Welcome to the October edition of the AUSPUBLAW Australian Public Law Events Roundup. A big thank you to the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law’s social justice intern, Aaron Taverniti, for his assistance in compiling this roundup.

In addition to our public law events roundup, we would like to draw your attention to the following exciting AUSPUBLAW opportunity:

Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness (University of Melbourne) seeks two experienced researchers to play an instrumental role in developing and carrying out an innovative program of legal and other research aimed at understanding the causes of statelessness and identifying appropriate responses to reduce and eradicate statelessness. Applications close Sunday, 15 October 2017. Further information including position description here.

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.

2017 Eddie Koiki Mabo Lecture: The Mabo Political Settlement: what became of the social justice package?

Australian Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Centre, James Cook University

Date: 4 October 2017

Time: 5:00pm

Location: Townsville Building 45-002; Cairns Building A3-002, James Cook University

The annual Mabo Lecture will be presented by Professor Megan Davis, Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous and Professor of Law, University of New South Wales.

2017 Sir Kenneth Bailey Memorial Lecture presented by Emeritus Professor Gillian Triggs: The Rule of Law in a Post-Truth Era

Melbourne Law School

Date: 4 October 2017

Time: 6:30pm-7:30pm

Location: Melbourne Law School

As the internet and social media provide unprecedented access to information and commentary, a curious and probably unforeseen consequence has been that responses to contemporary problems are increasingly emotional and ideological. Research reports, scientific evidence and balanced reports are often ignored in favour of subjective, entrenched views. If facts don’t matter, how can public policy and laws be developed to address today’s challenges? This public lecture will consider the implications of a “post-truth” era on the rule of law in the context of marriage equality, Indigenous policy and vulnerable children.

For more information, see the website.

Unlawful Non-Citizens: The Rise in Character Visa Cancellations

Caxton Legal Centre and TC Beirne School of Law

Date: 5 October 2017

Location: Banco Court, QE11 Courts of Law, 415 George Street, Brisbane

Recent changes to the Migration Act have resulted in a spike in the number of visa cancellations on the basis of adverse character and credibility grounds. The changes raise significant human rights questions around enhanced ministerial powers, unlawful detention of immigrants and proportionate responses to those convicted of criminal offences.

A panel of experts, including Julian Burnside AO QC, will discuss how political leadership and the rule of law in relation to visas and citizenship are shaping contemporary Australia.

For more information, see the website.

Public Lecture: The Death Penalty: Commonwealth Trends, Judicial Reforms and Future Challenges

Melbourne Law School

Date: 10 October 2017

Time: 1:00pm-2:00pm

Location: Melbourne Law School

In recent years the judiciary in many retentionist Commonwealth countries have been active in reforming outdated death penalty laws. This represents a clear shift from a historical period of judicial abstinence to one of judicial intervention. This has been exemplified by the London-based Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, which has imposed strict limitations on the use of the death penalty in the Caribbean in accordance with international human rights standards.

Drawing on their own experience of representing prisoners on death row before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council and domestic courts for over 25 years, Parvais Jabbar and Saul Lehrfreund will discuss the developments and restrictions that have been imposed on the use of capital punishment.

For more information, see the website.

Twentieth Geoffrey Sawer Lecture by the Hon Justice Stephen Gageler AC

Centre for International & Public Law, ANU

Date: 12 October 2017

Time: 6:00pm-7:30pm

Location: Finkel Theatre, ANU

Presenting the twentieth Geoffrey Sawer Lecture will be the Hon Justice Stephen Gageler AC, who will be speaking on the topic of Sir Robert Garran.

For more information, see the website.

Julius Stone Institute Seminar: The German Approach to Proportionality: A Model for Australia?

Julius Stone Institute, Sydney Law School

Date: 12 October 2017

Time: 6:00pm-8:00pm

Location: Sydney Law School

The proportionality test is an increasingly popular tool of fundamental rights analysis. Developed by the German Federal Constitutional Court in the 1950s, it has  spread to different jurisdictions around the world. In Australia, the High Court recently recharacterised the proportionality test in McCloy v. New South Wales. However, proportionality is often criticised in legal theory debates as an inadequate or even “irrational” legal standard because it requires the comparison of incommensurable values.

Professor Niels Petersen, University of Münster, will present this seminar with a two-fold aim. First, he will address the theoretical critique of proportionality and show that, while the gist of the critique is justified, this does not lead to the inadequacy of proportionality as a legal standard. Second, he will observe how the German Federal Constitutional Court uses the proportionality test in practice and analyse whether this practice could inform the debate on proportionality in Australian constitutional law.

For more information, see the website.

Same-sex marriage: reflections on the German experience and how it compares to the Australian

UNSW Network for the Interdisciplinary Study of Law (NISL) and the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law, UNSW

Date: 13 October 2017

Time: 1:00pm-2:00pm

Location: Boardroom, UNSW Law

Professor Niels Petersen, University of Münster, will present this topical seminar, which comes shortly after the German Parliament passed legislation allowing same-sex marriage, and amid the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey.

RSVP to gtcentre@unsw.edu.au. For more information, see the flyer.

2017 Castan Centre for Human Rights Law Annual Lecture: The UN Human Rights Council and Australia: Potential and Pitfalls

Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, Monash University

Date: 16 October 2017

Location: King & Wood Mallesons, Level 50, Bourke Place, 600 Bourke Street, Melbourne

Australia is likely to be elected soon to the UN Human Rights Council. What role can Australia play on the Council and what problems will it confront? Presenting the lecture will be Hilary Charlesworth, Melbourne Laureate Professor, Melbourne Law School, and Distinguished Professor, Australian National University.

For more information, see the website.

2017 Sir Harry Gibbs Lecture: Who Can Be an MP? The Constitution, the High Court and the Disqualification Farce

TC Beirne School of Law

Date: 16 October 2017

Time: 6:00pm-8:00pm

Location: University of Queensland

Should electors be able to elect any fellow elector? Or should there be constitutional barriers to potential MPs? Are such barriers workable, and what are their impacts on minor party candidates especially?

In the past year, 10 members of the national parliament – at last count – have been the subject of expensive court action. Over issues like ‘dual citizenship’ and ‘pecuniary interest in an agreement with the public service’. Rules which in the main do not apply to State elections. Rules which have 18th and 19th-century roots, in a Constitution that is fairly thin on political values. It does not guarantee a right to vote, for example.

The lecture, presented by Professor Graeme Orr, University of Queensland Law School, will explore the history and rationales behind the thicket of rules in the Australian Constitution about who can be an MP. It will also explore the arguments behind, and legal and political consequences of, the High Court cases involving Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and six others, which are being heard in October.

For more information, see the website.

2017 Andrew Inglis Clark Lecture: Not Just a Rule Book: Separation of Powers under the Commonwealth Constitution

Date: 18 October 2017

Time: 6:00pm-7:30pm

Location: University of Tasmania

This lecture, presented by Cheryl Saunders, Laureate Professor Emeritus, Melbourne Law School, will challenge the perception of the Australian Constitution as technical and thin. Of course, the Constitution was a product of its time; it now shows its age in various ways; and it had and has notorious defects, not least in its application to Indigenous Australians and in provisions that are grounded on ‘race’. Nevertheless, more than one hundred years after the Constitution came into effect, it is possible to appreciate how its clean lines and broad phrasing reveal the principles on which it is based and provide a framework for their evolution over time. For this, credit is due to those who originally designed the Constitution, including Andrew Inglis Clark.

The lecture will show how the form of the Constitution has encouraged emergence of the separation of powers as one of the key principles on which the Constitution rests. It will examine some of the latest developments in the separation of legislative and executive power for their potential to reset the relationship between governments, Parliaments and the people they represent.

For more information, see the website.

Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law Annual Conference 2017: ‘The Global Compacts on Refugees and Migrants’

Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, UNSW

Date: 24 November 2017

Location: UNSW, Kensington

In 2018, world leaders will adopt two landmark documents – a Global Compact on Refugees, and a Global Compact on Safe, Regular and Orderly Migration. Amidst debate about what these agreements should contain and how ambitious they should be, the 2017 Kaldor Centre Conference takes stock of where we are so far, and anticipates what developments we will see in the lead-up to their adoption in 2018. The Conference will bring together leading international and local experts involved in the process to share their insights and projections. The keynote speaker will be Professor Elizabeth Ferris, a leading expert on forced migration at Georgetown University and the Brookings Institution.

For more information, see the website.

Inaugural Lord Atkin Lecture by the Hon Chief Justice Susan Kiefel AC

Selden Society

Date: 28 November 2017

Time: 5:15pm

Location: Banco Court, Brisbane

An annual Lord Atkin Lecture has been introduced this year to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Lord Atkin – one of the common law’s most influential judges. The objective of the Lord Atkin lecture is to invite leading contemporary lawyers to discuss key turning points in the common law or challenges that the common law is yet to resolve. The inaugural lecture will be presented by the Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia, the Hon Susan Kiefel AC.

For more information, see the website.

Law and Society Association of Australia and New Zealand Conference 2017

Law and Society Association of Australia and New Zealand

Dates: 6-9 December 2017

Location: Dunedin, New Zealand

The conference will explore the important and inherent component of the law and society discipline: justice. Justice seeks a safe, fair and just society. The Conference sub themes are:

  • Cultural justice:culture includes age, socio-economic status, gender, urban/rural, ethnicity and religion. Thus cultural justice includes fairness in relation to cultural and demographic information, barriers and challenges;
  • Transitional justice: an approach to achieve justice in times of transition from conflict, colonisation and/or state repression, including the rights of victims, rights of Indigenous Peoples, promoting civic trust and strengthening the democratic rule of law; human rights abuses, violence, and truth commissions;
  • Criminal justice:including sentencing, sexual violence, miscarriages of justice, prisons and prisoners;
  • Gender justice: ending inequalities between women and men that are produced and reproduced in the family, the community, the market and state;
  • Justice institutions, practice and practitioners:including alternative dispute resolution, therapeutic justice, problem solving courts, procedural justice, restorative justice, collaborative law, legal education, legal services/assistance, litigants, the judiciary, legal ethics, future of legal institutions, practice and practitioners.
  • Environmental justice:specifically considering the development for legal standing and fair treatment of non-humans including trees, rivers, national parks and animals.

The call for papers closes on 14 July. For more information, see the website.

Save the date: 2017 Final Courts Round-up

Date: 7 December 2017

Location: Sydney

Further details about this annual event will be forthcoming.

Call for Papers: 2nd Australian Political Theory and Philosophy Conference 2018

Date: 16-17 February 2018

Location: Sydney

Papers on any theme or topic within political theory are welcome for submission – from normative to critical, historical to contemporary, and interpretive to applied. Post-graduate students and junior scholars are especially encouraged to apply, as are scholars working from interdisciplinary perspectives.

For more information, see the website.

2018 Public Law in the Classroom

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

Date: 22 February 2018

Time: 10:30am-4:30pm

Location: Law Building, University of New South Wales

This will be the fourth annual Public Law in the Classroom workshop for teachers of Australian public law, which has become a unique forum in which teachers of Australian public law can share ideas and inspire one another. Registration is free and includes morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea.

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 importance and challenges of Indigenous issues, perspectives and law in public law classrooms. The second session will showcase cutting edge teaching approaches in the area of assessment in public law courses, especially when teaching large and/or online cohorts. The final session will be a discussion of the intersection between teaching and the practice of public law. The workshop will also again feature a poster session on new techniques for, and insights into, teaching public law. Those who submit an abstract for a poster may also, if they wish, be considered for a presentation during the second session, provided their topic fits within the theme of the second session.

Abstracts are invited from tertiary teachers of public law for the Poster Session and Workshop Session 2. The abstract must contain your title and a brief explanation of your proposed poster or presentation. Please submit abstracts by Friday, 29 September 2017 to gtcentre@unsw.edu.au.

For more information, see the website.

Save the date: ‘New Citizenship’ Conference: Law, Legal Status and Belonging in the 21st Century

Dates: 15-16 March 2018

Location: Sydney Law School

Laws and policies governing citizenship and nationality are undergoing dramatic challenges and changes in Australia and around the world. This conference will explore these developments, with interdisciplinary perspectives on: new citizenship deprivation regimes; changes to naturalization tests and eligibility; evolution of dual citizenship and entitlements of dual citizens; changes to immigration laws affecting access to citizenship; the impact of international law on national citizenship laws, and many more.

For more information, see the website.

IACL World Congress 2018‘Violent Conflicts, Peace-Building and Constitutional Law’

Dates: 18-22 June 2018

Location: Seoul

This will be the tenth World Congress of the International Association of Constitutional Law (‘IACL’). The theme of the World Congress is ‘Violent Conflicts, Peace-Building and Constitutional Law’.

The Congress is the major 4-yearly event organised by the IACL and includes several plenary keynote sessions as well as many workshops. The Congresses bring together constitutional lawyers, scholars and judges from across the world and are a wonderful opportunity to expand one’s own knowledge of constitutional law, make connections across borders and present one’s work in a constructive and interested environment.

Those interested are encouraged to consider attending the Congress and submitting a paper to one of the workshops (the deadline is end of March 2018), or to propose a workshop on a topic of your choosing (there is space for 6 open workshops to be developed by attendees, the deadline for proposals is 15 October 2017).

If you are considering attending, have any questions or want to discuss your ideas for proposed papers or workshops, please feel free to contact Elisa Arcioni (elisa.arcioni@sydney.edu.au) or Professor Adrienne Stone (Vice President of the IACL): a.stone@unimelb.edu.au. The AACL can provide a letter noting the significance of the Congress if that would assist in any applications for funding and if there is sufficient interest, we will arrange a social gathering for the Australian constitutional lawyers who attend the Congress.

For more information, see the website.

Save the date: 2018 ICON-S (International Society of Public Law) Conference

Dates: 25-27 June 2018

Location: Hong Kong

Further details about this annual event will be made available on the website.

Third Biennial Public Law Conference

Melbourne Law School

Dates: 11-13 July 2018

Location: Melbourne Law School

The Public Law Conference series is the pre-eminent regular forum for the discussion of public law matters in the common law world. Melbourne Law School will host the Third Biennial Public Law Conference, co-organised by the University of Melbourne and the University of Cambridge.

The 2018 conference, co-convened by Mark Elliott (Cambridge) and Jason Varuhas (Melbourne), will feature approximately 70 speakers from across the common law world, and bring together over 300 delegates to discuss the most important issues in public law today. The convenors have confirmed the participation of a number of leading judges and scholars from common law jurisdictions. The full list of confirmed speakers can be found here.

The theme of the conference is “The Frontiers of Public Law”. The theme is intended to invite engagement with a range of questions concerning both boundaries within public law and the boundaries of public law. Among the questions that fall within the theme are ones concerning the relationship between and the respective boundaries of public and private law; the distinction between domestic and international law, and public law’s response to it; the notions of global administrative and constitutional law and their relationship with domestic systems of public law; the boundary between law and politics viewed from a public law perspective; and the scope of application of public law norms. A fuller description of the conference theme can be found here.

The call for papers closes on 25 August 2017. For more information, see the website.

World Congress of Political Science

‘Borders and Margins’

Dates: 21-26 July 2018

Location: Brisbane

The post-Cold War acceleration of globalization and the multi-layered consequences of the 9/11 terrorist attacks have had profound effects on borders. These borders create margins, through which administrative and military bureaucracies, NGOs, activists, and more-or-less organized criminals and terrorists operate, empirically and conceptually. The evolution of information technologies has transformed the traditional “border as a barrier” by enclosing people into groups with common identities and interests, dispersed throughout the globe but virtually connected.

The call for panel and paper proposals will close on 10 October 2017. For more information, see the website.