Stephen Jaques, and has advised governments in the Asia-Pacific region on questions of sovereignty and jurisdiction. She has directed several projects for the Asian Development Bank on legal capacity building in Vietnam, Mongolia and Indonesia. Justinian has been fortunate enough to lure Prof Triggs onto the couch …

Describe yourself in three words
Determined, hard working and vain.

What are you currently reading?
A spot of bother”, by Mark Haddon.

What’s your favourite film?
Jules et Jim.

Who or what do you fantasise about?
A lush, green and beautiful garden.

What stimulants do you recommend?
New shoes.

What is your greatest fear?
Disgrace.

What words or phrases do you overuse?
Don’t worry, I’ll fix it.”

Who would you most like to meet?
Nelson Mandela.

Who do you envy and why?
Envy is a negative emotion and I try to avoid it… But, I envy Ian Brownlie [professor of international law at All Souls] for his brilliant, perceptive and concise analysis.

What is your most disturbing personal obsession?
Tidiness.

What’s your most glamorous feature?
A propensity for taking risks.

If you were a foodstuff, what would you be?
A prickly pear.

What human quality do you most distrust?
Sentimentality.

What would you change about Australia?
Its immigration policy.

Who or what do you consider overrated?
Popular music.

What characteristics of Sydney best reveal its inferiority to Melbourne?
Too much sunshine.

What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
Check my Blackberry.

How would you like to die?
Quickly.

What would your epitaph say?
It’s all in the mind.”