Professor Rosalind Frances Croucher (formerly Atherton)
Degrees BA(Hons), LLB (USyd), PhD (UNSW), AMusA, FRSA, FACLM (Hon)
Areas of Interest Inheritance Property Equity Legal History
Brief Biographical Detail
Rosalind Croucher joined the Division of Law in December 1999 to take up the position of Professor and Dean of Law. She spent the previous 16 years at the Law Schools of Sydney University and the University of New South Wales, Her first appointment, however, had been at Macquarie Law School in 1982, so it completes the circle to return here as Dean. Ros is an enthusiastic and dedicated teacher and has continued this strength into her energetic assumption of senior administrative roles at the University of Sydney and now at Macquarie.
Ros's standing in the international community of trusts and succession scholars led to her election to the International Academy of Estate and Trust Law in 1993 and as Vice-President (Western Pacific) in 1998. In May 1999 she was appointed Co-ordinating Editor of the Academy's Annual Proceedings. In 1999 she was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts; in 2004 she was made an Honorary Fellow of the Australian College of Legal Medicine, and in 2005 appointed a Foundation Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law.
Apart from her interest in higher education and legal education in particular, Ros is known for her musical abilities - having spent several years in the Renaissance Players and the Opera and Ballet Orchestra. She was a chorister with Sydney Philharmonia since 1994, singing in the Philarmonia Motet Choir from 1999-2004.
Legal Encyclopedia entries
'Succession' entry, Oxford Companion to the High Court of Australia, Oxford University Press, 2002, 651-654.
'Deane' entry (co-authored with 3 others), Oxford Companion to the High Court of Australia, Oxford University Press, 2002, 195-197.
'Wills' in Laws of Australia, 1999, with P Vines, Faculty of Law, UNSW 1-202.
'Intestacy' in Halsbury's Laws of Australia, Succession title, 1998, 734-901-735,245.
'Testate Succession' in Halsbury's Laws of Australia, Succession title, with DP Ehrlich and W Rahman, 1997, 734,021-734,730.
'Family Provision' in Halsbury's Laws of Australia, Succession title, with DP Ehrlich and W Rahman, 1997, 737,901-738,301.
Australian Commentary on Wills, for Halsbury's Laws of England, Butterworths, Sydney, 1993. Co-author P Vines, Faculty of Law, UNSW 144pp.
Section on 'Australia', in Lawrence's International Personal Tax Planning Encyclopaedia, Butterworths London, 1990, pp 3/1-3/140. Co-author John King, Mallesons Stephen Jaques , Sydney. Revised regularly.
'Mutual wills and Dufour v Pereira - contemporary reflections on an old doctrine' - (2005) Melbourne University Law Review 390-411.
'Contracts to leave property by will and family provision after Barns v Barns  HCA 9 - orthodoxy or aberration?' (2005) 27(2) Sydney Law Review 263-288.
Book Symposium - Commentary on Davies and Naffine, Are Persons Property? Legal Debates about Property and Personality, Ashgate 2001 (2003) 28 Australian Journal of Law and Philosophy 206-214.
'Who Owns Your Body?' (2003) 77 Australian Law Journal 178-193.
'The Concept of Moral Duty in the Law of Family Provision - A Gloss or Critical Understanding?' (1999) 5(1) Australian Journal of Legal History, 5-28.
'Claims on the Deceased: The Corpse as Property' (2000) 7 Journal of Law and Medicine 1 - 15.
'The concept of Moral Duty in the Law of Family Provision: A Gloss or Critical Understanding' (1999) 5(1) Australian Journal of Legal History.
'En ventre sa frigidaire: posthumous children in the succession context' (1999) 19(2) Legal Studies: the Journal of the Society of Public Teachers of Law 139-164
'Between a Fridge and a Hard Place: The Case of the Frozen Embryos or Children en ventre sa frigidaire' (1998) 1 Australian Property Law Journal 53-60.
'Donees, Devisees and Torrens Title: The problem of the volunteer under the Real Property Act' (1998) 4(2) Australian Journal of Legal History 1 - 121.
'Dispensing with Wills Formality in Australia: The Problem of the Draft Will in the Tranquil Revolution' (1994) 2 Australian Property Law Journal 68
'The Testator's Family Maintenance and Guardianship of Infants Act 1916 (NSW): Husband's Power v. Widow's Right' (1991) Australian Journal of Law and Society (published 1992) 97-129
'New Zealand's Testators' Family Maintenance Act of 1900 - the Stouts, the Women's Movement and Political Compromise' (1990) 7 Otago Law Review 202-221
'Testamentary Guardianship and the Reference of Powers over Children: A problem in search of a solution, or who gets to look after the kids?' (1989) 3 Australian Journal of Family Law (No 3) 236-250
'Expectation Without Right: Testamentary Freedom and the Position of Women in 19th Century NSW' (1988) 11 University of New South Wales Law Journal (No.1) 133-157
'Artificially Conceived Children and Inheritance in New South Wales' (1986) 59 Australian Law Journal 374-386 8. 'The Family Provision Act 1982 (N.S.W.): A New Deal for the Family' (1984) 58 Australian Law Journal 274-288
Atherton R, Dispensing with Wills Formality in Australia: The Problem of the Draft Will in the Tranquil Revolution. (1994) Australian Journal of Property Law 68-
"The Family Provision Act 1982 (N.S.W.): A New Deal for the Family" (1984) 58 Australian Law Journal 274-288
Case notes - refereed journals
"'Informal wills and revocation - Public Trustee v Milton (1995) 39 NSWLR 330' (1999) Australian Law Journal (315-319)
"The Dispensing Power and missing wills" (1993) 67 Australian Law Journal 859-863
"Official Receiver in Bankruptcy v Schultz - Part II - The succession aspects" (1991) 65 Australian Law Journal, 553-556
"Nominations and testamentary dispositions", Case note on Baird v Baird  2 WLR 1412, (1991) 65 Australian Law Journal 49-54
'Applicants under the Family Provision Act 1982 - A Review of Eligibility', UNSW Continuing Legal Education, Sydney, February 1990. Published by UNSW Continuing Legal Education, Sydney 1990 (36 pages)
'Wills, Probate and Administration (Amendment) Act 1989 - New Rules as to Wills Formalities in New South Wales' College of Law Continuing Legal Education Programme in Sydney (three times) and in conjunction with Regional Law Societies in Wollongong, Surfers Paradise, Port Macquarie, Merimbula, Camden & Albury November, 1989 and February 1990. Published by the College of Law, Sydney 1989 (89/72.4, 89/73.2, 89/52, 89/74.3, 90/2.1) (37 pages)
'Will Drafting for the Family Lawyer', College of Law Continuing Legal Education Programme in conjunction with Regional Law Societies, Canberra, Wollongong, Newcastle and Bateman's Bay, June-July 1989. Published by the College of Law, Sydney 1989 (89/77.3) (45 pages); and in a revised form, 'Will Drafting in Complex Family Situations' (89/69.2) (46 pages)
'The Groundrules of Testamentary Trusts Revisited', UNSW Faculty of Law, Taxation, Business and Investment Law Research Centre, Sydney, June 1989. Published in Death and Taxes: Changes to Wills, Taxation, Capital Gains, UNSW Faculty of Law CLE, Sydney 1989, chapter no. 3 (29 pages) and, in a revised form in 1991
'Changes in Wills Formalities: Wills, Probate and Administration (Amendment) Act 1989', UNSW Faculty of Law, Taxation, Business and Investment Law Research Centre, Sydney, June 1989. Published in Death and Taxes: Changes to Wills, Taxation, Capital Gains, UNSW Faculty of Law CLE, Sydney 1989, chapter no. 1 (21 pages)
'The Extended Family and Family Provision - The Problem of Multiple Marriages', College of Law Continuing Legal Education Program, Sydney, March, 1989, published in Will Drafting for the Family Lawyer, CLE Dept, College of Law, Sydney, March, 1989, (pp. 41-66), pp 66
'Will Drafting and Complex Family Situations', College of Law Continuing Legal Education Program, Sydney, August 1988, published in A Refresher Course in Will Drafting, Centre for Legal Information and Publications, Sydney 1988 (No.88/31) (21 pages)
'Wills, Intestacy and Family Provision: A Review of Developments and Current Practice' Far North Coast Law Society Continuing Legal Education, 1st November, 1986, Coolangatta, Qld. Centre for Legal Information and Publications, Sydney, 1986 (No. 86/64) (80 pages)
'Aspects of Succession: the Revolution in Status' College of Law Continuing Legal Education Program, College of Law, September 1985; and Wollongong, November 1985. Centre for Legal Information and Publications, Sydney, 1985 (No.'s 85/43 and 85/45) (51 pages)
'Family' and `Property': A History of Testamentary Freedom in New South Wales with particular reference to Widows and Children'. 594 pages (including appendixes). Faculty of Law University of New South Wales, 1994.
The thesis exploded the assumptions behind certain pivotal aspects of succession law: in particular the view that Family Provision legislation was a significant achievement in curtailing testamentary freedom, especially as it affected widows; and assumptions of dependence and moral obligation upon which such legislation is based.
The thesis was based upon detailed historical research of previously unexplored primary source material and a critical examination of extant case law (reported and unreported). It provided an original and innovative contribution to the subject.
BA (Hons) - History
'A Biography of Sir Nicholas Throckmorton 1515-1571' B.A.(Hons.) Thesis, Department of History, University of Sydney, 1976 (175 pages).
'Songs for Imberombera', with W Porter-Young and M Atherton, for work commissioned to be composed by Michael Atherton by the Gondwana Voices choir. First performed January 1997.
'Exhortation' Contemporary Singers. First performed July 1996. Review in Opera Australia, Aug-Sept 1996: 'spendidly poetic text'.
'Namatjira' for work Australian Voices Choir 1996, with financial assistance from the Performing Arts Board of the Australia Council. First performed 1996. Recorded on The Listening Land - Australian Choral Music, VOICES CD 1002, 6m 11s.
Professor Rosalind Croucher (Atherton) Select Publications
Books and Book Chapters
Retro - 30 Years of Macquarie Law 1975-2005,with Shedden, Macquarie University, 2005, 1-257.
Law and Religion – God, the State and the Common Law, with Associate Professor Peter Radan and Professor Denise Meyerson, Routledge Publishing, London, UK, 2005, including joint introduction, and co-authored chapter, ‘Religion and Death’, with P Vines.
Families and Estates: A Comparative Study, Kluwer Law International, 2005, including editorial introduction, section introduction and co-authored chapter, ‘The New(er) Family in Australia and New Zealand – Definitions, Rights and Responsibilities’, with F. Dominello.
Succession: families, property and death, 2nd ed, Lexis Nexis Butterworths, 2003 - with P Vines (contributions equal)
Estates, Taxes and Professional Ethics – Papers of the International Academy of Estate and Trust Law 2002, ed. R. Atherton, including editorial introduction and section introduction. Kluwer law International, 2003.
Papers of the International Academy of Estate and Trust Law - 2001 ed R Atherton, including editorial introduction and chapter, ‘Testamentary Freedom: A Motherhood Statement’. Kluwer Law International, 2002.
‘Early Women Barristers in New South Wales – solo journeys – the glory of the pioneer’, in No Mere Mouthpiece: Servants of All, Yet of None. Butterworths, 2002, 69-82
Papers of the International Academy of Estate and Trust Law – 2000 ed R Atherton, including editorial introduction. Kluwer Law International, 2001.
Selected Papers of the International Academy of Estate and Trust Law, 1997-1999, ed. R. Atherton, , including editorial introduction, section introduction and two chapters, ‘Bodies, Death and Incapacity – An Overview of Australian Law’ and ‘Family Provision Legislation in Common Law Jurisdictions’. Kluwer Law International, 2001.
'To Be or Not to Be...This Begs the Question' in the volume of papers for the 9th National Family Law Conference 2000, Television Education Network, 2000.
Family Provision, Victorian Attorney-General's Law Reform Advisory Council, Expert Report 1, Melbourne 1997, 1-179, i-x; also published on their website http://www.law.unimelb.edu.au/aglrac, Sept 1998.
Australian Succession Law Commentary and Materials, Butterworths, 1996, 906pp, i-lxxxv, with P Vines. (Contributions equal)
'Feminists and Legal Change in New South Wales, 1890-1916: Husbands, widows and 'family property'', in Sex, Power and Justice: historical perspectives on Law in Australia, D Kirkby ed, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1996, pp 168-187.
'Attacks on Estates after Grants', in Estate Litigation , M Migotto ed, Blackstone Press, 1994, ch 3, pp 43-75.
'Will Drafting for De Facto and Second Marriage Partners', in De Facto and Second Marriage Partners: Inter Vivos Claims, Wills and Testamentary Disputes, Blackstone Press, Sydney, 1992, pp 2-33
"Will Drafting for De Facto and Second Marriage Partners", pp 2-33 in De Facto and Second Marriage Partners: Inter Vivos Claims, Wills and Testamentary Disputes, Blackstone Press, Sydney, 1992, pp xix + 215.
"A Guide to the Preparation of Wills", in Lawyers' Practice Manual (N.S.W), Law Book Co., Sydney, 1988. Co-author A. Woods, Solicitor (contribution: Atherton 50%, Woods 50%).
WCML 2004 Australian Organising Committee
Congress President A/Prof Roy Beran
Prof Rosalind Atherton
Renaissance woman for renaissance of Macquarie Law School 15 December 1999
Source: Macquarie Public Relations Unit
PROFESSOR Rosalind Atherton has returned to the institution where her academic career began in 1982, joining Macquarie University as the new Head of Division of Law. Atherton comes to Macquarie from the University of Sydney where she spent more than nine years in the Faculty of Law. After two years in private practice, her first academic appointment was at Macquarie University, from 1982-83. She then spent seven years at the University of New South Wales before joining Sydney University in 1990. Atherton was enticed to return to Macquarie by the chance to be part of the reshaping of the Macquarie Law School and, she says, to be part of a university that is really starting to come of age. Atherton's professional and research interests include legal history, inheritance and property law. She is also interested in biotechnology issues including the status and legal rights of frozen embryos and the socio-legal issues concerning claims on bodies. In her new position as Head of Division, Atherton hopes to build the research strengths of the School, and develop a real sense of identity for Macquarie law students - from high school through to a strong alumni culture. She also hopes to develop strong links with the legal profession. Atherton is also well known for her musical talents. She is a member of the Sydney Philharmonic Motet Choir and spent several years in the Renaissance Players and the Sydney Opera and Ballet Orchestra. She arranged a Law School Choir at the University of Sydney and sang recently in the NSW Bar Association Choir. Atherton is a Governor of Ascham School, Councillor at St Andrews College at the University of Sydney (the first lay woman to be appointed), a board member of Sydney Philharmonia and Vice-President of the International Academy of Estate and Trust Law.