Welcome to the December edition of the AUSPUBLAW Australian Public Law Events Roundup. This will be the last roundup for 2016; the roundup will recommence in February next year.

Before we get to the roundup, we would like to once more draw your attention to the Holt Prize, an excellent opportunity for early career academics. The Prize is awarded every two years to a first-time author of an unpublished legal work of an academic or practical nature. The winner will receive a $12 000 cash price and a publishing contract with The Federation Press. The deadline for submissions is 31 March 2017. For more information, see the Federation Press website.

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


Conference: New Ways Forward

‘Reform and Renewal in Constitutional Interpretation and Legal Education’

A Conference in Honour of Professor Michael Coper

ANU College of Law

Dates: 2 December 2016

Times: 9:00am–7:00pm

Location: University House, ANU

Michael Coper has had a distinguished career as a constitutional lawyer and educationalist, from influencing a dramatic change in the law on section 92 of the Constitution, to conceiving the pioneering Oxford Companion to the High Court of Australia, to urging law schools, nationally and internationally, to embrace a pervasive ethos of law reform, social justice and public service.

In the year of his 70th birthday, the ANU College of Law is celebrating Michael’s career by holding a conference with the general theme of reform and renewal in constitutional interpretation and legal education, using as a launch pad select aspects of Michael’s contributions in these areas. Over 20 eminent speakers will range over new and different ways of thinking about and doing law and legal education, from the vagaries of legal doctrine, to the realities of the judicial process, to the insights we can draw from biography and imagery, to the purposes and values that underpin the role of law schools.

For more information, see the website.

Rights Nights

Rights Nights in partnership with various organisations

Dates: 5-9 December

These are five events being held around Sydney in the lead up to Human Rights Day, which is on Saturday 10 December 2016.  There will be one event each evening throughout the week.  Each event will cover a different aspect of human rights, with a focus on how these issues can be improved.  The events will feature speakers from a wide range of experience, including the public, corporate and not-for-profit sectors, as well as academia.  For more information on Rights Nights, see the website.

The five Rights Night events are:

  • The rights of Indigenous Australians

Date: 5 December

Time: 6.00pm-8.30pm

Location: Australian Hall, Waterloo

This event will feature a panel discussion exploring the rights of Australia’s First People.  The panel will feature Aunty Ann Weldon (Coe), member of the NAIDOC Committee and the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council, Jody Broun, NSW Executive Director, Australian Red Cross, Nathan Moran, CEO, Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council, Mark Yettica-Paulson, Joint Campaign Director, Recognise, Nicole Watson, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Sydney and Sarah Hopkins, Chair of Just Reinvest NSW, Managing Solicitor of Justice Projects, Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT.  The panel will be moderated by Gemma McKinnon, Associate Lecturer and UNSW Law Aboriginal HDR Fellow.  For more information on this event and to register, see the event website.

  • Privacy rights

Date: 6  December

Time: 6.00pm-8.30pm

Location: Colin Biggers & Paisley, Sydney

A panel of privacy experts will consider issues to with privacy rights, technology and public and private sector powers that touch upon these issues.  The panel will feature Dr Elizabeth Coombs, NSW Privacy Commissioner, Peter Leonard, Partner, Gilbert+Tobin Lawyers, Professor Barbara McDonald, Faculty of Law, University of Sydney, Professor Graham Greenleaf, UNSW Law and Olga Ganopolsky, General Counsel, Macquarie Group.  The panel will be moderated by Dan Brush, Colin Biggers Paisley.  For more information about this event, see the website.

  • Women’s health rights

Date: 7 December

Time: 6.00pm-8.30pm

Location: University of New South Wales, Law School Building

Rights Nights is holding this event in collaboration with the Australian Human Rights Centre and the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law.  The panel for this event will feature Dr Christine Forster, UNSW Law, Dr Edith Weisberg, Director of Research, Sydney Centre for Reproductive Health Research, Denele Crozier, CEO Women’s Health NSW, Dr Mehreen Faruqi, MLC, The Greens and Syl Freedman, Co-Founder, EndoActive.  The panel will discuss women’s access to health services in Australia, including the current status of reproductive rights and access to treatment for diseases that primarily affect women.  For more information about this event, see the website.

  • Disability rights

Date: 8 December

Time: 6.00pm-8.30pm

Location: University of Technology, Sydney, Dr Chau Chak Wing Building

This panel discussion will explore the rights of people living with a disability.  The panel will feature Mary Mallet, CEO, Disability Advocacy Network Australia, Alastair McEwin, Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Ngila Bevan, Co-CEO, People with Disability Australia, Mark Patrick, Australian Centre for Disability Law, Michelle Cohen, Public Interest Advocacy Centre, Damian Griffis, CEO, First Peoples Disability Network, Rosemary Kayess, Visting Fellow, UNSW Law and Co-Director of Human Rights and Disability Project at the Australian Human Rights Centre. The panel will be moderated by Darren Fittler, Gilber+Tobin Lawyers.  For more information about this event, see the website.

  • Refugee rights

Date: 9 December

Time: 6.00pm-8.30pm

Location: University of Sydney, Law School Building

This panel discussion is held in collaboration between Rights Nights and Sydney Law School.  The panel will feature Professor Barbara McDonald, Nicole Watson and Professor Mary Crock, and will explore the rights of asylum seekers in Australia, and examine ways in which the Australian legal framework applicable to asylum seekers can be improved.

For more information about this event, see the website.

Final Courts Roundup – Special Discussion on Future Directions for the US Supreme Court after Clinton v Trump

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

Date: 12 December 2016

Time: 5.30-7.00pm

Location: Federal Court of Australia, Courtroom 18B

In an election year departure from the usual format, the Final Courts Roundup will focus on future directions for the US Supreme Court in following the victory of Donald Trump in the 2016 Presidential election.  Papers will be given by Associate Professor David Fontana (George Washington University) and Professor Philip Weiser (University of Colorado).  The event will be chaired by Professor Rosalind Dixon (UNSW).  For more information, see the website.

7th Annual Human Rights Tertiary Teachers Workshop 2017

Castan Centre for Human Rights Law

Date: 14 February 2017

Time: 9.30am-4.30pm

Location: Monash University Law Chambers, Melbourne

The workshop provides a chance for teachers of human rights law in tertiary institutions to come together to share ideas about approaches to teaching and learning in the area of human rights.  Participants from all disciplines are welcome.

Expressions of interest to present should be sent to joanna.kyriakakis@monash.edu by Monday 12 December 2016.

For more information, see the website.

Public Law in the Classroom 2017

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

Date: 16 February 2016

Time: 10:30am–4:00pm

Location: University of New South Wales, Sydney

The day will be presented in three sessions, with plenty of time for discussion and sharing of practice in each. The first session will examine the way in which public law theories and values shape our teaching. The second session will showcase cutting edge teaching practices, techniques, and technologies, as well as research into public law teaching and is currently open for abstracts. The final session will be a panel discussion on the possibilities and challenges presented by the research-teaching nexus in public law.

For more information, see the website.

2017 George Winterton Memorial Lecture

‘Sir Owen Dixon Today’

Professor William Gummow AC QC

Sydney Law School

Date: 16 February 2017

Time: 6:30pm–7:45pm

Location: Banco Court, Supreme Court of NSW, Sydney

More than half a century since his retirement and nearly 90 years since he joined the High Court, Sir Owen Dixon remains at the forefront of the judicial pantheon. Yet in the period following his death in 1972 some law teachers and even judges tended, to his detriment, to associate with Dixon the epithet “legalism”; this was seen to cloak undisclosed “policy choices” and, at best, as a crippling formalism. But even a cursory reading of decisions over the last 20 years reveals continued recourse to his judgments.

This paper seeks to indicate how Dixon’s reputation was acquired and the characteristics of his thought and work which today sustain much of that reputation.

For more information, see the website.

2017 Constitutional Law Conference and Dinner

Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law

Date: 17 February 2017

Time: 8.30am-5.00pm

Location: Art Gallery of NSW and NSW Parliament House, Sydney.

This is the 16th annual Constitutional Law Conference. Session One keynote speakers will include Associate Professor Sarah Murray, University of Western Australia and Richard Niall QC, Solicitor-General of Victoria, who will discuss developments in constitutional law during the 2016 term in the High Court and the Federal and State Courts respectively.  Cases explored in Session Two will include Murphy v Electoral Commissioner and the Culleton and Day matters.  Session Three will feature a panel discussion on Constitutional Law and Criminal Justice.  The panel will be moderated by Dr Nicola McGarrity, UNSW, and will include Ms Belinda Baker, Crown Prosecutor, NSW Bar, Professor Jeremy Gans, University of Melbourne, Jonathon Hunyor, CEO, Public Interest Advocacy Centre and the Hon Justice Margaret McMurdo AC, President of the Queensland Court of Appeal.  Session Four will look at Constitutional Referendums: 40 Years Since the last ‘Yes’ Vote’.  Speakers in this session will include Professor Megan Davis, UNSW and Dr Paul Kildea, UNSW.

Registrations for the conference are now open.  For more information, see the website.

Book Launch: Great Australian Dissents

Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law

Date: 17 February 2017

Time: 5:00pm

Location: Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney

The Hon Sir Anthony Mason AC KBE GBM will launch Great Australian Dissents, edited by Professor Andrew Lynch (Cambridge University Press, 2016) immediately after the conclusion of the Constitutional Law Conference.  The launch is free but registration is essential for all, including conference attendees.  For more information, see the website.

National Human Rights Inaugural Conference

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights

Date: 17-18 February 2017

Location:  La Trobe University’s City Campus in Melbourne

ALHR is hosting its inaugural annual ALHR Human Rights Conference. The Conference will bring together attendees from the law, academia, business and community sectors to examine topical human rights issues and strategically plan pathways forward for human rights advocacy and research in Australia.

The unique blend of practical legal focus, education and discussion offered by the ALHR National Human Rights Conference aims to benefit lawyers and advocates concerned with the promotion and protection of human rights.

For more information see the website.

20th Commonwealth Law Conference

‘Thriving in a Global World: Building on the Rule of Law’

Commonwealth Lawyers Association

Dates: 20–24 March 2017

Location: Melbourne

The theme of the 2017 conference, “Thriving in a global world: building on the rule of law” presents a unique canvass to consider legal issues in our globalised world that both innovate and challenge lawyers practicing today.

The conference sessions will focus on current trends in Corporate & Commercial law; the legal profession; the rule of law, and other contemporary legal topics. It is the ideal venue to meet and discuss with professional colleagues topics relevant to your professional area of interest.

For more information, see the website.

Socio-Legal Studies Association Annual Conference

Dates: 5-7 April 2017

Location: Newcastle University

The theme of the 2017 Conference is ‘Visions of Law’.  The plenary panel will feature Thomas Giddens, St Mary’s University, Linda Mulcahy, LSE, Amanda Perry Kessaris, Kent Law School and Leonora Saunders.  Early registration is open from 21 November.

The call for papers closes on 16 January 2017, as does the deadline for bursary applications.

For more information, see the website.

Save the Date: Biennial Interdisciplinary Conference of the Transnational, International and Comparative Law and Policy Network

‘The Law and Politics of Control and Power’

Transnational, International and Comparative Law and Policy Network

Date: 26–27 May 2017

Location: Bond University, Gold Coast

A ‘call for abstracts’ will be released in December 2016 and will be due by 20 March 2017. Selected papers will be invited to submit to a special issue of the Bond Law Review, a peer-reviewed journal.

For more information, see the website.

2017 ICON-S Annual Conference

‘Courts, Power and Public Law’

International Society of Public Law

Dates: 5-7 July 2017

Location: Copenhagen

The call for papers for this conference can be found here.  Submissions must be made by February 15, 2017. Successful applicants will be notified by April 1, 2017.  For more information, see the website.

International Association of Genocide Scholars Conference 2017

‘Justice and the Prevention of Genocide’

TC Bernie School of Law and the Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect

Dates: 9–13 July 2017

Location: University of Queensland, Brisbane

Nearly seven decades after the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the hopes embedded in that document remain largely unfulfilled. The theme of the 2017 IAGS conference revisits the two core components of the Convention: justice for acts of genocide and prevention of future genocides.

Submissions exploring any topic related to the study of genocide are welcome, and submissions on the following themes are particularly encouraged:

  • Application of international and domestic law for justice, accountability and prevention
  • Theories and methods of prevention of genocide and mass atrocities
  • Indigenous experiences of and responses to genocide, in particular Australian Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders
  • Cases of genocidal violence in the Asia Pacific region
  • Sexual and gender-based violence
  • Genocide and disability
  • Justice and prevention in the context of refugees of genocide
  • Representations of genocide in culture, art and museum studies
  • Genocide education
  • Genocide and human rights
  • Intersections between genocide studies and peace studies

Submissions are due 15 December 2016. For more information, see the website.