Welcome to the September 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, Sam Lee, 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.

WA Schools Constitutional Convention

The Constitutional Centre of Western Australia

Dates: 4-5 September 2018

Time: 8:45am-2:30pm

Location: Constitutional Centre, West Perth, Perth, Western Australia.

The theme of the Convention is ‘Rights and Australia’s Constitution’. Students will take part in a full and stimulating program that will examine issues including how our rights in Australia are currently protected, whether we need an Australian Bill of Rights and whether those rights should be legislated or should have constitutional status.

Details are available on the website.

A Bird and a Fish in Love: a Graduate’s View on a Reconciled Nation

Adelaide Law School

Date: 7 September 2018

Time: 12:30-2:00pm

Location: Ligertwood 333 Lecture Theatre, Adelaide Law School

A bird may love a fish but where would they build a home together?” This is a famous line from Joseph Stein, Fiddler on the Roof.

Sometimes the debate in Australia about co-existence, reconciliation and recognition feels a bit like this line from “Fiddler on the Roof”. I still hear voices in my head saying,’ How can it happen, it’s impossible, someone has to compromise and someone has to be in charge and make the rules! At times it does seem difficult to see a way forward.

In this presentation, Adelaide Law School alumnus, Andrea Mason, will reflect on this question and discuss whether, at this point in time in our nation’s history, is there a chance that we may be missing seeing a tree in the forest that could help us see the forest differently?

For more details please see the website.

Government Lawyers Conference 2018 (Qld)

Queensland Law Society

Date: 14 September 2018

Time: 8:20am-5:15pm

Location: Law Society House, Auditorium, Level 2, 179 Ann Street, Brisbane, Queensland

The key professional development conference in the Queensland calendar for legal professionals in the government, policy and administrative spheres, whether in federal, state or local jurisdictions, or in-house with government owned corporations and universities. Hear from, and network with, experts in their field and fellow colleagues from a range of government departments. The event will close with networking drinks.

Check the website for details.

RMIT University 2018 Higinbotham Lecture

Human Rights Law Centre

Date: 20 September 2018

Time: 5:30pm-8:00pm

Location: Storey Hall, RMIT University, 336-348 Swanston St, Melbourne

Hugh de Kretser, Executive Director of the Human Rights Law Centre, will be the speaker.

Human rights belong to every single one of us. They embody values like freedom, respect, equality and dignity. Respect for human rights helps keep societies fair, just and equal.

Yet 70 years after the international community adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, human rights are still not properly protected in Australian law. Australia is the only western democratic nation without a national charter of human rights or bill of rights.

For more information or to register see the website.


Long Live Democracy?

The Internet, Policy & Politics Conferences, Oxford Internet Institute

Dates: 20-21 September 2018

Time: TBC

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.

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

Time: 10:00am-3:00pm

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.

2018 Curtin University Human Rights Lecture

Curtin University

Date: 28 September 2018

Time: TBC

Location: Curtin University, Bentley, Western Australia

The 2018 Annual Curtin University Human Rights Lecture will be delivered by prominent international jurist, educator and former judge, the Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG.

More details about the event are available here.

We Are Still in the Age of Encounter: Indigenous Rights, the Nature of Sovereignty, and Agnostic Constitutionalism

ANU College of Law

Date: 18 October 2018

Time: 1:00pm-2:00pm

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

The paper examines whether Canada’s recent grappling with Indigenous rights has begun to unsettle the longstanding assumption that Canadian institutions are sovereign in a manner that excludes Indigenous sovereignty. It identifies five substantially different claims often associated with sovereignty, arguing that it is worth considering them in disaggregated fashion. It investigates the particular attributes of sovereignty that are placed in issued by the encounter between Indigenous peoples and settler states, in particular the legal and political institutions of Canada.  It also explores the specific form that the recomposition of sovereignty should take.

In particular, the paper suggests that we may be observing a bracketing of the question of sovereignty, representing a substantial change in our understanding of what is necessary to sustain a constitutional order – what the author terms ‘agonistic constitutionalism’.

Jeremy Webber, Professor of Law at the University of Victoria, will be the speaker.

Details are available on the website.

UNSW Law Book Forum – The Rule of Law and the Australian Constitution by Dr Lisa Burton Crawford

UNSW Law and Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law

Date: 29 October 2018

Time: 5:00pm-7:00pm

Location: Staff Common Room, Level 2, Law Building, UNSW Law

The rule of law is one of the most cherished political ideals in the modern world. Even though we disagree about what the rule of law means, we all seem to agree that it is a worthy goal, to which any good legal system should aspire. Yet, some argue that this is not enough; that the rule of law is too important to be left in the realm of politics and must be protected by legal means.

This book examines the extent to which the rule of law is protected and promoted by the Australian Constitution – indeed, how the complex and contested concept of the rule of law should be understood within the Australian constitutional order. This wide-ranging and engaging book combines theoretical analysis of the concept of the rule of law and constitutionalism with doctrinal analysis of the case law of the Australian High Court. It examines the nature and limits of legislative, executive and judicial power, and so should appeal to constitutional and administrative lawyers, scholars and practitioners.

The event will be chaired by Associate Professor Gabrielle Appleby. The author is Dr Lisa Burton Crawford. The commentators will be The Hon Justice Stephen Gageler AC, Professor James Stellios (ANU Law School) and Professor Martin Krygier (UNSW Law).

Details are available on the website.

Public Law Weekend 2018

Centre for International and Public Law, ANU

Dates: 2-3 November 2018

Time: 9:00am-5:00pm

Location: Australian Centre on China in the World, 188 Fellows Lane, The Australian National University, ACT

The Public Law Weekend is one of Australia’s pre-eminent public law conferences. This year’s program will focus primarily on administrative law issues and developments.

Confirmed speakers include: the Hon Justice Stephen Gageler, the Hon Justice John Basten, the Hon Justice John Griffiths, the Hon Justice Rachel Pepper, the Hon Justice Janine Pritchard, Gabrielle Appleby, Mark Aronson, Judith Bannister, Will Bateman, Janina Boughey, Lisa Burton Crawford, Matthew Groves, Graeme Hill, Leighton McDonald, Kim Rubenstein, Kristina Stern, Daniel Stewart and Greg Weeks.

Registration for this event will open soon. Check the website for updates.

Happy Anniversary? Reflecting on Marriage Equality

ANU Gender Institute

Date: 12 November 2018

Time: 9:00am-5:00pm

Location: The Australian National University

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.

More details available here.

Kaldor Centre Annual Conference 2018

Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law

Date: 23 November 2018

Time: 8:30am-5:00pm

Location: Central Lecture Block 7, University of New South Wales

Foreign policy bears directly on refugee policy. Today both policy agendas are feeling the twin pressures of nationalism and globalisation, and the long-prevailing rules-based order is now contested. What does this mean for people seeking protection, and for the international legal regime that has governed refugee movements since the Second World War, finding solutions for millions of displaced, even as millions more now face an uncertain future in protracted situations? Can international dialogue promote better cooperation and accountability for protecting displaced people? How do international legal norms inform, and become shaped through, diplomatic negotiations? What are the prospects for protecting displaced people in the Asia-Pacific region, and what role does and can Australia play in this endeavour?

The Kaldor Centre Annual Conference on 23 November 2018 will bring Australian, regional and global thinkers to Sydney to explore the place of ‘refugee diplomacy’ in today’s turbulent world, and the interdependence of foreign and domestic policy agendas that impact refugees, asylum seekers and other forced migrants.

The keynote speaker is Anne C. Richard, who served as US Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration in the Obama Administration (2012-2017).

Registrations open August 6, with early-bird discount available until October 26.

For more details, see the website.

9th International Conference on Human Rights Education: Unleashing the Full Potential of Civil Society

International Conference on Human Rights Education

Dates: 26-29 November 2018

Time: TBC

Location: Sir Ian & Nancy Turbott Auditorium, Western Sydney University, Parramatta South Campus

The international conferences on human rights education (ICHRE) are a series of dialogues on HRE as a means of promoting democracy, the rule of law, justice, and intercultural and social harmony. The 9th ICHRE will coincide with, and celebrate, the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 25th anniversary of the education-oriented Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action.

The conference will cover a range of human rights education (HRE) issues such as curricula, pedagogy and best practices, including in the context of discrimination faced by First Nation peoples, women, children, persons with disabilities, LGBTIQ communities and those of refugee and minority cultural and religious backgrounds.  Contemporary challenges to regional and national HRE and how to effectively address them will also be considered.

Underpinning the 9th ICHRE will be the cross-cutting theme of how HRE can develop and strengthen civil society.

For more information, see the website.

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

Dates: 14 February 2019

Time: TBC

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

Dates: 15 February 2019

Time: TBC

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

Save the date. More information will be available soon.