Welcome to the July edition of the AUSPUBLAW Australian Public Law Events Roundup.

In addition to our public law events roundup, we would like to draw your attention to two essay competitions that are currently running:

  • The Sir Anthony Mason Constitutional Law Essay Prize (for law students only) run by the Public Law and Government Committee, Law Society of NSW. Entries close 13 August 2016. Further information here or contact: chair@younglawyers.com.au.
  • The Baxter Family Competition on Federalism, run by the McGill University’s Faculty of Law and the Peter MacKell Chair in Federalism. This competition is open to law students, as well as law PhD candidates, junior legal scholars and junior lawyers from around the world. Participants are invited to submit an original essay related to an aspect of federal theory or practice by September 30, 2016. Submissions that examine the past, present and future of Canadian federalism from comparative angles are particularly encouraged. Further information here.

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


21-22 July 2016: AIAL National Administrative Law Conference
Administrative Law – Making a Difference – Improving public administration and providing administrative justice

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

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 The Annual Castan Centre for Human Rights Law 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.


22-24 July 2016: Australian Society of Legal Philosophy Conference

Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne.

Keynote speakers on Friday and Saturday will include world-renowned legal theorists Robin West (Georgetown) and Frederick Schauer (Virginia). The annual book symposium, held on Sunday morning, will be devoted to Matthew Harding’s Charity Law and the Liberal State (Cambridge, 2014)

More information available here.


2 August 2016: Sir Ronald Wilson Lecture

The High Court: Legal Answers to Contemporary Political, Social and Administrative Issues

5.30 pm – 7.00 pm

Murdoch University, Perth

Delivered by Greg McIntyre SC

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


11 August 2016 : The Lucinda Lecture:

“The People and the Constitution” by the Hon Justice Patrick Keane AC, High Court of Australia

1-2pm, Monash University

The concept of “the People” holds an important place in the history of ideas.  It features prominently in the United States Constitution but, in some important respects, has not influenced the constitutional jurisprudence of the United States, whereas in the Australian Constitution its exiguous presence has proved to be a fertile source of judge made law.  The lecture considers these phenomena and offers an explanation for the difference between the American and Australian approaches.

RSVP: BOOKED OUT – any queries contact:  law-marketing@monash.edu


24 August 2016: UNSW Law Book Launch and Forum

Greg Weeks: Soft Law and Public Authorities: Remedies and Reform

5.00 pm – 7.00 pm

UNSW Law and Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law

This Book Forum will start with a brief launch of two books by Keith Mason AC QC Hon LLD. The first of these books is Soft Law, the book under discussion at the Forum, and the second is Legitimate Expectations in the Common Law World (Hart Publishing), edited by Matthew Groves and Greg Weeks. The forum will be chaired by Mark Aronson and Greg Weeks will respond to readers Linda Pearson, Robin Creyke and Matthew Groves.

More information and registration available here.


24 August 2016: Sydney Law School Distinguished Speaker Program: Professor Philippe Sands QC

East West Street: A personal history of the origins of genocide and crimes against humanity

6-7pm Sydney Law School and Sydney Ideas

Drawing from his acclaimed new book – part historical detective story, part family history, part legal thriller – Philippe Sands explains the connections between his work on ‘crimes against humanity’ and ‘genocide’, the events that overwhelmed his family during the Second World War, and the remarkable, untold story that lay at the heart of the Nuremberg Trial: how Rafael Lemkin and Hersch Lauterpacht – the two prosecutors who brought ‘genocide’ and ‘crimes against humanity’ into the Nuremberg trial and international law – discovered that the man they were prosecuting – Hans Frank, Hitler’s personal lawyer and Governor General of occupied Poland – had murdered their own families.

His new book East West Street: On the Origins of Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide (Alfred Knopf/Weidenfeld & Nicolson) will be available for purchase and signing after his presentation.

Registration will commence at 5.30pm, for a 6-7pm lecture followed by a cocktail reception.

More information available here.


25 August 2016: Current Legal Issues Seminar – International Migration Law and Forced Migration

Professor Jane McAdam

5-6:45pm, Banco Court, Supreme Court of Queensland

More information available here.


 31 August 2016: Can Human Rights and Mandated Medical Treatment Co-exist?

6-7:30pm Monash University Faculty of Law, ASSA and Castan Centre for Human Rights Law

There are a range of laws and practices in Australia that allow the State to forcibly treat or detain its citizens, many of whom are marginalised and vulnerable. These include:

* Drug courts and mental health lists that can coerce individuals with an addiction or mental illness and who commit non-serious offences into treatment;

* Guardianship laws that enable guardian advocates to make medical, legal and lifestyle decisions for adults with disabilities who lack decision-making capacity;

* Compulsory treatment and involuntary detention orders for people with mental illness or intellectual disabilities who require treatment to prevent harm to themselves or others; and

* Mandatory alcohol rehabilitation for ‘problem drinkers’ who require support to overcome their problematic use of alcohol.

Do these mandated medical interventions deny the human rights of marginalised or vulnerable individuals? Or are these necessary intrusions that seek to restore or respect the rights of people who are impaired by a medical condition?

This public event will examine the complicated issue of how, if at all, human rights considerations such as freedom, respect, equality and dignity could be upheld in situations where the law mandates intrusive and coercive medical treatment.

More information is available here.


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

Delegates at the conference will have the opportunity to hear from over 25 speakers including Chief Justice Robert French and Professor Mick Dodson AM.

More information about both the conference and the call for papers is available on 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. Further information about the conference can be found on the website.


22 September 2016: Seldon Society 2016 Lecture: Mabo v State of Queensland (No 2)

The Hon. Margaret White, AO

Banco Court, Supreme Court of Queensland

Mabo v Queensland (No. 2) is one of the most important judgments ever delivered by the High Court. It concerned an issue arising from events some 200 years earlier, when the Australian continent was first colonised. The issue was whether the effect of colonisation, under the common law, was to vest full ownership of all Australian land in the Crown—or whether the common law recognised land titles rising under pre-existing Indigenous laws and customs.

This challenge was commenced by proceedings instituted in the High Court by Meriam people Eddie Koiki Mabo, Celuia Mapo Salee, Sam Passi, David Passi and James Rice. It took ten years to resolve—including a full trial of the factual issues heard by Moynihan J of the Supreme Court of Queensland. The claimant’s success in this case marked a major turning point in both the law and Indigenous relations in Australia.

The Hon Margaret White AO acted as junior counsel for the Queensland Government for the ten years of litigation. She brings a unique and valuable perspective to this landmark constitutional case.

More information is available here.

RSVP by 15 September to events@sclqld.org.au


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

More information will be posted on the website.


24-25 November 2015: International and Comparative Law Colloquium 2016: Legal Transplants in the 21st Century

USQ School of Law and Justice

The Colloquium aims to address the transplant and development of a human rights culture, and the reception of international and foreign law, in common law systems. The Colloquium is currently seeking submissions for individual or panel abstracts for consideration. Submissions close 1 August 2016.

More information available here.


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.


Save the Date: 16 February 2017 – Winterton Lecture by Professor William Gummow AC

Sydney Law School, Banco Court of the Supreme Court of NSW


Save the Date: 17 February 2017 – 2017 Constitutional Law Conference and Dinner

Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law

Art Gallery of New South Wales and NSW Parliament House