Welcome to the November 2015 edition of the AUSPUBLAW Australian Public Law Events Roundup. The Events Roundup is divided into two sections. The first provides information on public law events happening in the next two months. The second provides a list of more distant events. Make sure to check out some of the great calls for papers for workshops and conferences coming up in 2016.

Remember, if you have a conference or significant public lecture that you would like included in this roundup, please contact us at auspublaw@unsw.edu.au.

Gabrielle Appleby

AUSPUBLAW Blog Coordinator


Public Law Events: November-December 2015

6 November 2015: Gough Whitlam and the Social Democratic Imagination: the challenge for contemporary public policy

The Whitlam Institute

On the eve of the 40th anniversary of the Dismissal and a little more than one year after Gough’s death, join some of our country’s most celebrated thinkers and writers for a very special day at the Whitlam Institute as we allow ourselves to imagine a contemporary Australia in the light of Gough’s social democratic vision.

Further information can be found on the website.

13-14 November 2015: Ties that bind – the family in migration law and policy 

ANU Migration Law Program

Nations around the world have benefited from waves of migration that have shaped the central and integral nature of each nation’s growth and identity. Each wave is built on decisions, emotions and stories of families: families separated by migration; formed by migration; destroyed or built by migration and individuals joining new families.  Hosted by the ANU Migration Law Program, our third interdisciplinary conference on Migration Law and Policy will explore the impact that migration has on the family.

Further information can be found on the website.

18 November 2015: Public Lecture: The High Court of Australia and the First World War

Constitutional Centre of Western Australia and Australian Association of Constitutional Law (WA)

Professor John Williams (University of Adelaide) presents The High Court of Australia and the First World War. The First World War was a defining moment in the history of Australia and also in the lives of those who were affected, both at home and at the front.  The High Court of Australia adjudicated on many critical moments in the prosecution of the war.  Individual judges, like other parents, dealt with the tradegy and loss of that terrible conflict.

Further information can be found on the website.

20 November 2015, Kaldor Centre Annual Conference

Andrew and Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, UNSW

Theme: Protection Elsewhere, But Where? National, Regional and Global Perspectives on Refugee Law

The keynote speaker will be Erika Feller, former Assistant High Commissioner for Protection at UNHCR and currently a Vice Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Melbourne.

For further information visit the website. 

24 November 2015: Native Title and Indigenous Empowerment

Gilbert + Tobin Lawyers and Indigenous Law Centre, UNSW

Gilbert + Tobin Lawyers, Level 37, 2 Park St, Sydney from 5.30pm

Registrations are free and now open for ‘Native Title and Indigenous Empowerment’, a panel discussion and book event featuring Jason Behrendt, one of Australia’s leading native title and land rights lawyers, and Dr Valerie Cooms, a full-time member of the National Native Title Tribunal. They will be joined on the panel by Sean Brennan, Megan Davis, Brendan Edgeworth and Leon Terrill, the editors of a new book published by Federation Press called Native Title From Mabo to Akiba: A Vehicle for Change and Empowerment?.

For further information visit the website.

10 December 2015: Final Courts Roundup

Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law, UNSW and Australian Association of Constitutional Law (NSW Chapter)

This annual seminar provides an outline of recent constitutional developments in several overseas jurisdictions that are of key interest to Australian constitutional lawyers. This year’s panellists are Dr Jason Varuhas (UNSW): UK and New Zealand; and Professor Jacob Gersen (Harvard University): USA.

10-12 December 2015, Law and History Conference: Legal Reform and Innovation

University of Adelaide

More than 70 conference presentations will cover a wide range of times and places, from colonial and twentieth-century Australia and New Zealand to seventeenth-century Quebec, eighteenth-century Scotland and nineteenth-century America. Their topics include juvenile justice and childrens’ courts, the Treaty of Waitangi, financial crime, native police and military lawyers, women poisoners and environmental regulation. A day-long symposium on ‘Blackstone and his Critics’, and an exhibition which comes to Adelaide from the Yale Law School Library and the Middle Temple Library, London, will mark the 250th anniversary of the first publication of William Blackstone’s celebrated Commentaries on the Laws of England.  

For further information visit the website.

Future Public Law Events

11 February 2016: Public Law in the Classroom Workshop

Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law, UNSW Law, and the Public Law and Policy Research Unit, University of Adelaide

This annual event about public law teaching practice and research will feature a keynote and panel discussion on The Politics of Teaching Public Law, a session on tools and techniques in the public law classroom and a final session on Critical Thinking Through Theory and Re-reading. For further information, please see the flyer or visit the website.

12 February 2016: 2016 Constitutional Law Conference and Dinner

Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law, UNSW Law

Annual conference on constitutional law looking at decisions of the High Court, Federal and State courts, to be held at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. The Conference Dinner that evening will be held at NSW Parliament house, and the dinner speaker will be Mr Justin Gleeson SC, Solicitor-General for the Commonwealth.

For further information, visit the website.

14-15 April 2016: The National Law Reform Conference

Australian National University

The National Law Reform Conference will be a forum for research about future directions in six key areas of law in society, including public (constitutional law, Indigenous constitutional issues, governance, administrative law).

For further information, visit the website.

Call for papers: 2-3 May 2016: IACL Melbourne roundtable – The Invisible Constitution in Comparative Perspective

Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies (Melbourne Law School) and Comparative Constitutional Law Project (Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law, UNSW)

The aim of the roundtable is to invite reflection by scholars on the relationship between the textually explicit nature, or  “written-ness”, of constitutional guarantees and courts’ approach to constitutional review in different constitutional contexts.   The workshop will include papers focused on particular country case-studies, but also aim to generate hypotheses about the relationship between courts’ willingness to rely on written, versus, unwritten bases for constitutional decision-making, and factors such as (a) the age of a written constitution; (b) the difficulty of formal amendment under a constitution; (c) the substantive scope of a constitution, or relevant categories of constitutional guarantee; and (d) the general abstraction or prolixity of constitutional language in a particular constitution.

For further information, visit the website.

19-20 May 2016: Symposium on Quasi-constitutionality and Constitutional Statutes

New Zealand Centre for Public Law at Victoria University of Wellington, the International Society of Public Law (ICON·S) and Boston College Law School

It is now uncontroversial to state that, even in countries with a master-text constitution, what counts as fundamental law cannot be reduced to a single canonical document. Constitutional conventions, international obligations, and constitutional jurisprudence are frequently, and indeed correctly, considered part of a country’s constitution. Increasingly, judges and scholars alike attribute to “ordinary” laws what may be identified as a quasi-constitutional status. Reference is commonly made to superstatutes, to statutes with constitutional significance, and even to “constitutional” statutes. This symposium will convene scholars engaged in the comparative study of quasi-constitutionality. Subjects of inquiry may include quasi-entrenchment, quasi-constitutional rights, transitions to and from quasi-constitutional status or any issue examining the conceptual space between ordinary law and formal constitutionality.

For further information, visit the website.

12-14 September 2016: Cambridge Public Law Conference

University of Cambridge Centre for Public Law

Theme: ‘The Unity of Public Law?’

From 12 to 14 September 2016, the Centre for Public Law at the University of Cambridge will hold the second in a series of biennial international Public Law Conferences. Under the theme “The Unity of Public Law?” the conference will examine — through comparative, doctrinal, institutional and theoretical lenses — whether Public Law can or ought to be conceived of as a unified discipline. Keynote speakers include The Rt Hon Lord Reed (Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom), The Hon Robert French (Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia) and The Rt Hon Dame Sian Elias (Chief Justice of New Zealand). Registration for the conference is now open and a call for papers has been issued. Further information about the conference can be found on the website.