Welcome to the last edition of the AUSPUBLAW Australian Public Law Events Roundup for 2015! But don’t panic, there’s still time to squeeze some more public law into 2015, and it’s also a great time to plan for 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: December 2015-January 2016

2 December 2015: Launch of Making Fair Decisions: A User’s Guide

Law Institute of Victoria

This free event launches the LIV’s new Making Fair Decisions: A User’s Guide followed by a presentation by Professor Matthew Groves about the importance of natural justice principles in private/quasi-private organisations. The Guide will be useful in helping decision makers understand the requirements of procedural fairness, when they apply and how to apply them. It provides practical examples of common issues, such as perceived bias and the right to a fair hearing. It will be available for free on the LIV website after the launch.

More information available on the website.

9 December 2015: Workshop: The Philosophical Foundations of Indigenous Law

Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies

The papers presented at this workshop arises from a new project to be conducted by Kirsty Gover (MLS), Claire Charters (Auckland) and Nicole Roughan (NUS). The field of indigenous law is well populated by scholarship on positive law and on political theory, but legal theorists have been very tentative in their interventions. The “scoping article” presented at this workshop aims to outline the contours and content of the field as it stands, highlight core methodological strands, and to identify promising avenues for further research on the “Philosophical Foundations of Indigenous Law”.

More information available on the website.

9 December 2015: “Oh Come, All Ye Constitutional Faithful”

The South Australian Chapter of the Australian Association of Constitutional Law

“Oh Come, All Ye Constitutional Faithful” is the South Australian Chapter of the Australian Association of Constitutional Law’s annual Christmas seminar. This year featuring attempts by various Australian governments to impose a “carbon tax”; detain 157 Sri Lankans at sea; recognise Indigenous Australians; validate unlawful ICAC investigations; privately sell a bit of land north of Adelaide; incorporate an entity which is not a corporation; create a national law to regulate health practitioners; prevent property developers making political donations. The rule of law, in the form of a five-minute time limit, will be enforced by The Honourable Chief Timekeeper Kourakis.

For more information, contact sarah.mitchell@sa.gov.au

10 December 2015: From Magna Carta to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: 2015 and beyond

International Law, Human Rights and Public Law and Government Committees, NSW Young Lawyers, Law Society of New South Wales, with the support of the Rule of Law Institute of Australia

Special event to commemorate the 800th Anniversary of the Magna Carta and International Human Rights Day. With a panel of eminent academics and professionals, including Professor Martin Krygier, Sarah Pritchard SC and Chris Ward SC, we will discuss the state of the rule of law and its interplay with human rights and freedoms in 2015. A replica of the Magna Carta, which is commissioned to reside in the High Court of Australia from 2016, will also be on display.

See further information in the flyer.

10 December 2015: ‘We’re All Data Now: What Big Data Could Mean for Law & Policy’

Data Associations in Global Law & Policy, UNSW Law

Panellists Sheila Jasanoff (Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies at the Harvard Kennedy School), Annelise Riles (Jack G Clarke Professor of Law in Far East Legal Studies and Professor of Anthropology at Cornell University), and Christian Sandvig (Associate Professor of Information & Communication Studies at the University of Michigan), with Moderator Antony Funnell, ABC Radio National

Free registration online via the eventbrite link here.

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.

SAVE THE DATE: 22 July 2016 Castan Centre Conference

More information will be posted on the website as it becomes available.

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.