Welcome to the August edition of the AUSPUBLAW Australian Public Law Events Roundup.

Before we get to the events roundup, we would like to draw your attention to the following opportunities:

Call for Papers: The Fourth Biennial Public Law Conference, University of Ottawa Law School, Common Law Section, 17-19 June 2020

Date: 17-19 June 2020

Location: University of Ottawa Law School, Canada

Deadline for Applications: 2 September 2019

The Public Law Conference series is the pre-eminent regular forum for the discussion of public law matters in the common law world. From 17 to 19 June 2020, the University of Ottawa Law School will host the Fourth Biennial Public Law Conference, co-organised by the University of Ottawa, University of Melbourne and University of Cambridge.

The 2020 conference, convened by Peter Oliver (Ottawa), Michael Pal (Ottawa), Jason N E Varuhas (Melbourne), and Shona Wilson Stark (Cambridge), will feature approximately 80 speakers from across the common law world, and bring together over 250 delegates to discuss the most important issues in public law today. The convenors have confirmed the participation of a number of leading judges, scholars and office-holders from common law jurisdictions. The full list of confirmed speakers can be found on the conference website.

The theme of the conference is “Public Law: Rights, Duties and Powers”. The theme is intended to invite engagement with a range of topics related to the conceptual building blocks of public law systems, with a focus on rights, duties and powers. A fuller description of the conference theme can be found here.

The call for papers is now open, and the conference website gives details about how to submit an abstract. The call for papers will close on 2 September 2019. The convenors invite contributions by those at all career stages. The 2020 conference, like the preceding conferences, will include dedicated panel sessions for doctoral students and a fee-waiver programme for doctoral candidates participating in those panels; and the third Richard Hart Prize will be awarded to the best paper by an early career scholar.

Sir Anthony Mason Constitutional Law Essay Competition
Law Society of NSW Young Lawyers Public Law and Government Committee
Deadline for submissions: 30 September 2019

Students studying an undergraduate law degree are invited to submit an essay of no more than 2,500 words (including footnotes but not bibliography) by 30 September 2019 on one of the following questions:

1. With reference to Burns v Corbett [2018] HCA 15, discuss how Federation affected the power of the former colonies to allocate judicial power.
2. Does the Australian Constitution meet the commitment to restrained and limited government endorsed by modern accounts of constitutionalism?
3. “[Constitutionalism] comprises a commitment to fundamental self-determination… along with an ideology of restrained and limited government which in many ways is quite uneasy with or hostile to the idea of popular government.” – Jeremy Waldron, ‘Constitutionalism: A Skeptical View’ (2012) Is Waldron right? Discuss.
4. Does the principle of structured proportionality require the judges to venture beyond the exercise of federal judicial power under the Constitution, and if so, in what respects?

Please email your essay as a PDF by 30 September 2019 to publiclaw.chair@younglawyers.com.au.

Prize money details
First place: $1,200 gift card; Second place: $800 gift card; Third place: $500 gift card. The student who wins first prize will also receive the wonderful opportunity to publish their essay on AUSPUBLAW.

Acknowledgements
The Public Law and Government Committee is grateful for the support of Sir Anthony Mason AC KBE GBM QC, the Law Society of NSW and Gilbert+Tobin Centre of Public Law.

Awards Night Info
The presentation evening will be held onThursday 24 October from 6–8pm.  The speaker for the ceremony will be David Bennett AC QC, former Solicitor-General (1998-2008) – currently practising at 5 Wentworth Chambers.

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. The roundup is published once a month on the first business day of the month, so please let us know in time for that deadline.

Using the Law as a Tool for Social and Climate Justice
ANU Law Reform and Social Justice, and the ANU Centre for International and Public Law
Date: 1 August 2019
Time: 5:30 – 7:00pm
Location: Australian Centre on China in the World Lecture Theatre, Building 188, Fellows Lane, The Australian National University, Canberra

The law is most often associated with maintaining the status quo. But it can also be a tool for positive social change. In this lecture, Jen Robinson will give a global and comparative perspective on strategic human rights litigation, using case studies from her own practice – from West Papua to WikiLeaks – and what she has observed of successful cases and campaigns around the world to provoke a discussion and debate about what more could be possible, including at home in Australia.

Jen Robinson is a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers in London. She has a particular focus on international law, free speech and human rights, advising governments, media organisations, journalists, non-governmental organisations and activists.
 
For more information and to register, click here.

2019 Mason Conversation
Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law, UNSW Law
Date: 5 August 2019
Time: 5.45 pm – 7.00 pm
Location: Banco Court, Level 13 – Law Courts Building, 184 Philip St, Sydney

The 2019 Mason Conversation features the Honourable Michael McHugh AC QC in conversation with Professor George Williams AO. The talk will start promptly at 6.00pm and will be followed by a short networking reception at 7.00pm.

The Mason Conversation is a series named in honour of Sir Anthony Mason AC KBE GBM marking his outstanding generosity and contribution over decades to the University of New South Wales. As well as a distinguished career in the law, including as Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia (1987-95), Sir Anthony was the fifth Chancellor of the University of New South Wales between 1994 and 1999 and the inaugural Chair of the Advisory Committee to the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law

Further information and registration available here. (Please note registrations are now at capacity but there is a waitlist)

A Magnitsky Act for Australia: Human Rights Bombshell, or Frankenstein’s Monster?
Law Society of NSW
Date: 5 August 2019
Time: 5.00 – 7.00 pm
Location: Law Society of NSW, 170 Phillip St, Sydney
 
The Magnitsky Act represents a targeted sanctions regime for grave human rights violations or corruption under which individuals and companies are on the receiving end of economic sanctions rather than nation states. Versions of the US Magnitsky Act have been adopted in Canada, the UK and three Baltic states. Similar legislation is under consideration by the European Parliament and a ‘Magnitsky Bill’ was introduced in the Australian Parliament on 3 December 2018. The Act is widely justified as necessary to sanction human rights abuses in circumstances where the rule of law has failed. However, in force, it strengthens the hand of the executive of the legislating country and creates serious legal risk for businesses who unknowingly deal with a blacklisted entity. Its legal foundation is also troubling: In 2017, Trump announced that human rights abuses and corruption in foreign nations constituted a ‘national emergency’ to justify extending the Act’s reach. Quite apart from this, the Act has a disturbing backstory, featuring murder, state power and ‘fake news’.
 
Speakers:
Pauline Wright, Partner Principal, P J Donnellan & Co Solicitors (Facilitator)
Senator Kimberley Kitching, Senator for Victoria, Deputy Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate and Shadow Assistant Minister for Government Accountability
Emeritus Professor Graeme Gill, Director of Research Development, Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney 
 
For further information and to register, click here.

Self-determination and the Implications of the Chagos Advisory Opinion

Marine and Shipping Law Unit, Centre for Public, International and Comparative Law (TC Beirne School of Law) and International Law Association (QLD branch)

Date: 6 August 2019

Time: 4:30 pm

Location: Sir Gerard Brennan Room (W353), Level 3, Forgan Smith building, The University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus

The ICJ’s Chagos Advisory Opinion offers a thorough re-evaluation of the normative content of right to self-determination and its relationship with the principle of territorial integrity in situations where decolonization has been frustrated. In particular, in its Opinion, the Court established how, and when, self-determination became a norm of customary international law as well as confirming the manner in which it could be exercised, (and by whom), in such settings. Moreover, in their Separate Opinions, a number of judges supported the claim that self-determination has become a peremptory norm of international law (jus cogens) – a radical argument that was also advanced by many States that participated in the advisory proceedings.

This presentation assesses the resonance of these authoritative sources – and the more radical contentions advanced during the Chagos Case – for the exercise of the right to self-determination in the colonial context and for international law more generally. The presentation will be given by Dr Stephen Allen who is a Senior Lecturer in Law at Queen Mary, University of London. He is also a qualified barrister and maintains a Door Tenancy at 5 Essex Court Chambers, London.

For more information and to register, click here.

Kennedy Exceptionalism, the Vietnam War, and the Limits of Counterfactual History
Centre for International & Public Law, ANU with the Attorney-General’s Department and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Date: 7 August 2019
Time: 5:30 – 6:30 pm
Location: Fellows Road Law Theatre 2, Building 6, ANU College of Law, 5 Fellows Rd, Canberra

If John F. Kennedy had not been assassinated on November 22, 1963, would the US have committed ground troops to Vietnam –a decision that led to what is widely recognized as the worst debacle in American military history? This counterfactual what-if, often referred to as “Kennedy exceptionalism,” has obsessed historians for two generations. Associate Professor Kevin Jon Heller (University of Amsterdam and Australian National University) will argue in this presentation that historians who believe JFK would not have Americanized the war even if it meant “losing” South Vietnam are correct – but that the Kennedy exceptionalism counterfactual is one of the very few historical what – if questions that admit of a relatively clear and useful answer.

Professor Heller is Associate Professor of Public International Law at the University of Amsterdam and Professor of Law at the Australian National University.

For more information and to register click here.

Sir Anthony Mason Lecture 2019: Possibilities for Proportionality in Australian Administrative Law
Melbourne University Law School Students’ Society
Date: 7 August 2019
Time: 6:30 – 7:30 pm (followed by refreshments from 7:45pm)
Location: David P Derham Theatre, Melbourne Law School, 185 Pelham St, Melbourne

Drawing on ideas of proportionality that have developed in Australian constitutional law and in ‘rights-based’ administrative law jurisdictions, Justice Susan Kenny of the Federal Court of Australia will explore the possibilities for proportionality reasoning in Australian public administrative law.

The Sir Anthony Mason Honorary Lecture was inaugurated in 1995, the year of Sir Anthony Mason’s retirement as Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia. Proudly presented by the Melbourne University Law School Students’ Society, the Sir Anthony Mason lecture serves to celebrate Sir Anthony Mason’s outstanding contribution to the legal profession and the common law of Australia.

For more information and to register, click here.

Proportionality in Europe and Australia
Date: 8 August 2019
Time: 12.45 – 2.00 pm
Location: University of Sydney Law School Common Room (Level 4)

Proportionality is a legal principle that requires balancing between competing values. Its origin is in German 19th century administrative law, where it was meant as a tool to protect the individual interests from the unnecessary and arbitrary intrusions of the state into the private sphere and it was the ultimate source of legality of any administrative and legislative action. The European Union has placed a consistent focus on the proportionality test in the context of policy issues. Depending on the area where it is applied, the principle serves different functions. In the EU Member States’ Legal doctrine, proportionality has become a standard feature of constitutional analysis too.

The event will feature Professor Diana-Urania Galetta, (University of Milan Law Faculty); Dr Shipra Chordia (New Chambers) and Professor Margaret Allars (Eleven Wentworth) as chair.

Young Scholars Forum, Melbourne Institute of Comparative Constitutional Law
Melbourne Law School
Date: 9-11 December 2019
Location: Melbourne Law School
Deadline for Applications: 11 August 2019

The MICCL is a gathering of approximately 20-30 scholars, including junior faculty, post-doctoral fellows, and leading international senior scholars. Its aim is to develop the study of comparative constitutional law through exchange between leaders and emerging scholars in the field.

The MICCL meets over three days. The first two days involve seminars from leading scholars in the field of comparative constitutional law and experts on particular legal systems. The final day will be devoted to a workshop of the papers by junior scholars in the field. Papers on all aspects of comparative constitutional law, broadly conceived, are eligible.

Applications are invited from scholars in full-time post-doctoral fellowships or from entry level academics (i.e. academics who have held a full-time academic appointment for no more than 5 years) to attend the MICCL, and who wish to submit a paper for discussion on the final day.  In cases of exceptional need, a bursary may be considered to assist successful candidates for travel-related and/or accommodation expenses, with payment made as a reimbursement after the event. Applications are due by 11 August 2019. For further information and application instructions, see here.

The Victorian Charter of Human Rights – Impact and Effectiveness
Law Institute of Victoria
Date: 13 August 2019
Time: 12.30-2.30 pm
Location: Law Institute of Victoria, Level 13, 140 William St, Melbourne

Human rights are essential in a democratic and inclusive society that respects the rule of law, human dignity, equality and freedom.  Since coming into operation in 2007, Victoria’s Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (VIC) (the Charter) has become an increasingly powerful tool for lawyers when considering human rights obligations and the law. The Charter has assisted in resolving matters positively across a range of legal areas, including criminal, health, family, employment and guardianship cases. It has also assisted our courts by aiding judicial interpretation in litigious disputes and has provided a vehicle for checks on government decision making.

Use your lunch break to acquaint yourself with this landmark piece of legislation and its uses. Hear from prestigious experts, learn about key developments to the Charter, and delve into a workshop where you will be given an opportunity to turn your mind to realistic scenarios pertaining to the practical applications of the Charter. You will walk away with unique advocacy and law reform insights as well as pragmatic learnings from colleagues and experts in attendance.

Further information and registration available here.

Does Australia need a charter of human rights?
La Trobe University
Date: 13 August 2019
Time: 6:15 – 8:30 pm
Location: The Clemenger Auditorium, National Gallery of Victoria, 18 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
 
In part as a consequence of her experience as President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Professor Gillian Triggs, the renowned international lawyer and author most recently of Speaking Up, is a passionate advocate for an Australian Human Rights Charter. Professor Greg Craven, the Vice-Chancellor and President of the Australian Catholic University, disagrees equally passionately. Their debate will be moderated by La Trobe’s, Dr Madelaine Chiam and introduced by La Trobe’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Dewar.
 
For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

Law and Social Movements
University of Sydney Law School
Date: 14 August 2019
Time: 6:00 – 7:00pm
Location: Common Room, Level 4, New Law Building, University of Sydney
 
The question of whether lawyers help or hurt social movements has been hotly debated for nearly half a century. In the United States, the dominant view has long been that overinvestment in legal tactics undercut sustainable grassroots activism in the civil rights period. Over the last decade, that view has come in for reconsideration, powered by the emergence of new left-wing social movements and the legal response to American right-wing populism.

Drawing upon lessons from these contemporary movements, Professor Scott Cummings (Robert Henigson Professor of Legal Ethics and Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law) explores the possibilities and pitfalls of combining legal and political mobilization, suggesting implications for legal education and social justice practice.

For more information and to register, click here.

Our First and Only Black Chief Justice Meets Racism in Australia
The Federation Press in association with the Francis Forbes Society
Date: 15 August 2019
Time: 5:15pm for 5:30 – 6:30pm
Location: Bar Common Room, NSW Bar Association, Selbourne Chambers, B/174 Phillip St, Sydney

The Federation Press in association with the Francis Forbes Society cordially invites you to a public address delivered by The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG and Professor Stefan Petrow of the University of Tasmania on the life of Sir Francis Villeneuve Smith, the third Chief Justice of Tasmania, and the issues of colonial and postcolonial racism in Australia.

Francis Villeneuve Smith was an immigrant who became the fourth Premier of Tasmania, the third Chief Justice of the Colony and the first Australian Chief Justice to have been Premier. He was born in 1819 to an English father and a Caribbean mother. As a result, his skin colour was distinctly dark. He was trained as a barrister in London and eventually made his home in Hobart Town where he enjoyed quick success in politics and at the Bar. Living in Hobart he was repeatedly insulted for his skin colour and parentage by the locals. Yet his ability won for him high office, although his mother was largely isolated by the socially conservative race-conscious community. He was eventually knighted but left Tasmania to return to England where he died.

A biography of this remarkable barrister, politician, judge and Chief Justice, largely forgotten until now, has been written by Dr John Bennett together with Dr Ronald Solomon in the series Lives of the Australian Chief Justices published by The Federation Press (The Francis Forbes Society helped fund the research that lead to the book). To reflect on his life and times, Professor Stefan Petrow (Professor of History, University of Tasmania) will describe Smith’s life, successes and hardships. The Hon Michael Kirby will pick up the story, describe colonial and postcolonial racism in Australia and derive some lessons for today.

Please RSVP to marketing@federationpress.com.au by Thursday 8th August.

Book Launch: International Refugee Law and the Protection of Stateless Persons
Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness, Melbourne Law School
Date: 15 August 2019
Time: 6:00 – 8:00pm
Location: Room 920, Level 9, Melbourne Law School, 185 Pelham Street, Melbourne

The book International Refugee Law and the Protection of Stateless Persons by Michelle Foster (Melbourne Law School) and Helene Lambert (University of Technology Sydney/University of Westminster Law School) will be officially launched by Louise Aubin (Regional Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Canberra).

International Refugee Law and the Protection of Stateless Persons examines the extent to which the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees protects de jure stateless persons. While de jure stateless persons are clearly protected by the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, this book seeks to explore the extent to which such persons are also entitled to refugee status. The questions addressed include the following: When is a person ‘without a nationality’ for the purpose of the 1951 Refugee Convention? What constitutes one’s country of former habitual residence as a proxy to one’s country of nationality? When does being stateless give rise to a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons specified in the 1951 Refugee Convention and/or UNHCR mandate? What are the circumstances under which statelessness constitutes persecution or inhuman or degrading treatment? How are courts assessing individual risk or threat to stateless persons?

For more information and to register, click here

Kennedy Exceptionalism, the Vietnam War, and the Limits of Counterfactual History
Sydney Centre for International Law at the University of Sydney Law School
Date: 15 August 2019
Time: 6:00 – 7:30 pm
Location: University ofSydney Law School, Common Room, Level 4, New Law Building, Camperdown

If John F. Kennedy had not been assassinated on November 22, 1963, would the US have committed ground troops to Vietnam –a decision that led to what is widely recognized as the worst debacle in American military history? This counterfactual what-if, often referred to as “Kennedy exceptionalism,” has obsessed historians for two generations. Associate Professor Kevin Jon Heller (University of Amsterdam and Australian National University) will argue in this presentation that historians who believe JFK would not have Americanized the war even if it meant “losing” South Vietnam are correct – but that the Kennedy exceptionalism counterfactual is one of the very few historical what – if questions that admit of a relatively clear and useful answer.

Professor Heller is Associate Professor of Public International Law at the University of  Amsterdam and Professor of Law at the Australian National University.

Registration is free but compulsory. For more information and to register click here.

Institutional Disrespect: The Structural Marginalisation of Refugee Migrants in Australia
Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness, Melbourne Law School
Date: 22 August 2019
Time: 1:00 – 2:00pm
Location: Room 608, Level 6, Melbourne Law School, 185 Pelham St, Melbourne

Whose responsibility is it to address the disrespect felt by immigrants and other marginalised groups in their dealings with government institutions? In this seminar Ibi Losoncz, the author of Institutional Disrespect, argues that when disrespect comes in the forms of injustice or institutional mistreatment or is systemic in governance arrangements, the responsibility lies not with individuals but with the state, its institutions and its appointed bureaucrats.

Combining theoretical analysis of institutional engagement through the lens of respect with examples of the resettlement experiences of South Sudanese Australians, the seminar examines how blocked pathways to develop positive self-identities and meaningful lives can lead to a breakdown of social bonds between immigrants and social institutions.

For more information and to register, click here.

Constitutionalising the party
ANU College of Law Visitors Committee and Research Office
Date: 28 August 2019
Time: 1:00 – 2:00pm
Location: Building 6A, ANU College of Law, 5 Fellows Rd, Canberra
 
Political parties have featured in constitutional practice and theory largely in the context of party bans by militant democracies. In this paper, Associate Professor Tarun Khaitan (University of Melbourne Law School and Wadham College, Oxford) will argue that democratic constitutions should seek to achieve two design objectives in relation to political parties:
(i) Separating the state and the ruling party (the separation principle); and
(ii) Discouraging parties from becoming factions (the anti-faction principle).
These design objectives are drawn from the value of democracy itself. With respect to the first objective, a regime where the party and the state are sufficiently fused cannot be described as a democracy because the fundamental democratic tenet requiring genuine political competition is breached. Regarding the second objective, a political party that is captured by a narrow base, an autocratic leadership or wealthy donors, or one that can justify its policies only to a subset of the people rather than all the people is bad for democracy. The paper will then discuss some design solutions that, depending on the context, could be deployed towards these objectives.

For more information and to register, click here.

Reinventing Human Rights
Australian Human Rights Institute and Forced Migration Research Network
Date: 28 August 2019
Time: 2:00 – 3:00pm
Location: Allens Theatre G23, UNSW Law School, Kensington

This talk by Professor Mark Goodale (University of Lausanne)
is animated by both a deceptively simple assumption and a deceptively simple answer to a fundamental question. The assumption is that if it is true, as Lynn Hunt (2007) has argued, that human rights in their current forms were invented at critical moments in history, from the French Revolution to the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, then human rights can be reinvented. If this is so, then the fundamental question becomes: In light of everything we know about the current status of human rights in relation to the most pressing of contemporary problems, should they be reinvented?

The talk begins by answering “yes” to this fundamental question and then proceeds by sketching out the rough outlines of a reconceived approach to human rights. The basic argument of the presentation is that human rights can and should form the basis for both justice-seeking and specific social and institutional action in the future. In this respect, I part ways from critics—from both the progressive left and neoconservative and nationalist right—who would like to see human rights consigned to the dustbin of history. Yet it also seems quite clear that human rights can and should play these vanguard roles only if they are radically reimagined. In other words, against the background of a number of conceptual, political, and ideological challenges, only a revolutionary—rather than a reformist—collective response will prove capable of freeing human rights from the catastrophic constraints of the current moment.

For more information and to register, click here.

Democracy, Human Rights and the Judiciary: the Common Law and the Wider World
Melbourne Law School
Date: 29 August 2019
Time: 1.00 – 2:00 pm
Location: Room 920, Level 9, Melbourne Law School, 185 Pelham Street, Melbourne

This lecture will be delivered by Sir Nicholas Blake, Deputy Judge of the High Court of England and Wales, Queen’s Bench Division.

For further information and to register, click here.

Australian Academy of Law Annual Essay Prize 2019
Deadline for submission: 31 August 2019

The Australian Academy of Law is pleased to announce the offering of its Annual Essay Prize for 2019.

The Prize is open to anyone, wherever resident, who is studying or has studied legal subjects at a tertiary level, or who is working or has worked in a law based occupation. There is no limit by reference to the age or seniority or experience of, or position held by, a person who may submit an entry. Accordingly, judicial officers, legal practitioners, legal academics and law students are all eligible to submit an essay.

The amount of the Prize is $10,000.

The essay topic for the Prize in 2019 is as follows:
How do private law and public law interact in Australia? What are, and what should be, the available remedies (public or private or both) where they Interact?

The deadline for submission of an essay is 31 August 2019. Further information is available here.

Reconsidering ‘revolution by Constitution’: law, social change, justice
ANU College of Law
Date: 4 September 2019
Time: 1:00 – 2:00pm
Location: Fellows Rd Law Theatre 1, ANU College of Law, 5 Fellows Rd, Canberra

Based on long-term ethnographic research on the “revolution by constitution” in contemporary Bolivia, this talk by Professor Mark Goodale (University of Lausanne) will examine the theoretical implications of the country’s turn to law as the principal mechanism of structural change and justice-seeking. Given Bolivia’s dependence on law as arguably one of the most radical laboratories for post-Cold War transformation, it offers a unique empirical vantage point for examining the outer boundaries where legal categories and discourses, social change, and historical accounts of justice meet. The talk will trace the contours of these outer boundaries with reference to a range of legal, political, and anthropological theory, including Ran Hirschl’s theory of juristocracy, Nancy Fraser’s revised theory of justice, E. P. Thompson’s obiter dicta on the “logics of law,” and John and Jean Comaroff’s discussion of “lawfare.”

For more information and to register, click here.

Democracy, Human Rights and the Judiciary: the Common Law and the Wider World
Australian Academy of Law
Date: 4 September 2019
Time: 5.00 pm
Location: Court One, Federal Court of Australia, Level 8, Commonwealth Law Courts, 305 William St, Melbourne

This lecture will be delivered by Sir Nicholas Blake, Deputy Judge of the High Court of England and Wales, Queen’s Bench Division, and chaired by the Honourable James Allsop AO, Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Australia.

Further information and registration available here.

The Jack Richardson Oration 2019: The Hon Virginia Bell AC
ACC Australian in conjunction with the ACT Law Society
Date: 9 September 2019
Time: 11:45am
Location: Hotel Realm, National Ballroom, 18 National Circuit, Barton

ACC Australia in conjunction with the ACT Law Society invite you to the 2019 annual Jack Richardson Oration, proudly sponsored by Sparke Helmore. The 2019 Oration will be delivered by Justice of the High Court, The Hon Virginia Bell AC, and will be in a luncheon format. The Oration is held each year in honour of the late Professor Jack Richarson AO, the Commonwealth’s first Ombudsman. 

For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

The Two University Freedoms: Academic Freedom and Freedom of Speech
Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and the University of Melbourne
Date: 10 September 2019
Time: 6:30 – 7:30 pm
Location: Theatre 102, Melbourne Law School, 185 Pelham Street, Melbourne

2019 Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia Fay Gale Lecture

Two concepts are much bandied about in contemporary public debate about universities: academic freedom and freedom of speech. Almost everyone agrees that they are very important but opinions differ wildly as to what these two freedoms require. In this lecture, Professor Adrienne Stone (Melbourne Law School) argues that two freedoms are quite distinct: academic freedom springs from the university’s mission to advance and disseminate knowledge, whereas freedom of speech is important because universities are also institutions of civil society.

Professor Stone argues for the primacy of the university’s teaching and research mission. Teaching and research are ordinarily enhanced by a strong and vibrant public debate and culture of freedom of speech. However, where freedom of speech undermines or disregards academic standards and values, freedom of speech should give way.

For more information and to register, click here.

The Right to Health in the New Human Rights Act of Queensland – Crash Course
University of Queensland Centre for Policy Futures
Date: 11 September 2019
Time: 9.00 am -12.00 pm
Location: Level 2, Group Learning Space (273), Global Challenge Institute Building (20), UQ St Lucia Campus

In 2019, Queensland’s Parliament passed the Human Rights Act of Queensland (HRAQ), which will make Queensland the third Australian State/Territory to implement rights legislation.

The new HRAQ will have 23 rights, including the right to health (Article 37). The right to health in the new HRAQ is a significant milestone: this is the first time the right to health will be domesticated and justiciable in Australia.

This workshop will provide a ‘crash course’ on what is the right to health, what are the key right to health challenges likely to emerge in Queensland, and how can this human right be leveraged to advance the health and wellbeing of all Queenslanders, especially as part of Australia’s larger Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) commitment to Leave No One Behind by year 2030.

Further information and registration instructions are available here.

The Journey of a Restless Advocate: Creating a more Gender Equal Australia
Australian Academy of Law
Date: 19 September 2019 (RSVP by 13 September 2019)
Time: 5:00pm
Location: Nitmiluk Lounge Level 4, Parliament House, Darwin

The speaker, Ms Elizabeth Broderick AO, has brought together captains of Industry, Sport, Governments and Defence Force chiefs to address gender inequality in Australia and beyond. As Australia’s longest serving Sex Discrimination Commissioner (2007-2015), Elizabeth worked tirelessly to break down structural and social barriers faced by women and men, and to promote gender equality. Her review into the treatment of women in the Australian Defence Force led to sweeping cultural reforms. She established and convenes the globally recognised ‘Male Champions of Change’ strategy, enlisting a ‘who’s who’ of powerful male leaders to tackle workplace gender inequality. She is a powerful and influential voice in the struggle for gender equality, enlisting both women and men as agents of change.

For more information including registration information, click here.

Western Sahara – Africa’s last colony – the legal, political and human aspects of the conflict
Sydney Centre for International Law at the University of Sydney Law School
Date: 25 September 2019
Time: 1:00 – 2:00 pm
Location: Common Room, Level 4, New Law Building, University of Sydney

The seminar, presented by Kamal Fadel (Representative of the Frent Polisario in Australia and New Zealand) and Tecber Ahmed Saleh (advocate for human rights), explores the unfinished decolonisation, by considering the legal, political and historical aspects of Western Sahara as a non-self-governing territory, which raise questions about the international right to self-determination and the enduring legacies of colonialism and occupation.

In 1975 Morocco invaded Western Sahara when Spain abandoned its former colony. Saharawis fled the occupation, setting up refugee camps in south-west Algeria. Today 173,600 remain in the refugee camps supported by the UN Food Program and other humanitarian aid while the Saharawis who remained in their homeland face constant persecution, arrest and imprisonment at the hands of Moroccan occupying forces. In 1975 the International Court of Justice found that Western Sahara was not terra nullius prior to its colonisation by Spain. The court reaffirmed that the people of Western Sahara are entitled to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination and independence. Today the Saharawi continue their nonviolent struggle, waiting for the United Nations referendum on self-determination agreed in 1991.

For more information and to register, click here.

The Gerard Brennan Lecture: Just How Common is the Common Law? A Comparative Perspective
Bond University Law School
Date: 3 October 2019
Time: 5:30 – 6:30 pm
Location: Basil Sellers Theatre, Building 6 – Bond University, 14 University Drive, Robina Qld

Countries who were members of the British Empire were required to be uniform in their decision-making.  That time has past.  The late 20th century in particular has seen divergences more so than convergences between common law courts, in particular those of Australia, Canada and the UK, in the application and development of aspects of the common law.  Why did this occur and what does this mean for the common law?  Is uniformity of the common law across jurisdictions a goal worth pursuing?  Is it realistic?  Indeed is it possible?

Presented by the Hon Chief Justice Susan Kiefel AC. For more information and to register, click here.

Call for Applications: 2019 Kathleen Fitzpatrick Visiting Fellowships in the Laureate Program in Comparative Constitutional Law
Deadline for applications: 13 October 2019
 
Applications are invited from suitably qualified female doctoral and early career scholars to participate in the Laureate Program in Comparative Constitutional Law at Melbourne Law School during 2020. The Kathleen Fitzpatrick Visiting Fellowships allow outstanding female doctoral and early career researchers the opportunity to visit Melbourne and work with the program for one to two months each year.

The Fellows will be closely integrated into the Laureate Project and the academic life of the Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies, taking part in project events and workshops, and participating in work-in-progress seminars.
 
Applications close 13 October 2019. Further information is available here.

Digital Legislation
Law, Science and Technology Program, TC Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland
Date: 23 October 2019
Time: 6:00 – 7:00 pm
Location: Seminar Room 3, UQ Brisbane City, Level 6, 293 Queen Street, Brisbane

In this talk, Professor Guido Governatori will introduce the paradigm of Digital Legislation, namely, norms in a normative system that are available in a digital format, executable by machine and understandable by humans. He will present a vision of Digital Legislation and its benefits, and also outline a technical roadmap to implement this vision.

Professor Guido Governatori leads the research activities on Legal Informatics and Computational Law at CSIRO’s Data61.

More information on this event is available here.

Patron’s Address: The Academy and the Courts: what do they mean to each other today?
Australian Academy of Law
Date: 31 October 2019
Time: 5:15 for 5:30 pm
Location: Banco Court, Level 3, Queen Elizabeth II Courts of Law, 415 George St, Brisbane
 
One of the purposes for which the AAL was founded was to provide a bridge between the academy and the courts. This draws attention to their relationship in the past and the present. To what extent does the judiciary look to the academy for the purposes of its decision-making? What does the academy take from those decisions? Was there a time when the courts looked to the academy more often and when the academy spoke to the courts? What, if any, changes have taken place which affect the possibility of this communication? The Patron’s address, delivered by The Hon Chief Justice Susan Kiefel AC, Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia, will discuss these and related topics.
 
For further information and to register click here.

Protecting Rights, Addressing Inequality: Writs as Constitutional Transfer
UNSW Law School and Konrad Adenaur Stiftung
Date: 15 – 16 November 2019
Time: 9.45 am – 3.45 pm
Location: Level 2, Law Building, UNSW Sydney, Kensington

The courts are often a key site of the struggle for the enforcement of rights and accountability. The rise of constitutional adjudication globally is usually framed within the context of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the creation of independent constitutional courts in many parts of the world over the past three decades. This development is held up as a key moment in the globalization of constitutional law. And yet, there have been prior moments in history when key ideas and institutions of constitutional review spread across regions and around the world.

One example is the prerogative writs, a set of common law remedies that were included in post-colonial independence constitutions across former British colonies, particularly across South Asia, as well as parts of Africa, the Pacific and the Caribbean (Crouch 2018). Constitutional writs – the remedies of habeas corpus, certiorari, prohibition, mandamus and quo warranto – are an important remedy both historically and for contemporary modes of administrative adjudication. In the immediate post-colonial era, the constitutional writs were a remedy sought for the protection of rights against the power of the state. While the postcolonial courts in Burma were among the first to develop the constitutional writs in 1948-1949, it is in India that the writs became associated with judicial activism. The writs in constitutional form were also included in places such as Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, among other countries.

This workshop seeks to investigate the history, development and variations of this model of constitutional adjudication, following the transformation from the common law remedies of England to a constitutional means of protecting rights. It will also consider the symbolic status of constitutional writs, how the importance of these remedies has changed over time and under what conditions. This workshop seeks to draw attention to the role of constitutional writs as legal transfer and consider these remedies as the intersection of constitutional and administrative law and rights protection. The constitutional writs have important implications for the protection of rights against the power of the state and for addressing inequality.

Further information and registration available here.

Kaldor Centre Annual Conference 2019
Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law
Date: 26 November 2019

Good decisions: Achieving fairness in refugee law, policy and practice

Every day, decisions are made about whether people need international protection because they are at risk of persecution or other forms of serious harm. A variety of people make these life-or-death calls – immigration officials at the airport, tribunal members and judges, public servants, even Ministers themselves. In another sense, the decisions are also made by the general public, because the politicians they elect to public office will shape the overall approach. This conference explores aspects of refugee decision-making from the micro to the macro level – from individual cases through to wider public policy. It asks how we can ensure that refugee decision-making is fair, transparent and protection-sensitive, with outcomes that are consistent with international law. 

Registrations will open in late July – click here for more information.

Legal Education Research Conference
Date: 27 – 28 November 2019
Location:  UNSW Law Building, Kensington

The theme of the 2019 conference is: ‘Teaching as a Subversive Activity’. We are excited to be featuring panels, papers, posters and performances on legal education research related to the theme, which we have drawn from Neil Postman and Charles Weingartner’s classic Teaching as a Subversive Activity (1969). We take this to mean the consideration of research into legal education as lifetime learning, as ‘crap-detecting’, as creating meaning, as transformative and as developing world-changing thinking within the legal context.

In an age when everyone aspires to teach critical thinking skills in the classroom (or, at least, no teacher would say they want to produce uncritical students!), what does it mean today to be a subversive law teacher? Who or what might a subversive law teacher seek to subvert – the authority of the law, the university, their own authority as teachers, perhaps? Are law students ripe for subversion, agents of, or impediments to, subversion?

Keynote speakers: Emerita Professor Raewyn Connell; Professor David Dixon; Professor Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos; Emerita Professor Margaret Thornton; Professor Prue Vines.

For more information and to register, click here. Registration is free for everyone.

“Constitutional Resilience in South Asia” Workshop
The Asian Law Centre and Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies at Melbourne Law School
Date: 5-7 December 2019
Location: The Asian Law Centre and Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies at Melbourne Law School

Concerns about the stability of democracies, even long-established democracies, have been rising globally. As a region, South Asia has had a tumultuous and varied relationship with constitutional democracy.

Despite presenting a wide range of examples of democratic experimentation in the global South, and housing a huge chunk of humanity, the region has remained relatively ignored by constitutional law and democracy scholars. This workshop aims to begin to address this lacuna by bringing together scholars (especially early career scholars) working on the region to workshop papers on the resilience of democratic institutions in one or more countries in the region. 

Papers can look at design and functioning of institutions such as political parties, legislatures, political executive, bureaucracy, courts, 4th branch/integrity institutions, media, and civil society, and their role in strengthening or undermining constitutional democracy.

For further information and to register, see here.

2019 Law and Society Association of Australia and New Zealand Conference: Survive, Thrive, Die. Law in End Times
Law and Society Association of Australia and New Zealand and Southern Cross University School of Law and Justice
Date: 5-7 December 2019
Location: School of Law and Justice, Southern Cross University, Gold Coast Campus

Social upheaval, political uncertainty, the end of history, or climate collapse: increasingly, such narratives seem to justify the state of exception in a plethora of contexts, slowly eroding the idea that social, political, and environmental stability can ever be achieved through the rule of law. The conference invites socio-legal scholars to re-imagine the question of law in the face of the ‘end times’.

Papers or panel proposals (of three to four papers) are invited on a broad range of law and society topics relating to the conference theme of ‘Law in End Times’.

The committee welcomes proposals across a range of disciplines including (but not limited to) law, humanities, social science, or the sciences.

Further information is available here.

Australian and New Zealand Law and History Society Annual Conference: Does Law’s History Matter? The Politics of our Disciplinary Practices
Australian and New Zealand Law and History Society (ANZLHS)
Date: 11-14 December 2019
Location: City Queen Campus, Victoria University, 256 Queen St, Melbourne

Writing law’s history has long been understood as a purposeful practice, both necessary and never complete, as the eminent British historian F.W. Maitland noted more than a century ago. Today with the flourishing of imperial and postcolonial scholarship, Maitland’s advocacy of researching law’s past prompts renewed attention to the progenitors, methods and politics of our disciplinary practices. The imperative of capturing and presenting that knowledge seems greater than ever before. Yet for those of us engaged in historical study it can often appear that what we do, and why we do it, is not always well recognised or as valued as it should be. Simultaneously, questions abound about the implications of our practice and its political impact or purpose.

For this conference, we invite those who bring an historical perspective on law to consider together the many ways our work has in the past, and continues into the future, to matter. For example: what is the politics in our chosen methods, or the value in our choice of subject matter? Does it matter how we present and produce work for different audiences (court, academy, or public), or has it mattered in the past? Does it matter to the reception of our work what sources we find and why we use them? And does it matter with whom we write; and whose laws, and experiences of law, we write about? What can we learn from critical study, however incomplete?

On behalf of ANZLHS, the Conference Organizing Committee cordially invites papers on this theme from any period, geographical area, and from all disciplines – including but not limited to law, history, indigenous studies, environmental studies, legal theory, and gender studies.

Further information is available here.