Welcome to the April edition of the AUSPUBLAW Australian Public Law Events Roundup for 2016. A big thank you to Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law Brigid McManus for helping to compile this roundup.

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.

We’d also remind you once again that nominations for the Saunders Prize for an exceptional article or note on constitutional law in the last year, are currently open until 30 April 2016. Further information can be found at http://www.aacl.asn.au/announcement-saunders-prize-excellence-scholarship-constitutional-law-and-call-nominations

Gabrielle Appleby

AUSPUBLAW Blog Coordinator


7 April 2016 JSI Seminar Series: The Evolution and Transformation of Judicial Review Regimes

Professor Theunis Rous (UNSW Law)

6-8pm, Julius Stone Institute, University of Sydney

Judicial review regimes self-evidently evolve and change character over time. The Lochner era in the United States, for example, is associated with a shift from a regime in which law claimed authority on the basis of its separateness from politics, to its exact opposite – a regime in which a politicised Supreme Court pursued a substantive vision of social justice and sought authority for its decisions in the moral attractiveness of that vision and its capacity to win public support. But what drives these changes, and is it possible to expand the Lochner example into a more general theory of the evolution and transformation of judicial review regimes? This paper, the theoretical chapter from a forthcoming study of the Politico-Legal Dynamics of Judicial Review, addresses itself to these questions. Taking the Lochner example as paradigmatic, the paper argues that judicial review regimes evolve on the back of competing claims to legal and political authority in respect of major policy choices. It then presents a typology of four judicial review regimes based on a stylised account of the main types of legal and political authority claim. The remainder of the study uses these four ideal types as an heuristic to investigate the way in which actually existing judicial review regimes stabilise around particular forms of law/politics interaction and the factors that occasionally drive (or fail to drive) a transition to new forms. The practical dimension of the study concerns its implications for the way constitutional democrats (judges, other legal professionals and civil society activists and social movements) engage judicial review regimes.

For more 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 law(constitutional law, Indigenous constitutional issues, governance, administrative law).

For further information, including the program and registrations, the visit the website.


21 April: Seminar: ‘The Bill of Rights in Modern Law with special reference to Tasmania’

David Clark (Flinders University)

1:00pm – 2:00pm, Faculty of Law Staff Room, University of Tasmania

David Clark is a graduate of the Otago and Oxford Universities and is a Professor of Law at Flinders University in Adelaide. He first published on Magna Carta in the Melbourne University Law Review in 2000, and subsequently with the American Bar Association in 2014 in the book Magna Carta and the Rule of Law, and in a paper on Magna Carta and Court delay in the Pacific in Robert Hazell & James Melton (eds) Magna Carta and Its Modern Legacy (Cambridge University Press, UK, 2015). He wrote a paper on Magna Carta in New Zealand, which will appear in the Canterbury Law Review in 2016. He has delivered lectures on the Charter at the State Library of New South Wales in June this year, at the Law Society of South Australia in the same month. He has published on the history of constitutional landmarks such as Habeas Corpus and the Bill of Rights 1689. He is interested in survivals and how earlier legal instruments come to be re-interpreted and applied in modern circumstances.

For more information, see: http://www.utas.edu.au/law/upcoming-events/events/the-bill-of-rights-in-modern-law-with-special-reference-to-tasmania


27 April 2016: Seminar: Rationality and Reasonableness

5:30-7pm, Australian Association of Law, IMAS Building, Hobart

The Honourable Robert French AC

See the flyer for further details.


22 May 2016: An Evening with Edward Snowden

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

Presented by Think Inc and the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law

After serving as a high-level technology and cybersecurity specialist across US government agencies, Snowden became a hero to all who value governmental transparency as he revealed to the world that the National Security Agency (NSA) was seizing private records from billions of everyday civilians. He has also been branded a traitor by his own government and its allies. The result of his risks and the alarming discoveries that came with them led to the most significant US surveillance policy in almost three decades, making him a public enemy and forcing him to seek political asylum in Russia. Appearing live via video link, the controversial conqueror of social justice will enlighten audiences on how he did what he did, and most importantly, why he did it. Brought to you by Think Inc. – the team behind the Australian tours of Dr Neil deGrasse Tyson, Sam Harris, Maajid Nawaz, Dr Michio Kaku, Dr Cornel West, and The ‘Amazing’ James Randi – An Evening with Edward Snowden provides a rare opportunity to grant an audience with one of the most revered freethinkers of the 21st century.

To buy tickets, Click here


31 May-1 June 2016 National Conference on Migration, Media and Integration/Social Cohesion


This conference brings together researchers, policy makers, service providers, media producers, community leaders and stakeholders from key government and non-governmental organisations from all over Australia to collectively contribute towards improving policy, research and practice in issues of Migration, Media and Social cohesion.

More information is available on the website.


14–15 July 2016: Postgraduate Workshop in Public Law

Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law, University of New South Wales

The Workshop is an opportunity for higher degree research students in the field of public law to gain experience in presenting their work to their peers and the wider academic public law community in a critically constructive yet supportive environment. Students currently enrolled postgraduate research courses (Masters, PhD and SJD students) in the field of public law are invited to submit abstracts. The Workshop welcomes abstracts that bring a constitutional or administrative law focus to a range of contemporary issues such as human rights protection, native title and Indigenous land rights, national security, federalism, refugees and migration law, executive power, electoral law, and the judiciary.

For more information, see: http://www.gtcentre.unsw.edu.au/events/2016-postgraduate-workshop-public-law


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. Further information about the conference can be found on the website.


26–28 September, Australian Political Studies Association Conference 2016, ‘The Politics of Justice and Rights: challenges and future directions’

University of New South Wales

Scholars working in international relations, political science, political philosophy, public policy, law, social policy, public management, criminology, sociology, philosophy, history or related disciplines are invited to submit papers. Jennifer L Hochschild, Professor of Government at Harvard University & American Political Science Association President 2015-2016, has been confirmed as the International Keynote Speaker.

Call for Papers deadline extended: 30 April 2016.

For more information, see: http://www.auspsa.org.au/page/apsa-2016-conference


18–27 October 2016, ‘Open State’

 Adelaide, South Australia

Open State is a 10-day program of events exploring how open and transparent decision-making and engagement can address the complex challenges of the future. It involves a number of conferences as well as talks and forums.

For more information on events and speakers see: https://openstate.com.au


Save the Date: 18 November 2016 Kaldor Centre Annual Conference

9 am – 5pm University of New South Wales