Welcome to the April 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, Maximus Jones, for compiling this roundup.

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.

Uluru Statement from the Heart

Melbourne Law School

Date: 9 April 2018

Time: 6:30pm

Location: Melbourne Law School, 185 Pelham Street, Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria

Join Indigenous leaders and constitutional experts to discuss the historic constitutional moment created by the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

The panel will include Indigenous advocates Thomas Mayor and Victorian Treaty Advancement Commissioner Jill Gallagher AO, who were both part of the Uluru process, together with Professor Cheryl Saunders, Professor Adrienne Stone; and comparative expert Professor Kirsty Gover from the Melbourne Law School. The session will be chaired by Professor Pip Nicholson, the Dean of Melbourne Law School.

The Uluru Statement will be on display to add your signatures and show your support. This will be a timely, lively and informative discussion of constitutional recognition and treaties in Australia, with opportunity to ask questions and have your say.

More information and registration are available on the website.

Royal Commissions and Inquiries: Managing the Adverse Affectation of Interests

Australian Institute of Administrative Law

Date: 11 April 2018

Time: 1pm

Location: Pilgrim Hall, 12 Flinders Street, Adelaide, South Australia

A free lunch time seminar, with Chad Jacobi and Emily Telfer SC presenting. Register by email by Friday 6 April 2018 to aialsa@adam.com.au.

More information is available on the website.

Democrats, Dictators and Constitutional Dialogue: Myanmar’s Constitutional Tribunal and the Debate over Citizenship and the Right to Vote

Melbourne Law School Seminar/Forum

Date: 18 April 2018

Time: 1pm

Location: Melbourne Law School, room 920, level 9, 185 Pelham Street Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria

This presentation by Melissa Crouch examines the Constitutional Tribunal recently established in Myanmar, and its compatibility with assumptions common to global constitutionalism.

For more information and registration, see the website.

The Role of Sovereignty in Indigenous Child Welfare

The University of Sydney

Date: 18 April 2018

Time: 6pm

Location: Sydney Law School, Common Room, Level 4, New Law Building (F10), Eastern Avenue, Camperdown, NSW

This research seminar will examine whether a national law, similar to the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), could be enacted in Australia. The ICWA was passed in response to the long history of government removals of Indian children from their families and tribes. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia have experienced many of the same problems the ICWA was designed to address, and Indigenous advocates have long argued for the passage of an “Australian ICWA.” However, Indigenous people in Australia lack the recognised sovereignty enjoyed by American Indian tribes and it is unclear whether the protections of ICWA can work in its absence. In this research seminar, Professor Marcia Zug will argue that a non-sovereignty based ICWA loses many of its strongest protections, but it remains beneficial. Although the ICWA is widely considered a success, it is not a perfect piece of legislation. Respect for tribal sovereignty is one of the Act’s greatest strengths, but it has also created some of its biggest obstacles, some of which a non-sovereignty based approach could potentially avoid.

For more information and registration, see the website.

An Australian Bill of Rights

Amnesty—ANU Law 2018 Speaker Series

Date: 18 April 2018

Time: 7pm

Location: QT Canberra, 1 London Circuit, Canberra, ACT

Former President of the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) Gillian Triggs will examine the state of play of human rights in Australia and revisit the case for an Australian Bill of Rights.

Professor Triggs was the driving force behind the AHRC’s inquiry into children in immigration detention, and during her tenure as AHRC President, she witnessed major challenges to the protection of human rights in Australia. She is also an expert in international law and a passionate advocate for the rights of asylum seekers and indigenous Australians.

Register now for this rare opportunity to hear one of Australia’s leading human rights experts set out what must be done to strengthen human rights protections in Australia.

This is a free event as part of the Amnesty-ANU Law 2018 Speaker Series.

Experiences of the Referendum Council on Constitutional Reform (TBC)

University of Queensland, TC Beirne School of Law

Date: 20 April 2018

Time: 3pm

Location: UQ Art Museum, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Brisbane, Queensland

The TC Beirne School of Law’s Research Seminar Series provides an opportunity to explore and critically discuss legal and interdisciplinary issues in an academic environment. This seminar is co-hosted with the School of Political Science and International Studies.

Details are still to be confirmed. Please check the website for updates.

The Trump Muslim Ban: Litigating International Human Rights Before US Courts

The University of Sydney

Date: 24 April 2018

Time: 1pm

Location: Sydney Law School, New Law Building (F10), Camperdown, Sydney, NSW

Presented by Professor Aaron Fellmeth, Arizona State University.

Immediately after assuming office, Donald Trump, the 45th U.S. President, moved to fulfill his campaign pledge to implement “a total and complete shutdown of” Muslims entering the United States. In a hastily written executive order, Trump issued blanket suspensions on immigration from 7 Muslim countries, including refugees, valid visa holders, and lawful permanent residents. A series of legal challenges ensued, resulting in restraining orders against the bans and prompting Trump to revise the bans twice. The U.S. Supreme Court has partially upheld the bans pending full consideration of the case, which is now before it anew. What is remarkable about the judicial decisions staying the government measures is that not a single court has relied on U.S. obligations under international human rights law, or even mentioned human rights, despite the fact that the measures plainly violate several fundamental human rights, despite the issue being repeatedly raised by amici curiae. In his lecture, Professor Fellmeth will explain the Trump Muslim Ban, the litigation surrounding it, and how these fit into the larger problem of U.S. legislative, executive, and judicial marginalization of international human rights law.

For more information and registration, see the website.

Symposium: Same-Sex Marriage and LGBTIQ Rights in Comparative Perspective

University of Adelaide Law School

Date: 4 May 2018

Time: 9am-5pm

Location: Moot Court, Adelaide Law School, University of Adelaide, SA

The Adelaide Law School is delighted to invite you to a symposium on Same-Sex Marriage and LGBTIQ Rights in Comparative Perspective, organised by its postgraduate class in Advanced Comparative Law. The symposium adds to the current debate in Australia on how the new same-sex marriage legislation operates and sheds light on the protection of the rights of people belonging to the LGBTIQ community. Beyond discussing Australia, speakers will consider the protection of LGBTIQ rights, including the right to marry, in other jurisdictions. These foreign jurisdictions will put Australian law in a global perspective and may provide insights, guidance and examples for Australia.

Presenters will be invited keynote speakers and postgraduate law students from around the world. Further details on speakers and program will be provided when they are confirmed.

Register to attend here.

College Seminar: Can the Legislature Effectively Supersede Judicial Interpretations with Which it Disagrees?

ANU College of Law

Dates: 15 May 2018

Time: 1pm

Location: Phillipa Weeks Staff Library, ANU College of Law, 5 Fellows Road, The Australian National University, ACT

This presentation by Deborah Widiss explores the lawmaking authority of the legislative branch in the United States as compared to the Judiciary, highlighting the slow adoption that enacted legislation faces when it overrides a judicial precedent. Weiss will look at the efficacy of these overrides, and will explore possibilities for similar tensions to arise under the Australian system.

Details can be found here.

Criticising Judges and the Courts: Public Lecture by Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal

Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law

Date: 24 May 2018

Time: 6:15pm

Location: Law Theatre G04, UNSW Law Building, Kensington, Sydney, NSW

The Basic Law of Hong Kong brought about a new constitutional order in 1997 based on the idea of ‘one country, two systems’. The Court of Final Appeal was established as Hong Kong’s highest appellate court and has a significant case load in public law. It operates in what its current Chief Justice has called an established common law jurisdiction that has been in place for nearly 180 years. Some of Australia’s most distinguished jurists have served as overseas non-permanent judges of the Court: Sir Anthony Mason, Sir Gerard Brennan, Murray Gleeson AC, Robert French AC, James Spigelman AC, Sir Daryl Dawson, Michael McHugh AC and William Gummow AC.

During the Second World War, as London was being bombed, Winston Churchill asked, ‘Are the courts functioning?’ and when he was told they were he exclaimed, ‘Thank God. If the courts are working, nothing can go wrong.’ This was perhaps a direct reference to the protection of individual and community rights, a responsibility that courts are expected to discharge. Rights include the freedom of speech and other rights such as access to the courts. When the judicial system, which includes the work of the courts and judges, is criticised from the point of view of rights, how do the courts deal with this, for there can be said to be possible conflicts of interest? And what are the limits of the criticism that can be levelled at courts and judges? In this talk, the speaker will address these questions chiefly from experiences gained in Hong Kong, but in truth the questions can well apply to the legal system in most jurisdictions.

More details are available here. Register your attendance here.

IACL World Congress of Constitutional Law 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.

Submission of proposals for papers closed on 30 March. However, registration is still open and those interested are encouraged to consider attending the Congress.

If you are considering attending or have any questions, 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.

2018 ICON-S (International Society of Public Law) Conference

Dates: 25-27 June 2018

Location: Hong Kong

The overarching theme of the Conference will be ‘Identity, Security, Democracy: Challenges for Public Law.’ It will feature addresses by esteemed lawyers including the Hon Geoffrey Ma, Chief Justice of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal, and the Right Hon Lord Neuberger, former President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. The conference will convene panels, featuring distinguished academics and practitioners, on the topics of Diversity, Identity and Human Rights, Courts and Democratisation, and Technology and Public Law. Professor Rosalind Dixon will deliver closing remarks.

For more information, see the website. A preliminary program for the conference is available here.

Australasian Society of Legal Philosophy Annual Conference

Bond University

Dates: 6-8 July 2018

Location: Bond University, 14 University Drive, Robina, QLD

The 2018 Australasian Society of Legal Philosophy Conference will be held at Bond University on the Gold Coast from 6-8 July.  Professor John Gardner will deliver the opening keynote.

The annual book symposium will focus on Professor Margaret Davies’s recent book, Law Unlimited, with commentary from Associate Professor Ben Golder (UNSW), Dr Honni van Rijswijk (UTS) and Professor William MacNeil (SCU).

Abstracts for both the ASLP Conference and the Postgraduate Workshop should be emailed to Professor Jonathan Crowe (ASLP President) by Friday 27 April. Abstracts should be approximately 100 words in length.

For more information, see the website.

Third Biennial Public Law Conference

Melbourne Law School

Dates: 11-13 July 2018

Location: Melbourne Law School, 185 Pelham Street Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria

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 80 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 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.

Registration closes on Friday 29 June 2018.

For more information, see the website.

25th World Congress of Political Science

‘Borders and Margins’

Dates: 21-25 July 2018

Location: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Cnr Merivale & Glenelg Streets, South Bank, Brisbane, Queensland

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.

For more information, see the website.

Constitutional Law – “Who is Afraid of Proportionality?”

University of Queensland, TC Beirne School of Law

Date: 9 August 2018

Location: TC Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Brisbane, Queensland

The Australian High Court in McCloy v NSW adopted ‘structured proportionality analysis’ as part of Australian constitutional law and, in doing so, it appears to have brought Australian constitutional law at least somewhat more into alignment with global constitutional thinking. Almost immediately, however, the move has attracted controversy both within the Court and with external detractors of proportionality who regard it as ill-suited to the Australian constitutional context. Professor Adrienne Stone from thee University of Melbourne Law School will examine the nature of proportionality, having regard to its roots in Europe and its migration through the rest of the world. Although taking the critiques of proportionality seriously, Professor Stone will seek to show that proportionality is an acceptable method of analysis in Australian constitutional law. However, it will be argued that proportionality poses some challenges for the courts and for the rule of law that require careful navigation.

For more information, see the website.

To register online for the seminar, go to CPD/Events at the QLD Bar website.

WA Schools Constitutional Convention

The Constitutional Centre of Western Australia

Dates: 4-5 September 2018

Location: Perth, Western Australia

Details to be confirmed. Check the website for updates.

Long Live Democracy?

The Internet, Policy & Politics Conferences, Oxford Internet Institute

Dates: 20-21 September 2018

Location: University of Oxford

This conference is about questioning the theses of democratic renewal – and democratic decay – in a digital world. We are looking for rigorous research to understand the role of digital platforms in democratic processes and the development of institutional arrangements that ensure that democratic systems remain free, fair and open. Current democratic and government structures are in urgent need of institutional renewal if they are to survive in the 21st century. But we also remain optimistic that harnessing the potential of internet-mediated technologies can help build a new and better democracy. Hence we seek to place critical attention on the potential role of internet mediated activity in undermining core aspects of democracy; yet also call for positive, optimistic contributions which highlight the many ways in which the internet has allowed existing democracies to grow and change.

The extended abstract submission deadline is 2 April 2018. The deadline for full papers is 27 August 2018.

For more information or to register see the website.

2018 National Administrative Law Conference: Administrative Law in the 21st Century and Beyond

Australian Institute of Administrative Law

Dates: 27-28 September 2018

Location: University of New South Wales, Kensington, Sydney, NSW

The overarching theme for the 2018 AIAL National Administrative Law Conference will be ‘Administrative Law in the 21st Century and Beyond’. This invites consideration of a range of current and future-focussed issues. We seek papers that explore both emerging issues and new ways of looking at ‘old problems’. We particularly note the following relevant subthemes:

  • the impact of technology on administrative decision making and review;
  • judicial review and challenges to major executive policy;
  • international/global administrative law, including both the impact on domestic law and Australia’s place in the global administrative law order; terrorism and national security and administrative law;
  • debates around a national integrity agency;
  • Indigenous issues and administrative law, including broader governance issues; and
  • the intersection of environment and planning law and administrative law, at both a state and federal level.

The Institute encourages contributions on these Conference subthemes but is also interested in finding space for those with fresh perspectives or ideas not reflected in the suggested range of topics above.

Please send written proposals for a paper by Friday 6 April 2018 by email to: aial@commercemgt.com.au

For more information, see the website.

Kaldor Centre Annual Conference 2018

Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law

Date: 23 November 2018

Location: University of New South Wales

Save the date. More information will be available soon.

Public Law in the Classroom 2019: A Workshop for Teachers of Australian Public Law

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

Date: 14 February 2019

Location: Law Building, University of New South Wales, Kensington, Sydney, NSW

Save the date. More information will be available soon.

2019 Constitutional Law Conference and Dinner

Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law

Date: 15 February 2019

Location: Art Gallery of New South Wales and Parliament House, Sydney

Save the date. More information will be available soon.