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, Sam Lee, for compiling this roundup.

This month we are very pleased to share that we have been selected by Feedspot as one of the Top 35 Constitutional Law Blogs on the web!

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.

RECAP: The Xth World Congress of Constitutional Law

International Association of Constitutional Law

Date: 18-22 June 2018

Location: Seoul, South Korea

The World Congress is a quadrennial event organised by the International Association of Constitutional Law (‘IACL’). The IACL is much like the European Union in that every member of the constituent national associations, including the Australian Association of Constitutional Law (‘AACL’), are automatically members of the IACL. The overriding objective of the International Association of Constitutional Law is to provide a forum in which constitutionalists from all parts of the world can begin to understand each other’s systems, explain and reflect on their own, and engage in fruitful comparison, for a variety of purposes.

The theme of the Xth World Congress was ‘Violent Conflicts, Peace-building and Constitutional Law’ and focused on contemporary issues of the role of constitutions in time of conflict, democratic decay and peace-building.

The Congress was made up of 4 plenary sessions where 3-5 speakers presented to the whole Congress, on topics such as War and Peace in Modern Constitutional Law and Constitutional Challenges of Migration Processes. There were 27 Workshops, in which 10-20 participants discussed topics including Constitutional Reasoning, Free Speech, Membership and Exclusion under Constitutions.

As part of the World Congress, the IACL blog was re-launched, there were a series of Talk with the Authors events and visits to the Korean Constitutional Court and tours to the De-militarized Zone. With the assistance of the Australian Embassy in Seoul, a social dinner for 22 Australian and Australian-based scholars was held.

Overall, there were over 700 participants, from over 80 countries, with Australian constitutional law scholars featuring amongst the plenary chairs, the workshop chairs and the workshop participants throughout the Congress.  At the Congress, the IACL Council met to elect its new executive. Professor Adrienne Stone was elected President of the IACL for a 4-year term. For more information on the Xth Congress, see here.

The next Congress is in Johannesburg in December 2022.

Native Title Compensation in Australia

TC Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland

Date: 3 October 2018

Location: Board Room (W353), Level 3, Forgan Smith Building, TC Beirne School of Law, The University of Queensland

Ever since the Native Title Act 1993 commenced, Australian law has provided explicit statutory rights to compensation for acts affecting native title. However, it was not until late 2016 that a court was asked to make a determination of compensation, and to discuss the principles that should be applied in doing so.

The thesis concerns the challenge that compensating native title presents, offering a critique of the approach taken by the courts so far, and outlines a new path forward. Ultimately, it is argued that the key challenge is striking the right balance between integrating native title compensation into an existing framework of principles (similitude) and the creation of a new approach that recognises the unique character of native title (sui generis).

Details are available on the website.

Registration, Recording and Noting of Native Title in Australia

TC Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland

Date: 4 October 2018

Location: Board Room (W353), Level 3, Forgan Smith Building, TC Beirne School of Law, The University of Queensland

The native title registration system is not title based which means that it is difficult to ascertain how native title relates to other interests in the same land and waters. The land title and native title details are not updated in the National Native Title Register or the Register of Indigenous Land Use Agreements when changes occur altering registered information. Conclusiveness, certainty and currency is lacking.

The aim of the thesis is to demonstrate that the States and Territories could record native title in land determined to exist in their Torrens Title systems. The States and Territories could also develop an additional section, layer or register for the registers established pursuant to State and Territory inland water legislation in which to register or record native title existing in inland water. These measures would supplement the current native title registration system.

In addition, Australia does not currently have a comprehensive registration system involving the sea and marine interests existing therein. A marine register and three-dimensional conclusive cadastre to include native title is required for environmental protection, planning and save-guarding endangered marine species and environments vital to the exercise of native title.

Details are available on the website.

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.

2018 Paul Byrne SC Memorial Lecture: Our First Nations People in Custody – A National Disgrace

University of Sydney Law School

Date: 24 October 2018

Time: 6:00pm-7:30pm

Location: Law Foyer, Level 2, New Law Building (F10), Eastern Avenue, Camperdown, University of Sydney

Indigenous Australians are imprisoned at arguably the highest rate of imprisonment of any group of people in the world. About a quarter of all Australian prisoners are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders. They are about 13 times more likely to be imprisoned than non-indigenous Australians. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are 24 times more likely to detained in a juvenile detention centre than non-indigenous children. These statistics are well known and understood. There have been Royal Commissions, Commissions of Inquiry, numerous reports and investigations. The magnitude of the disparity is manifest – and disgraceful. This year’s Paul Byrne memorial lecture will focus on why this disparity exists and what can be done to ameliorate it.

This is the seventh Paul Byrne SC Memorial Lecture honouring Paul Byrne SC, who had a life long interest in criminal law and the criminal justice system, as well being an active participant and generous supporter of the Institute of Criminology at the Sydney Law School.

The speaker is Phillip Boulten SC, a senior criminal barrister practising at the Sydney Bar from Forbes Chambers. He appears in cases at all levels of the criminal justice system, principally in NSW but also in other jurisdictions. He appeared in the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the NT as senior counsel for the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency. He is the Chair of the Indigenous Issues Committee of the Australian Bar Association, Co-Chair of the NSW Bar Association’s Working Group on the Over-representation of Indigenous People in Custody and a member of the Law Council’s Criminal Law Committee. He is a past President of the NSW Bar Association and a former member of the executive of the Australian Bar Association.

Registration is essential. Please see the website for further details.

2018 Richard Cooper Memorial Lecture: ‘The Native Title Act – the first 25 years – Old and New Challenges’

TC Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland

Date: 25 October 2018

Time: 4:45pm-7:00pm

Location: Court 1, Level 7, Harry Gibbs Commonwealth Law Courts, 119 North Quay, Brisbane

The guest speaker will be Mr Philip Hunter, a Partner at HWL Ebsworth specialising in native title and indigenous cultural heritage. He has assisted and advised native title representative bodies, native title holders, native title claimants, proponents and Commonwealth and State government agencies on native title and cultural heritage since 1994. Mr Hunter has been involved in many high profile native title cases, including acting for the Wik Peoples and the Waanyi Peoples in their successful High Court appeals.

The lecture will also be live broadcast to Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. Please check the website for the exact time and locations for each broadcast.

Please register by 18 October 2018. Registration and further 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-5:30pm

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 with a special focus on celebrating administrative law at the ANU, particularly the stellar careers of Emeritus Professors Robin Creyke AO and John McMillan AO.

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, Robin Creyke, Matthew Groves, Graeme Hill, Leighton McDonald, John McMillan, Dennis Pearce, Kim Rubenstein, Kristina Stern, Daniel Stewart and Greg Weeks.

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

Constitutional Reform in Sri Lanka: Meeting Majoritarian Challenges while Providing for Meaningful Devolution

University of Melbourne Law School

Dates: 5 November 2018

Time: 1:00pm-2:00pm

Location: G08, Ground Floor, Law Building, 185 Pelham Street, University of Melbourne

Nearly a decade after the defeat of armed separatism, Sri Lanka is yet to arrive at a constitutional settlement of its ethnic crisis. While Tamil moderates seem prepared to accept power-sharing within a single country, there is strong pressure from Sinhala nationalists not to strengthen the system of Provincial Councils, alleging that more devolution would necessarily pave the way to secession. Any change in the ‘unitary’ nature of the State is strongly opposed by nationalists. For many Sri Lankans ‘unitary’ means ‘oneness’ or ‘one country’.

The Sinhala word for ‘unitary’ is ‘ekeeya’ and ‘eka’ is ‘one’. Thus, changing the unitary nature of the state is seen by some as ‘dividing’ the country. Moderate Tamils and proponents of devolution in the South, on the other hand, argue that describing the Sri Lankan State as ‘unitary’ is undesirable for the reason that there exists a certain ‘unitary mindset’ in Sri Lanka according to which any issue that arises between the Centre and a Province is decided in favour of the Centre. They argue that while ‘unitary’ means, in the classic sense, that powers devolved may be withdrawn by the Centre by constitutional change, there have been many instances of the legislature, executive and even the judiciary undermining devolution at every possible turn. In the current constitutional reform process, strong demands for meaningful devolution have been made also by the Sinhala-dominated provinces, indicating that devolution is seen also as an instrument for balanced regional growth, a welcome development. The challenge is to provide for effective and meaningful devolution to address the national question and demands for balanced regional development, while assuaging fears of possible secession.

This special seminar is co-hosted by the Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies (CCCS) and Constitution Transformation Network (ConTransNet).

Please see the website for more information.

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.

Human Rights Awards 2018

Australian Human Rights Commission

Date: 14 December 2018

Time: 12:00pm

Location: The Westin, Sydney NSW 2000

The Human Rights Awards is the pinnacle of human rights recognition in Australia. Each year we are proud to recognise the outstanding contribution of individuals and organisations in promoting and protecting human rights and freedoms.

This year we have introduced a new Award category to recognise the contribution of local, state, territory and federal government bodies to the advancement and protection of human rights in Australia.

Nominations were open until 19 August 2018. Ticket information will be released closer to the event.

Previous winners of the Human Rights Medal include Johnathan Thurston, Pat Anderson, Peter Greste, Ian Thorpe, the Rt Hon. Malcom Fraser, Ron Merkel QC, Sister Clare Condon, Dorothy Hoddinott and Elizabeth Evatt.

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

Date: 14 February 2019

Time: 10:45am-4:15pm

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

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

Public Law in the Classroom has become a community-building forum in which teachers of Australian public law can share ideas and inspire one another. The 2019 Workshop will be presented in three sessions, with plenty of time for discussion and sharing of practice in each.

The first session, Public Law in a Global Context, will examine the importance of international and comparative perspectives in public law classrooms. We are delighted that the keynote speaker is leading international and public lawyer from New York University, Professor Jeremy Waldron. This session will also include a panel and wider discussion among the workshop participants. The second session will showcase cutting edge teaching approaches in the area of Students as Co-Creators in Public Law. Those interested in presenting in this session should respond to the Call for Abstracts below, by 19 November 2018. The final session will be a panel-based discussion of why and how statutory interpretation in public law is important and not boring.

For more information and to respond to the Call for Abstracts, please see the website.

2019 Constitutional Law Conference and Dinner

Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law

Date: 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.

2019 Constitutional Law Conference and Dinner

The Constitution Centre of Western Australia

Dates: 18-21 March 2019

Time: TBC

Location: Canberra

Fifteen students who attended the State Schools Constitutional Convention will be selected to attend the National Schools Constitutional Convention which will be held in Canberra between 19-21 March 2019. The Australian Government will pay all expenses.

If you attended the Convention and wish to be considered, complete your application and email to cceducation@dpc.wa.gov.au. Applications close at 4pm Tuesday, 9 October 2018. Late applications will not be included. Students will be notified, via email, of the success or otherwise of their application no later than 2 November 2018.

Please see the website for further details.