Welcome to the November 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. 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.

Public Law Weekend 2019: Technology, Public Law and Public Administration
Centre for International and Public Law – ANU College of Law
Date: 1 November 2019
Time: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Location: Australian Centre on China in the World, Building 188, ANU College of Law, Fellows Lane, Acton ACT

The conference will bring together legal scholars, computer scientists, government legal advisers and public sector integrity experts to discuss the unique set of challenges automation and AI present to liberal democratic governments, administration and public law.

Speakers: the Honourable Justice Nye Peram; Professor Lyria Bennett Moses; Dr Lachlan McCalman; Dr Will Bateman; Associate Professor Julia Powles; Professor Terry Carney AO; Dr Nóra Ní Loideáin; Daniel Stewart; Kate Miller.

For further information and to register, click here.

Public International Law: The role of the International Court of Justice from an Australian perspective
International Law Section, Law Council of Australia
Date: 5 November 2019
Time: 7:45 – 9:00 am
Location: Clayton Utz, 1 Bligh St, Sydney NSW

Join the International Law Section on the 5 November 2019 in Sydney for another exciting ILS International Law and Practice Course lecture with guest speaker Dr Christopher Ward SC who will speak on the topic of ‘Public International Law: The role of the International Court of Justice from an Australian perspective’. 

This lecture will consider the Australian experience of public international law through its engagement with the International Court of Justice. It will touch upon issues of jurisdiction, the structure of the Court and Australia’s role in developing the Court and participation in the work of the Court, including as a litigant and through membership of Judges of the Court. It will consider the continuing relevance of the International Court of Justice in an increasingly fragmented international litigation landscape.

Dr Christopher Ward SC is an experienced advocate and specialist in public international law and international commercial law. He has a multidisciplinary and international practice and works in large commercial disputes and inquiries, international law, constitutional and governmental disputes. He has particular expertise in law of the sea, aviation, international anti-corruption and bribery cases. He works regularly in pro bono human rights matters and is the global President of the International Law Association.

For more information and to purchase a ticket, click here.

Using and Proving History in Constitutional Cases
University of Queensland Law School
Date: 7 November 2019
Time: 5:15 – 6:30 pm
Location: Banco Court, Level 3, Queen Elizabeth II Courts of Law, 415 George Street, Brisbane QLD

Presented by Dr Caitlin Goss.

What role does history play in the law, and how are claims about history proved? This lecture explores the question through a series of case studies, with a particular focus on constitutional cases.
 
For further information and to register, click here.

‘Tweet Speech: It’s Not Free After All’: the Recent Banerji Decision of the High Court
Australian Institute of Administrative Law
Date: 7 November 2019
Time: 4:00 pm
Location: Clayton Utz, Level 10, 2 Phillip Law Street, Canberra ACT

What does freedom of political communication have to do with reasonable administrative action under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (Cth)? This presentation by Prue Bindon will discuss the recent High Court decision in Comcare v Banerji [2019] HCA 23 which overturned the AAT’s decision that the dismissal of Ms Banerji for her ‘anonymous tweets’ pursuant to the behavioural standards under the Code of Conduct was not reasonable administrative action taken in a reasonable way.

Prue is a barrister at Key Chambers, Canberra, and works predominantly in the areas of employment, industrial, discrimination, commercial, corporations, professional discipline and administrative law. She has been an associate lecturer at the ANU Law School for a number of years. Prue has served as the President of the Women Lawyers Association of the ACT over 2015-2017 and is currently a member of the Law Council of Australia’s Equal Opportunity Committee.

For further information and to register, click here.

Sir Anthony Mason Essay Competition Presentation Evening
New South Wales Young Lawyers and the Law Society of New South Wales
Date: 7 November 2019
Time: 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Location: The Training Room (Level 3), The Law Society of NSW, 170 Phillip Street, Sydney NSW

NSW Young Lawyers with the support of the Law Society of NSW invites you to attend this year’s Sir Anthony Mason Constitutional Law Address and Presentation Night.

The evening will feature David Bennett AC QC, who will be speaking on “Section 44 – an outdated excrescence on our Constitution”, followed by remarks on constitutional law by Sir Anthony Mason AC KBE GBM QC and the presentation of the 2019 Constitutional Law Essay Competition winners.

The event promises to be a fantastic evening, for any lawyer with an interest in public law.

For further information and to register, click here.

A dinner to honour the contributions to AIAL of Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AO QC
Australian Institute of Administrative Law
Date: 7 November 2019 (registrations close 1 November 2019)
Time: 5:30 pm
Location: Ashurst Ballroom, Level 11, 5 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000
The NSW Chapter of the AIAL is holding a dinner to honour the contributions to AIAL of Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AO QC, Governor of NSW, with a guest lecture on The Contribution of the State Courts to the Development of Administrative Law in Australia by Chief Justice James Allsop AO of the Federal Court of Australia.
For further information and to register, click here.

Citizenship Stripping and the ICCPR
Centre for International Public Law – ANU College of Law
Date: 12 November 2019
Time: 5:30 – 6:30 pm
Location: Fellows Road Lecture Theatre 1, Building 6A, ANU College of Law, 6 Fellows Road, Acton ACT

In this seminar, Professor Kim Rubenstein and Dr Paul Taylor will examine the framework for citizenship deprivation (and the new proposed amendments) in the Australian Citizenship Act 2007 (Cth) against the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

For further information and to register, click here.

The Prorogation Case: Judicial Review in the Age of Brexit
Australian Association for Constitutional Law
Date: 12 November 2019
Time: 5:30 – 7:00 pm
Location: Court 18A, Law Courts Building, Queens Square, Sydney NSW

This event is a special expert panel discussion of the recent decision of the United Kingdom Supreme Court in the Prorogation Case: R (Miller) v Prime Minister; Cherry v Advocate-General for Scotland [2019] UKSC 41.

Catch up on the decision, its significance, and possible implications for judicial review of prorogations and other exercises of non-statutory executive power in Australia.

Speakers:
–         Michael Sexton SC, Solicitor General for New South Wales;
–         Professor Anne Twomey, Sydney Law School;
–         Amanda Sapienza, Senior Solicitor, NSW Crown Solicitor’s Office, who recently completed her PhD thesis on judicial review of non-statutory executive action in Australia.
Chair: Justice Melissa Perry, Federal Court of Australia

For further information, click here.

2019 UNESCO Chair Oration: Empowering Indigenous Australians
Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation
Date: 13 November 2019
Time: 5:30 – 7:00 pm
Location: Deakin Downton, Level 12, Tower 2, 727 Collins Street, Docklands VIC

The 2019 UNESCO Chair Oration, ‘Empowering Indigenous Australians’, will be delivered by Professor Marcia Langton AM.

One of Australia’s most respected Indigenous academics, Professor Langton holds the Chair of Australian Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne. She is an anthropologist and geographer and is widely published on topis in Australian Indigenous Studies, including Aboriginal land tenure, Aboriginal art and Indigenous agreement making.

For further information and to register, click here.

A Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder – Religious Freedom and the Australian Constitution
Australian Association of Constitutional Law and University of Queensland Law School
Date: 13 November 2019 (registrations close 6 November)
Time: 5:30 – 7:00 pm
Location: Banco Court, Level 3, Queen Elizabeth II Law Courts, 415 George Street, Brisbane QLD

The Queensland Chapter of the Australian Association of Constitutional Law and UQ Law invite you to a special event. As the culmination of the AACL’s 2019 programme of seminars and public addresses, the AACL and UQ Law re pleased to be jointly hosting a public lecture on the interrelationship between Australian constitutional law and religious freedom.

The address will be presented by the former Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia, the Hon Robert French AC, and is entitled: A Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder: Religious Freedom and the Australian Constitution. The former Chief Justice’s address will be followed by a commentary by the Hon Justice James Douglas of the Supreme Court of Queensland.

For further information and to register, click here.

UNSW Law Book Forum: ‘The Constitution of Myanmar: A Contextual Analysis’
UNSW Law School
Date: 14 November 2019
Time: 5:00 – 7:00 pm
Location: UNSW Book Shop, Quadrangle Building, UNSW Sydney, Kensington NSW

In 2017, a prominent lawyers and advocate for constitutional change, Ko Ni, was assassinated at Yangon International Airport in Myanmar. His ideas about amending the 2008 Constitution were a challenge to those who hold power in Myanmar. The 2008 Constitution was the first constitution the country has had since 1988 and it is a constitution that was drafted by the former military regime.

This panel will reflect upon the meaning of the Constitution and its role in shaping political debate in a country that continues to struggle with the legacy of direct military rule. As the legislature in Myanmar is currently drafting a bill on constitutional amendment, this timely panel will consider the prospects for reform.

The case of Myanmar also offers an opportunity to reflect upon the possibilities and limits of the field of comparative constitutional law and society. The book, The Constitution of Myanmar: A Contextual Analysis, will be launched at the event.

For further information and to register, click here.

Asia’s First Same-Sex Marriage Legislation: The Interplay of President, Court and Society
Melbourne Law School
Date: 14 November 2019
Time: 6:15 – 7:15 pm
Location: G08 Theatre, Melbourne Law School, 185 Pelham Street, Melbourne VIC

In mid-May 2019, Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan passed Asia’s first same sex marriage law, in compliance with a constitutional court decision and subsequent public referendum.

Confronting this highly divided issue, society took extreme positions and campaigned vigorously, in the midst of an election and in the form of a public referendum in particular. It is intriguing how the controversy was resolved with president, court and vigilant social society interplayed in the young constitutional democracy.

Professor Jiunn-rong Yeh looks at the issue against the backdrop of recent global democratic backsliding. The lecture will discuss how controversy surrounding Asia’s first same sex marriage law was resolved by interplay between the president, court and vigilant social society, highlighting how the interaction may lead to better constitutional governance.

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 NSW

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: Good Decisions – Achieving Fairness in Refugee Law, Policy and Practice
Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law
Date: 26 November 2019
Time: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Location: Law Theatre, G04, Law Building, UNSW Sydney, Kensington NSW

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. 

For more information and to register, click here.

22nd Geoffrey Sawer Lecture: the Reserve Powers in Times of Political Crisis
Centre for International and Public Law – ANU College of Law
Date: 27 November 2019
Time: 6:30 – 7:00 pm
Location: Finkel Theatre, John Curtin School of Medical Research, 131 Garran Rd, Acton ACT

Brexit in the United Kingdom and the Turnbull/Dutton leadership challenge in Australia have given rise to serious consideration about how a Prime Minister might advise the Queen or Governor-General, and whether reserve powers might be exercised, with respect to matters including royal assent, the prorogation or dissolution of Parliament, the appointment and dismissal of a Prime Minister and the exercise of the caretaker conventions. What was previously regarded as inconceivable, has been seriously contemplated. This lecture, given by Professor Anne Twomey (University of Sydney), will place these controversies in the context of constitutional principles, such as the rule of law and representative government, to consider how reserve powers can best operate as a matter of hard or soft power in a manner that supports, rather than opposes, those principles.

For further information and to register, click here.

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

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.

Uncertain Futures: EU Citizenship in the Shadow of Brexit
Melbourne Law School
Date: 5 December 2019
Time: 1:00 – 2:00 pm
Location: Room 317, Melbourne Law School, 185 Pelham Street, Melbourne VIC

If the UK leaves the European Union, over 60 million British citizens, including over 1.2 million living in the EU-27, face being stripped of their EU citizenship rights, and 3.8 million EU-27 citizens resident in Britain face an uncertain future in the UK in terms of the continued exercise of their EU citizenship rights. Which remedies are suitable for their predicament? And what does this tell us about the nature, pedigree and future of (supra-national) citizenship?

For further information and to register, click here.

“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, Bilinga QLD

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’.

Further information, including registration details, is available here.

The Future of Freedom of Speech and Religion after Israel Folau
Deakin Law School
Date: 7 December 2019
Time: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Location: Law Institute of Victoria, Level 13, 140 Williams Street, Melbourne VIC

Israel Folau is one of Australia’s most prominent rugby players, known for sharing provocative content on social media. His sacking by Rugby Australia has been highly controversial, with some suggesting it influenced the outcome of the 2019 federal election.

This Folau affair implicates numerous areas of law and raises fundamental questions for the future of public debate in Australia, and has potentially significant implications for freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

Deakin Law School is hosting a conference to investigate the major aspects of the Folau matter and its implications for Australian law and society. This conference will make an important contribution to the public debate on religious freedom and the proposed Religious Discrimination legislation, providing a forum to facilitate informed discussion.

For further information, and to register, click 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 FW 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.

This conference will examine the value of studying law’s history in its many forms.

Further information, including registration details, is available here.

Public Law in the Classroom 2020
Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law, UNSW, the Public Law and Policy Research Unit, University of Adelaide, and the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, Monash University
Date: 20 February 2020
Location: UNSW Law Building (F8), Kensington Campus, UNSW Sydney

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 2020 Workshop will be opening with a panel session on how technology has changed public law and how we must respond in the classroom, and closing with a panel on Increasing student awareness of public lawyering.

For further information and to register for the conference, click here.