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

In addition to our public law events roundup, we would like to draw your attention to three student essay competitions that, if you are teaching in public law this semester, you might like to draw your students’ attention to them:

  • The National Sir Samuel Griffith Prize. Entries close 21 June 2016. The question for this year’s prize is: “Is originalism a useful approach to constitutional interpretation in Australia in 2016?” Further information is available here.
  • The Governor-General’s Prize, run by the Constitution Education Fund Australia. This year, the topic is ‘The Constitution in Times of War’. Entries close 30 June 2016. Further information can be accessed here.
  • The Sir Anthony Mason Constitutional Law Essay Prize, run by the Public Law and Government Committee, Law Society of NSW. Entries close 13 August 2016. Further information here or contact: publiclaw.chair@younglawyers.com.au.

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


13 June 2016 – Supreme Court of Queensland Oration: The Hon Dikgang Moseneke, Deputy Chief Justice, Republic of South Africa

5:15pm for 5:30pm, Supreme Court of Queensland

As an anti-apartheid activist, the principle of ‘one person one vote’ was central to Dikgang Moseneke’s democratic demands. Now in his role as Deputy Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa, Moseneke seeks to find equilibrium between the democratic will of the people and the supremacy of the Constitution. While critics of the Constitution question its legitimacy, Moseneke holds that constitutional supremacy protects against abuses of public power and creates a government that is more consistent, just and responsive. Reflecting on recent events in South Africa and internationally, Deputy Chief Justice Moseneke examines the balance between the democratic process and robust constitutionalism.

The Hon Dikgang Moseneke, Deputy Chief Justice, Republic of South Africa will also present lectures in Sydney and Melbourne (see below).

More information available on the website.

RSVP to events@sclqld.org.au or 07 3006 5130.


15 June 2016: Public Lecture by Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke

6pm – 7.30pm Federal Court No 1, Level 21, Queen’s Square Sydney

Presented by the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law and UNSW Law

Please see above for the topic of this public lecture.

RSVP by Wednesday 8 June at: http://moseneke.eventbrite.com.au.


22 June: ‘Australian Refugee Policy and Offshore Detention

5.30 pm – 7.00 pm, Adelaide Law School

Madeline Gleeson – lawyer and author of a new book Offshore: Behind the wire on Manus and Nauru will talk about what has happened on Manus and Nauru since Australia began its most recent offshore processing regime in 2012; She will explain why offshore processing was re-established, what life is like for asylum seekers and refugees, what asylum seekers, refugees and staff in the offshore detention centres have to say about what goes on there, and why the truth has been so hard to find.

For the event flyer, see: http://blogs.adelaide.edu.au/public-law-rc/files/2016/05/Refugee-Week-2016-Flyer.pdf


29 June: ‘The Federal Election away from the Politics – The Legal Issues’

6.00 pm – 7.15 pm, Constitutional Centre, Perth

This twilight seminar will explore some of the legal issues presented by the forthcoming Federal election including relevant statutory changes and the High Court matters of Day and Murphy.

 For more information and to register, see: http://www.pleawa.org.au/teacher-professional-learning/federal-election-away-from-the-politics/


21–22 July: 2016 AIAL NATIONAL ADMINISTRATIVE LAW CONFERENCE, ‘Administrative Law – Making a Difference: Improving public administration and providing administrative justice

Royal International Convention Centre, The Brisbane Showgrounds, Brisbane, Queensland  

The conference theme invites challenges to the assumption that administrative law actually makes a difference – for agencies, for individuals, and for the wider community. It raises a wide variety of matters for consideration, including: what we know about administrative law’s normative and practical impact, and our evidence base; whether administrative law actually provides accessible mechanisms for justice and improves the quality of decision-making; and whether some administrative law mechanisms are more effective than others. The conference will be relevant to government decision-makers; those affected by decisions, and their advisers; members of review bodies; tribunals and courts; policy developers; public lawyers; academics; indeed everyone with an interest in administrative decision-making in Australia.

Details for the Conference can be found at: http://www.aial.org.au

For further information please contact: aial@commercemgt.com.au


22 July 2016 Castan Centre Conference

A fantastic line-up of speakers has now been announced for the annual Castan Centre Conference – Australia’s only annual human rights conference.

More information is available on the conference website.


2 August 2016: Sir Ronald Wilson Lecture The High Court: Legal Answers to Contemporary Political, Social and Administrative Issues’: Greg McIntyre SC

5.30 pm – 7.00 pm, Murdoch University, Perth

For more information and to register, see: https://www.lawsocietywa.asn.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/2016-Sir-Ronald_Wilson-Lecture.pdf


5–6 September 2016: National Indigenous Legal Conference: Indigenous Recognition: Many Laws, the Many Facets of Law Reform

The theme of this year’s conference looks to address:

  • Representation of the Indigenous people in the law reform
  • Constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People
  • Law reform and Indigenous People
  • Twenty-five years on: the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody
  • Initiatives to increase participation rates of Indigenous students in law school, the legal profession and in research

More information about both the conference and the call for papers is available on the website.


12-14 September 2016: Cambridge Public Law Conference

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

University of Cambridge Centre for Public Law


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.

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: 27 October 2016: Sawer Lecture, to be delivered by the Honourable Annabelle Bennett AO.



Save the Date: 28 October 2016 Public Law Weekend



Save the Date: 18 November 2016 Kaldor Centre Annual Conference

9 am – 5pm University of New South Wales


Save the Date: 2 December 2016 Conference in Honour of Professor Michael Coper



Save the Dave: 11 December 2016 Final Courts Roundup

Hosted by The Comparative Law Project, Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law and the Australian Association of Constitutional Law (NSW Branch)


Save the Date: 16 February 2017 Public Law in the Classroom 2017

The annual public law teaching workshop hosted by the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law and the Public Law and Policy Research Unit, University of Adelaide.