Welcome to the May edition of the AUSPUBLAW Australian Public Law Events 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.

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: Conceptions of Collegiality

ANU College of Law

Date: 9 May 2018

Time: 1pm

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

This paper by James Lee, Kings College London, examines the question of collegiality in the United Kingdom Supreme Court and the High Court of Australia. Both courts are in periods of transition, with new leadership and new appointments, and both courts have seen vigorous debates amongst their Justices over the propriety and practice of issuing separate judgments. Drawing upon analysis of recent statistics for the two courts, Lee argue that the various contrasting views are born out of distinct conceptions of collegiality: his thesis is that judicial individuality with respect to judgment-writing should not be regarded as incompatible with collegiality on a multi-member appellate court.

Details can be found 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.

Jurisdictional error and remedies: is a coherent approach possible?

AAIL and Monash University

Date: 17 May 2018

Time: 12:30-2pm

Location: Monash Law Chambers, Ground floor Auditorium Room, 555 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

Students, practitioners, scholars and even some judges have lamented the ‘centrality’ of jurisdictional error to judicial review in Australia. The concept is accused of being confusing, pointless and incoherent. Various suggestions have been made as to why it should be replaced or abolished, as it has been in some other common law jurisdictions. The High Court, however, has made it quite clear that the distinction between jurisdictional and non-jurisdictional errors is here to stay. Its decisions in Probuild Constructions (Aust) Pty Ltd v Shade Systems Pty Ltd [2018] HCA 4 and Maxcon Constructions Pty Ltd v Vadasz [2018] HCA 5 confirm the centrality of the concept, and Gageler J’s judgment in particular articulates a coherent theory of why the concept of jurisdictional error is required in Australian law. However, those cases and another recent NSW case—Kaldas v Barbour [2017] NSWCA 275—highlight some of the difficult questions that this theory of judicial review and jurisdictional error raises for the scope and nature of judicial review’s remedies. Janina will explore the issues raised in these recent cases and what they might mean for the future directions of judicial review of administrative action in Australia.

Details can be found here.

Global Mobility, Security, Citizenship and the Courts

ANU College of Law, Law Week

Date: 17 May 2018

Time: 4-5pm

Location: Hedley Bull Theatre 1, ANU, Canberra, ACT

The global mobility of people, the security of the nation and questions of citizenship are issues at the forefront of public policy and debate in Australia and globally. Across all these issues run questions about the role that courts play in checking the power of the legislative and executive arms of government and to uphold human rights. On this panel, experts from the ANU College of Law will speak about how their research connects with these public policy issues in Australia and internationally.

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).

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

Professor Adrienne Stone, University of Melbourne, is the speaker.

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. This paper 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, it 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.

Property Rights and Human Rights: New Possibilities in an Age of Inequality

Monash University Law Chambers

Dates: 9-10 August 2018

Location: Monash University Law Chambers, Melbourne

The debate on property rights and human rights has renewed relevance as a result of global inequality, mass movements of people, and modern forms of slavery. While the underlying issue remains tensions between the distributional consequences of property and property as a source of freedom from interference, the context has shifted from protection against arbitrary state takings to the emancipatory possibilities (and limitations) of property for people often excluded by the state, including refugees and the internally displaced, ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples, victims of human trafficking, farmers and forest-dwellers, and households subject to disability or extreme poverty. This conference explores the new possibilities of property rights and human rights in an age of inequality.

Details here.

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.

For more information, see the website.

Happy Anniversary? Reflecting on Marriage Equality

ANU Gender Institute

Date: 12 November 2018

Location: ANU

Coinciding with the first anniversary of the survey announcement in November 2017, this symposium engages with the legacy of the Australian, as well as international, campaigns for marriage equality. It will dive into debates about the value of marriage equality, the nature of marriage equality campaigns, and the value, or not, of public votes on rights-based issues. This symposium focuses on two overlapping streams: Marriage Campaigns and Marriage Debates.

Papers due 31 May 2018. More details available here.

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.