Welcome to the October edition of the AUSPUBLAW Australian Public Law Events Roundup. The events in this roundup were compiled in late September. Due to the evolving nature of responses to COVID-19, some of the below events may have been cancelled, postponed or otherwise amended. Please consult the link for each event for notification of any changes.

Before moving to the roundup, we would like to take this opportunity to let our readers know that registrations for the 2021 Constitutional Conference, hosted by the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law at UNSW Law, are now open. The conference will be held online in 2021.

2021 Constitutional Law Online Conference
Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law at UNSW Law, supported by the Australian Association of Constitutional Law
Date: 12 February 2021
Location: Online

We invite you to register for a major conference on constitutional law to be held via Zoom on Friday 12 February 2021, organised by the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law at the Faculty of Law, UNSW, with the support of the Australian Association of Constitutional Law.

The virtual conference will feature discussions of recent important developments in the High Court, Federal Court and State Courts and provide an overview of the key public law debates in 2020. The conference will also consider current debates on constitutional reform sparked by the High Court’s decisions in Love v Commonwealth and the Palace Papers Case, and the public law challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The conference will be addressed by leading practitioners, academics and judges, and feature opportunities for informal virtual exchange via zoom lunch and morning tea ‘break-out’ rooms. It will also mark the 20th anniversary of the conference, and the Centre’s institutional life, and we will mark that anniversary with a short video presentation at the opening of the conference. We regret that we cannot meet in person next February, but believe that proceeding with a virtual conference is the safest and most appropriate course given current circumstances. We also hope it will offer new opportunities for an even broader range of practitioners, judges and scholars across Australia to join the event. To that end, we are working closely with UNSW Edge to offer registration for single-sessions as well as for the entire day, and offering a substantially discounted registration price. And we are committed to ensuring that all colleagues who wish to can attend, and thus anyone who does not have funds to pay for registration due to the COVID-19 pandemic can do so free of charge.

For further information, and to register, click here.

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.

AUSPUBLAW also maintains a regularly updated (at least once a month) page outlining recent key Australian High Court public law decisions, with links to summaries of these decisions. Also included on this page will be any significant international and foreign decisions in public law that we believe will be of interest to our readers. You can find this page here.

COVID-19: Assessing Indonesia’s Response
Melbourne Law School Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society
Date: 6 and 7 October 2020
Time: 2:00 – 4:00 pm (AEST)
Location: Online

This event is part of the Indonesia Hallmark Research Initiative Online Conference 2020.

Join prominent Indonesian and Australian scholars and activists as they present insights into how the Indonesian government has responded to the Covid-19 pandemic. Topics covered include politics, democratic regression, freedom of expression, health policy and testing, impact on women, the disabled and the urban poor, and Muslim attitudes.

For further information, and to register, click here.

2020 Derek Fielding Memorial Lecture – Queensland’s Human Rights Act: A Review of its First Year
Queensland Council for Civil Liberties
Date: 14 October 2020
Time: 6:45 – 9:00 pm (AEST)
Location: All Saints Convention Centre, 330 Ann Street, Brisbane QLD and online

Human rights may not be the first thing that springs to mind when one reflects on 2020, but amongst the many unprecedented changes to the legal landscape this trip round the sun is that 2020 marks the Queensland Human Rights Act’s first year in effect.

To catch up on what you may have missed in this important development in Queensland’s history, the Queensland Council for Civil Liberties is pleased to host the Inaugural Queensland Human Rights Commissioner Scott McDougall to deliver the 2020 Derek Fielding Memorial Lecture and reflect on the establishment of our state’s first Human Rights Commission.

For further information, and to register, click here.

Understanding Immigrants’ Diverse Employment Trajectories: The Role of Immigration Policy and Gender
Melbourne Social Equity Institute and the Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness
Date: 16 October 2020
Time: 1:00 – 2:00 pm (AEDT)
Location: Online

How does immigration policy shape immigrants’ employment trajectories? How does this differ for immigrant men and women?

Focusing on empirical results from the United States and Australia, Dr Rennie Lee will show the enduring effects of immigration policy, specifically visa categories, on immigrants’ labor market participation and employment behavior and how these effects differ for immigrant men and women.

Her findings have important implications for immigration policymaking and shows that selecting immigrants on their skill may not produce the same employment outcomes for men and women.

This event is a collaboration between the Melbourne Social Equity Institute (MSEI) and the Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness (PMCS) at the University of Melbourne.

For further information, and to register, click here.

How AI Can Promote Inclusive Prosperity
Allens Hub for Technology, Law and Innovation at UNSW
Date: 20 October 2020
Time: 11:00 am – 1:00 pm (AEST)
Location: Online

Professor Frank Pasquale will discuss his book “New Laws of Robotics: Defending Human Expertise in the Age of AI”, examining the disruption that will be wrought by AI and how we can harness these technologies rather than fall captive to them – but only through wise regulation.

Too many CEOs tell a simple story about the future of work: if a machine can do what you do, your job will be automated. They envision everyone from doctors to soldiers rendered superfluous by ever-more-powerful artificial intelligence. They offer stark alternatives: make robots or be replaced by them.

Another story is possible. In virtually every walk of life, robotic systems can make labour more valuable, not less. Frank Pasquale tells the story of nurses, teachers, designers, and others who partner with technologists, rather than meekly serving as data sources for their computerised replacements. This cooperation reveals the kind of technological advance that could bring us all better health care, education, and more, while maintaining meaningful work. These partnerships also show how law and regulation can promote prosperity for all, rather than a zero-sum race of humans against machines. AI is poised to disrupt our work and our lives, but we can harness these technologies rather than fall captive to them—but only through wise regulation.

How far should AI be entrusted to assume tasks once performed by humans? What is gained and lost when it does? What is the optimal mix of robotic and human interaction? New Laws of Robotics makes the case that policymakers must not allow corporations or engineers to answer these questions alone. The kind of automation we get—and who it benefits—will depend on myriad small decisions about how to develop AI. Pasquale proposes ways to democratise that decision making, rather than centralise it in unaccountable firms. Sober yet optimistic, New Laws of Robotics offers an inspiring vision of technological progress, in which human capacities and expertise are the irreplaceable center of an inclusive economy.

For further information, and to register, click here.

The Challenges for the Regulation of Outer Space: Balancing International Law, Technology and Geopolitics
International Law Section, Law Council of Australia
Date: 20 October 2020
Time: 5:00 – 6:30 pm
Location: Online

Join the International Law Section for the fourth ILS International Law and Practice Course lecture for 2020 – The Challenges for the Regulation of Outer Space: Balancing International Law, Technology and Geopolitics – featuring Professor Steven Freeland and Mr Fred Chilton.

This lecture will address the role of the international legal framework – complemented by national space law specific to each country’s unique requirements – in emphasising the common interests of all space faring (and other) states in acting in a manner that supports the safety, security and sustainability of space, rather than reinforcing the multi-polar stances that are seen in the current geopolitical context.

This event will be hosted online and is only available to ILS Members. To participate in the webinar, become a member of the International Law Section which includes access to the ILS International Law and Practice Course 3.0. Join here. See Section membership fees here.

For further information, and to register, click here.

Hypothetical: A Tale of Terrorism
ANU College of Law
Date: 21 October 2020
Time: 6:00 – 7:30 pm (AEDT)
Location: Online

The 2001 September 11 attacks hurled terrorism into the global mainstream media where it has remained for nearly 20 years. Since then, Australia’s counter-terrorism narrative has developed, carving out a new national security landscape. Today, Australia’s domestic terrorist threat level is set as PROBABLE.  

How has the Australian Government prepared us to deal with this threat and what have we given up to get here?

Join our expert panellists as they confront a hypothetical domestic terrorist attack and explore the possible ramifications, anticipated reactions and the likely effects on the future of our society.

The hypothetical will be moderated by Mark Kenny, a Senior Fellow at the Australian Studies Institute and Director of the National Press Club of Australia.

For further information, and to register, click here.

#Help: The Digital Transformation of Humanitarianism and the Governance of Populations
QUT Faculty of Law
Date: 22 October 2020
Time: 12:00 – 1:30 pm (AEDT)
Location: Online

The QUT Global Law, Science and Technology Seminar Series aims to bring together national and international speakers who will explore the personal, societal and governance dimensions of solving real world problems which are influenced by, and through the interactions of science, technology and the law.

The series will host speakers who think about ‘technology’ and ‘science’ as broadly construed to refer to methods of framing or interacting with the world, and that enable the critical and imaginative questioning of the technical, science, environmental and health dimensions of law and life.

In this fourth seminar of our series, we will hear from Professor Fleur Johns who will discuss how international humanitarianism is taking on new imperatives, protagonists, investments, techniques and objects of inquiry in connection with the expanding reach of the digital.

For further information, and to register, click here.

Patron’s Address: Aboriginal Australians and the Common Law
Australian Academy of Law
Date: 22 October 2020 (registration closes 12 October)
Time: 5:00 pm (AEDT)
Location: Online

The Australian Academy of Law’s Ninth Annual Patron’s Address will be delivered by Her Excellency the Hon Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of New South Wales.

In this brief overview, Her Excellency examines the historical and changing relationship of the Common Law and Australian Aboriginals.

The Ninth Annual Patron’s Address will be held online and registration is essential. Please register by  Monday 12 October 2020. 

For further information, and to register, click here.

The Pandemic Paradox in International Law
ANU College of Law
Date: 27 October 2020
Time: 6:00 – 7:30 pm (AEDT)
Location: Online

COVID-19 has given rise to a series of challenges in international law intersecting with patriotism, borders and equality. These paradoxes have rendered the international legal order’s mechanisms for collective action powerless precisely when they are most needed to fight the pandemic. The ‘patriotism paradox’ is that disengagement from the international legal order weakens rather than strengthens state sovereignty. The ‘border paradox’ is that securing domestic populations by excluding non-citizens, in the absence of regulatory mechanisms to secure adherence to internal health measures, accelerates viral spread among citizens. The ‘equality paradox’ is that while pandemics pose an equal threat to all people, their impacts compound existing inequalities.

Join us as we explore these issues with Professor Hilary Charlesworth AM, FAAL, FASSA (University of Melbourne, ANU School of Regulation and Global Governance); Associate Professor Jeremy Farrall and Dr Imogen Saunders (ANU College of Law); and moderator Professor Anthea Roberts (ANU School of Regulation and Global Governance).

This event will examine the contours and consequences of these paradoxes and discuss how international law and legal institutions can navigate populist-driven threats. This virtual discussion draws on an upcoming article to be published in The American Journal of International Law in October 2020 co-authored by two of our panellists – Dr Imogen Saunders and Associate Professor Jeremy Farrall – as well as Professor Peter G. Danchin (University of Maryland) and Professor Shruti Rana (Indiana University Bloomington), as part of the ANU Global Research Partnerships Project ‘Navigating the Backlash against Global Law and Institutions’. Read the article via SSRN here.

For further information, and to register, click here.

Alice Tay Lecture on Law and Human Rights: Human Rights and COVID-19
The Herbert & Valmae Freilich Project for the Study of Bigotry, ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
Date: 28 October 2020
Time: 1:00 pm (AEDT)
Location: Online

The Herbert & Valmae Freilich Project for the Study of Bigotry is pleased to invite you to the 2020 Alice Tay Lecture on Law and Human Rights.

Professor Sarah Joseph will be presenting on the topic “Human Rights and COVID-19”.

COVID-19 is causing a health emergency but also a human rights emergency. All governments have human rights obligations (regarding rights to life and health) to take measures to combat COVID-19. However, those same measures often interfere with other human rights, such as rights to livelihood, education, association, family rights, and standards of mental health. How is it possible to work out the appropriate balance in this extraordinary time of COVID?

Sarah Joseph is a Professor of Human Rights Law at Griffith University, Brisbane. Prior to commencing at Griffith in 2020, she was the Director of the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law at Monash University from 2005-2019. Her human rights research is broad-ranging, encompassing civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.

For more information and to register, click here.

Community Legal Centres Queensland State Conference 2020
Community Legal Centres Queensland
Date: 10 – 12 November 2020
Location: Online

The Community Legal Centres Queensland State Conference is taking place online from 10 to 12 November 2020.

This fully interactive online conference will bring you:
• Compelling speakers on topical issues for the sector
• Opportunities to network
• Live Q&As
• Panel discussions

In our first online conference we will bring the same quality content we have in our face-to-face conferences. Our 2020 online conference program will give you the opportunity to strengthen your skills and develop your knowledge.

This conference is for community legal sector workers, centre directors, lawyers, social workers, volunteers and decision-makers.

Single tickets are $50 for members and $100 for non-members.

Group rates are $35 per person for members and $75 per person for non-members, when purchasing for 3 tickets or more.

For further information, and to register, click here.

The People in Question: Web Symposium
ANU College of Law and IACL’s Membership and Exclusion Research Group
Date: 10 November 2020
Time: 5:00 – 6:30 pm (AEDT)
Location: Online

At a time of rising populism and debate about immigration around the world, this Web Symposium introduces and examines the important new book authored by Professor Jo Shaw – The People in Question: Citizens and Constitutions in Uncertain Times. The book provides the first sustained treatment of the relationship between citizenship and constitutional law in a comparative and transnational perspective. It draws on examples from many jurisdictions to assess how countries’ legal, political and cultural processes help to determine the boundaries of citizenship.

In this Web Symposium – jointly sponsored by the ANU College of Law and the International Association of Constitutional Law’s Membership and Exclusion Research Group – the author will first introduce the key themes of the book before hearing and responding to a selection of expert commentaries from scholars in the field drawn from the Asia and Pacific region.

The symposium will be chaired by Research Group Co-Chair Associate Professor Amelia Simpson of ANU Law School.

Registrants will be eligible for a special discount on The People in Question, to be advised at the event.

For further information, and to register, click here.

Tackling Modern Slavery: A Review of the Effectiveness of the National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking and Slavery in Australia
International Law Section, Law Council of Australia
Date: 17 November 2020
Time: 5:00 – 6:00 pm
Location: Online

Join the International Law Section for the fifth ILS International Law and Practice Course lecture for 2020 – Tacking Modern Slavery – featuring Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AM FRSA FACLM (Hon) FAAL TEP, Mr Kevin Hyland OBE and Ms Anne O’Donoghue, Accredited Specialist Immigration Lawyer.

This lecture will examine whether there are adequate government efforts in place to not only prevent human trafficking and modern slavery but also to prosecute such crimes effectively in Australia. It will also consider the changes in the trafficking landscape and other emerging issues.

This event will be hosted online and is only available to ILS Members. To participate in the webinar, become a member of the International Law Section which includes access to the ILS International Law and Practice Course 3.0. Join here. See Section membership fees here.

For further information, and to register, click here.

Whistleblowing – What is it, When is it Lawful, When is it Mandatory?
Australian Academy of Law
Date: 19 November 2020
Time: 5:00 – 6:30 pm (ADST)
Location: Online

2019 has focused attention on what was already a subject of much interest, importance and discussion. The Act amends the Corporations Act 2001 and the Tax Administration Act 1953 to permit and protect disclosures and protect disclosers, in the areas that they cover. But the topic is broader, for example:
• What are the relevant principles of the general law relevant to whistleblowing?
• What if the facts disclosed by the whistleblower turn out to be incorrect?
• Does the discloser’s motivation matter, eg a disgruntled employee or a trade competitor?
• Are journalists in a special position – should they be?
• In what circumstances must an employee or associate of a taxpayer disclose  to the Commissioner of Taxation that tax is being evaded?

A panel of experts who have a special interest in the subject will speak on these and other questions.

For further information, and to register, click here.

Taming the Terminator: Law, Ethics and Artificial Intelligence
ANU College of Law
Date: 2 December 2020
Time: 6:00 – 7:00 pm (AEDT)
Location: Online

Over the past decade, advances in machine learning have led to major breakthroughs in the development of artificial intelligence (AI) systems. Will machine intelligence surpass human intelligence within the next few decades? How can we protect against unintended consequences? Can the law keep pace with rapid technological progress?

Join a panel of leading interdisciplinary experts as they explore the complex legal and ethical challenges AI and automated decision-making present to industry, government and the legal profession.

For further information, and to register, click here.

Baxter Family Competition on Federalism
Peter MacKell Chair on Federalism, McGill University Faculty of Law
Date: May 2021
Location: Montreal
Deadline for Submissions: 1 February 2021

The Peter MacKell Chair on Federalism is delighted to launch the 3rd edition of the Baxter Family Competition on Federalism. We invite you to consult the Call for papersThe deadline for submissions is February 1, 2021. 

This edition’s overall theme is Federalism, Identity and Public Policy in Challenging Times. This broad theme should allow for reflections about the impact of federalism on the current COVID-19 crisis – and vice versa – but by no means should entries be limited to this context. Comparative perspectives are particularly encouraged. 

For the first time, the Competition will be open both to law and political science students/PhD candidates, as well as junior scholars and practitioners from around the world. 

Contributors must beregistered students or have obtained their degrees, in law or political science, less than 5 years before the submission deadline of 1 February 2021. Submissions must be of a maximum 8,000 words in English and 8,800 words in French, including footnotes. 

The prizes will be awarded by a prestigious international jury

The three winners will be invited to present their papers at a symposium in May 2021 in Montreal (circumstances allowing). First-, second- and third-place winners will be awarded prizes of $5,000$3,000, and $1,000 (CAD) respectively.  

Please see the Call for papers for information on author eligibility and paper criteria.  Information on the first two editions of the Competition (as well as the winning essays) may be found here