Welcome to the November edition of the AUSPUBLAW Australian Public Law Events Roundup. The events in this roundup were compiled in late October.

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

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

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 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.

Disembarking to Danger: How Australia’s Airport Asylum Policies Risk Returning Refugees to Harm
Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at the Faculty of Law, UNSW
Date: 4 November 2020
Time: 1:00 – 2:00 pm
Location: Online

Both sides of politics defend Australia’s boat policies on the basis of keeping people from taking dangerous journeys, but the airport refugee screening process reveals a more complex reality.

Asylum seekers are currently being turned away at Australian airports and sent back to countries where they may be at risk of serious harm, after being interviewed behind closed doors and without access to lawyers.

How did this happen? How does it work? Is it legal? And does COVID-19 offer Australia the opportunity to fashion a fairer, better airport asylum process for those who can safely fly? 

Join us for a free online panel discussion on Wednesday 4 November, 1pm-2pm with Shadow Minister for Home Affairs, Senator Kristina Keneally, the Kaldor Centre’s Regina Jefferies, co-author of our policy brief on this process, and ‘Sultan’, who experienced it first-hand when he and his partner fled Saudi Arabia’s punishments for their gay relationship.

Leading the discussion will be Human Rights Watch researcher Sophie McNeill, the author of We Can’t Say We Didn’t Know and a former investigative journalist at ABC’s Four Corners who has covered the consequences of this policy. 

Our policies aim to prevent asylum seekers from even boarding planes. For those who do manage to arrive, airport officials have the power to make life-or-death decisions about their fate. 

For further information, and to register, click here.

‘Constitutional Change in the Contemporary Socialist World’ Book Panel
Melbourne Law School Asian Law Centre
Date: 4 November 2020
Time: 6:30 – 8:00 pm (AEDT)
Location: Online

This Book Panel will discuss Constitutional Change in the Contemporary Socialist World (by Bui Ngoc Son), which offers a comprehensive and holistic view of an understudied and overlooked area of constitutional law, essential for anyone studying or working in law, politics, or policy.

After the collapse of the Soviet bloc, there are only five socialist or communist countries left in the world – China, Cuba, Laos, North Korea, and Vietnam – which constitute about one-quarter of the world’s population. Yet, there is little scholarship on their constitutions. These countries have seen varying socioeconomic changes in the decades since 1991, which have led in turn to constitutional changes. This book investigates, from comparative and interdisciplinary perspectives, how and why the constitutional systems in these five countries have changed in the last three decades.

The book then examines these constitutional changes by addressing four questions: what are the substantive contents of constitutional change, what are the functions, what are the mechanisms, and what are the driving forces? These questions form a framework to examine the processes of changes the five countries have gone through, such as making new constitutions, amending current ones, introducing more rights, enacting legislation, and defining the constitutional authority of the three state branches and their relationship with the Communist Party. While all five countries have adapted their constitutional systems, the degree, mechanisms, and influential factors are not identical and vary considerably. This book examines these differences and the reasons for them.

This Book Panel is co-hosted by the Asian Law Centre and the Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies at Melbourne Law School.  Panellists will include: Bui Ngoc Son, Cheryl Saunders, William Partlett and Tarun Khaitan.

For further information, and to register, click here.

The Public International Law Webinar Series
Sydney Centre for International Law, Fietta LLP, Essex Court Chambers, Essex Court Chambers Duxton, Rajah & Tann
Date: 4 & 10 November 2020
Time: 8:30 pm (AEDT)
Location: Online

The organisers (the Sydney Centre for International Law, Fietta LLP (London), Essex Court Chambers (London), Essex Court Chambers Duxton (Singapore Group Practice), and Rajah & Tann (Singapore)) are pleased to invite you to attend a public international law webinar series that will bring together leading public international law practitioners, academics and arbitrators to discuss topical issues of global importance.

There are five weekly webinars in this series. The webinars are free of charge, but places are limited, and prior registration is required. The webinars will be conducted via Zoom and you will be able to post questions live online.

For further information, and to register, click here.

The US Elections and their Implications for Australian-US Ties
ANU College of Law
Date: 5 November 2020
Time: 12:00 – 1:30 pm (AEDT)
Location: Online

The 2020 US elections, scheduled for November 3, pose major consequences for the US and by extension its allies. Encompassing the Presidency, a third of the Senate, and the House of Representatives, the elections have the potential to either reinforce Trump’s transformation of America or alter the country’s trajectory in a new direction.

This webinar will offer a timely analysis of the election results, with a focus on the potential domestic and foreign policy outcomes and their attendant implications for Australia.

For further information, and to register, click here.

Environmental Markets – Can Economics Regulate the Environment?
Australian Institute of Administrative Law, Environment and Planning Law Association NSW
Date: 5 November 2020
Time: 5:30 – 7:00 pm  (AEDT)
Location: Online

This webinar will examine market-based approaches to environmental regulation and, n particular, their application to water management. It will discuss the New South Wales biodiversity regime, the process for determining and securing offsets, and explore the intersection and divergence between theory and practice in biodiversity markets.

For further information, and to register, click here.

Uluru Dialogue Seminar Series: Truth
UNSW Indigenous Law Centre, Uluru Dialogue
Date: 5 November 2020
Time: 6:00 – 7:30 pm (AEDT)
Location: Online

In 2017, the Uluru Statement from the Heart called for Voice, Treaty and Truth. The statement represents a landmark consensus position on what First Nations peoples want from constitutional recognition and reform.
 
Hosted by the UNSW Indigenous Law Centre and Uluru Dialogue @Ulurustatement.org this three-part seminar series, on every Thursday in the lead up to NAIDOC Week, will provide nuanced and detailed analysis of the sequenced reform decided on by the thirteen dialogues that were held across Australia.
 
The regional dialogues, which culminated at the Uluru National Constitutional Convention, directly shaped the three reform pillars – strategically sequenced as first a Voice to Parliament, enshrined in the constitution, then Makarrata (Treaty and Truth).

Our final seminar will provide insight into what the process of truth-telling meant for the First Nations authority that participated in the dialogues and why it was considered to be important.  The seminar will also answer the question as to why truth-telling might be achieved through a Truth Commission.

Speakers: 
• Professor Gabrielle Appleby, UNSW
• Professor Stan Grant, ABC
• Professor Mark McKenna, University of Sydney

Series Wrap Up: Dr Pat Anderson AO, Lowitja Institute

Chair: Professor Megan Davis, UNSW

For further information, and to register, click here.

Constitutionalism and History in Post-Soviet Eurasia
Melbourne Law School
Date: 6 November 2020
Time: 5:00 – 7:00 pm (AEDT)
Location: Online

In this seminar, William Partlett will discuss his current book project. This project takes a law-and-history approach to constitutionalism, and compares the relative success of constitutionalism in the post-Soviet Eurasia. In particular, it examines constitutionalism as a normative project that seeks to implement textual constitutional provision guaranteeing the separation of powers, the law-based state, and individual rights to the operation of the state. It examines how the construction of history has and continues to shape the realization of this project of constitutionalism.

Post-Soviet Eurasia is an ideal laboratory for exploring this relationship. Emerging into independence in 1991, all fifteen former Soviet republics were forced to “remember” national history as a foundation for building a new post-Soviet identity. As part of this nation-building project, each country adopted new written constitutions that textually committed them to the principles of constitutionalism. Thirty years later, however, these constitutional commitments have had very different trajectories. The ongoing construction of history has and will continue to play a critical role in shaping the implementation of these constitutional principles.

The three Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) have used their written constitutions to build resilient and strong systems of constitutionalism—systems that are proving more constitutionally resilient than other central and Eastern European neighbours such as Poland and Hungary. In the remaining former Soviet republics, however, constitutions have not built constitutionalism. In some, they have become tools for building and maintaining centralized, authoritarian rule. In others, they have become the target of ordinary politics. This book will investigate two key specific questions: How has history been used to advance or undermine the normative project of constitutionalism in the region? And what are the broader lessons that we can draw from this to better understand how history can be used in the project of constitutionalism?

The book will demonstrate that a critical factor in these differing commitments is the politics of the way that history is “remembered.” In the Baltic states, a strong historical narrative of the Baltics as the victims of Soviet oppression has driven a deep and lasting commitment to implement the constitutional principles contained in the constitution. By contrast, in other post-Soviet countries, historical narratives about the importance of centralized power have undermined the project of constitutionalism. Finally, in still others, historical contestation helps to breed fragmentation that also undermines the project of constitutionalism.

For further information, and to register, click here.

Housing, Homelessness and Human Rights in Australia
Monash Law, Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, Better Governance and Policy
Date: 9 November 2020
Time: 5:00 – 6:30 pm (AEDT)
Location: Online

Join us as we consider housing as a human right and what this means for ending homelessness in Australia.

The Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, together with Better Governance and Policy presents this Zoom webinar on Housing, Homelessness and Human Rights in Australia.

Adequate housing is essential for human survival with dignity. Without a right to housing, many other basic human rights will be compromised. Yet for several decades in Australia, increasing numbers of people have found themselves without secure housing or in significant housing stress.

Successive governments have failed to make the investment and policy shifts needed to address this wicked problem. What if we considered homelessness not as an unsolvable welfare problem affecting a stigmatised group, but as a human rights breach, which our governments are responsible to resolve?

Join us for this panel discussion as we consider housing as a human right and what this means for ending homelessness in Australia.

This webinar forms part of Building a Better Future: Housing and Homelessness, which brings together diverse research perspectives responding to the policy challenges of housing and homelessness in Australia.

For further 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.

Registering for this event gives you access to all the sessions of the conference. You can choose what you attend. Each day will run between 10am to 5:15pm.

We have an exciting list of compelling speakers that will present on topical issues for the sector.

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
International Association of Constitutional law Membership and Exclusion Research Group; Australian Association of Constitutional Law, ANU College of Law
Date: 10 November 2020
Time: 5:00 – 6:30 pm (AEST)
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.

Your Privacy Commissioner: Lunchtime Webinar
AIAL Queensland Chapter
Date: 12 November 2020
Time: 12:30pm (Qld); 1:30pm (AEDT)
Location: Online

This presentation will discuss the role of the Queensland Privacy Commissioner. Specifically, Philip Green will tell us when you are likely to encounter the Commissioner, and what you can do to help him in performing his functions when you deal with him.

As part of the AIAL Queensland Chapter’s “Queensland institutions” series, Philip Green will tell us about the role of the Queensland Privacy Commissioner, priorities and goals over the coming year, and outline more important recent events affecting his office.

Presenter: Philip Green, Queensland Privacy Commissioner
Chair: Stephen Keim SC

For more information and to register, click here.

Protest in a Time of Pandemic: Exploring the Tension between the COVID-19 Public Health Order and the Right to Protest
University of Sydney Law School
Date: 13 November 2020
Time: 11:00 am – 12:30 pm (AEDT)
Location: Online

During the pandemic, there has been an intensified policing of protest both on and off campus, whether this relates to Black Lives Matters or student fees.

Our panel of experts will explore the human rights, health and legal aspects of recent protest events in Australia and the appropriate scope of police power. They’ll address a range of issues, including:
• Is there a right to protest during a pandemic?
• What are the health risks of protest during a pandemic?
• What are the limits to freedom of expression under the current PHO?
• Is there space during a pandemic for peaceful resistance to legal limits?
• How can we express grievances during a pandemic and what channels are available to students and staff given the current reforms to higher education?
• What does this mean for social justice?

The speakers
Associate Professor Elizabeth Hill – Political Economy, University of Sydney
Associate Professor Anna Boucher – Government and International Relations, University of Sydney
Felicity Graham – Barrister in Commissioner of Police v Taylah Gray
Taylah Gray – Activist at University of Newcastle and respondent in the case Commissioner of Police v Taylah Gray
Professor Roger Magnusson – Health Law and Governance, Associate Dean Student Life, Sydney Law School
Professor Simon Rice – Kim Santow Chair of Law and Social Justice, University of Sydney
Georgia Carr – PhD candidate in linguistics, University of Sydney

For further information, and to register, click here.

2020 Kaldor Centre Virtual Conference: New Frontiers of Refugee Law in a Closed World
Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at the Faculty of Law, UNSW
Date: 17 – 20 November 2020
Location: Online

A virus has laid bare our interconnectedness – for better or worse. While we have seen acts of solidarity and compassion around the world, we have also seen borders slam shut and reasoned debate give way to fear and rage. Under the cover of COVID-19, laws and norms have started to shift away from long-held principles. UNSW’s Kaldor Centre Virtual Conference 2020 brings together leading thinkers from around the world with diverse perspectives to explore what the post-pandemic world will look like for refugees and other forced migrants.  

Over several days, we will explore the big issues facing the refugee protection regime over the next decade. Our ambitious, agenda-setting program will unpack where we stand in the wake of COVID-19, where we are going, and what can be done to promote refugee protection in the face of emerging challenges. 

Harnessing the opportunities of going online, we will welcome speakers and delegates from across the globe. Sessions are designed to be accessible around the world – with live sessions scheduled for easy viewing in multiple timezones, and quick playback options for those who can’t join in real time.

This will be more than just a series of talks. Breakout sessions and discussion boards will promote engagement and exchange amongst delegates across the world. For those who wish to connect, there will be the opportunity create profiles and chat one-on-one or in groups on topics of shared interest. 

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.

Modern slavery presents the world with an ongoing challenge. A growing acknowledgement of human rights in business has exposed the labour violations and abusive practices that prevail in many global supply chains. The economic value through such exploitation is a major reason why slavery persists to flourish. Modern slavery is undeniably one of the most extreme forms of injustice and an abhorrent crime against humanity.

New research reveals that almost half of all countries in the world have yet to actually make it a crime to enslave another human being. There has also been a lack of investigation and prosecution of trafficking offenses, including forced labour. The review of the Australian Government’s initiatives through the National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking and Slavery 2015-19 suggests that Australia has more work to do in the area of monitoring the effectiveness of support provided to victims.

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.

The Frontiers of Public Law
Melbourne Law School Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies
Date: 17 November 2020
Time: 6:00 – 7:30 pm  (AEDT)
Location: Online

Please join us for the launch of The Frontiers of Public Law (Hart 2020), edited by Professor Jason N E Varuhas (University of Melbourne) and Dr Shona Wilson Stark (University of Cambridge). Justice Michelle Gordon of the High Court of Australia will launch the book and offer her reflections on the collection. Three contributors will then discuss core themes which emerge from the collection: Professor Jason Varuhas (Melbourne Law School), Professor Anne Twomey (Sydney Law School), and Professor Kirsty Gover (Melbourne Law School). There will then be an opportunity for Q&A.

The Frontiers of Public Law contains selected papers from the third Public Law Conference, a major international conference hosted by the University of Melbourne in July 2018. This important collection includes contributions by leading academics and senior judges from across the common law world, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. The collection explores the frontiers of public law, examining cutting-edge issues at the intersection of public law and other fields. The collection addresses four principal frontiers: public law and international law; public law and indigenous peoples; public law and other domestic fields, specifically criminal law and private law; and public law and public administration. In common with the two books from the previous Public Law Conferences, this collection offers authoritative insights into the most important issues emerging in public law, and is essential reading for those working in the field.

Hart Publishing has kindly offered registrants of this event a 30% discount on The Frontiers of Public Law, as well as the previous two books that emanate from the Public Law series of conferences: M Elliott, JNE Varuhas and S Wilson Stark (eds), The Unity of Public Law (Hart 2018) and J Bell, M Elliott, JNE Varuhas and P Murray (eds), Public Law Adjudication in Common Law Systems (Hart 2016).

The Book Launch will be held via Zoom. A link for the discount and Zoom details will be sent to registrants in a separate email closer to the launch date.

For further information, and to register, click here.

Democracy 2020 – Global Roundtable Webinar Series
International Association of Constitutional Law, Australian Association of Constitutional Law
Date: 18 – 26 November
Location: Online

On 18-26 November the International Association of Constitutional Law (IACL) Global Roundtable ‘Democracy 2020: Assessing Constitutional Decay, Breakdown, and Renewal Worldwide’ will take place as series of 9 inter-connected webinars. Featuring 50 speakers from 5 continents across 5 days, the webinars will be devoted to an array of themes including global and regional overviews, challenges from algorithmic governance to vote suppression, understudied countries, key actors like courts, parliaments and parties, and possible remedies and renewal of our democratic systems. The Roundtable is co-sponsored by the Laureate Program in Comparative Constitutional Law (Melbourne Law School) and the Melbourne School of Government.

Click the links for the website and programme. The full launch announcement on the IACL-AIDC Blog is here. You can register directly here

Webinars
Webinar 1 – Global Challenges: Threats & Resilience – 18 November

Webinar 2 – Global Challenges: The Big Picture – 18 November

Webinar 3 – Americas: Constitutional Decay, Breakdown & Resilience – 19 November

Webinar 4 – Middle East & Africa: Constitutionalism, Corruption & Courts – 19 November

Webinar 5 – Asia: Non-Linear Constitutional Pathways – 24 November

Webinar 6 – Europe: Constitutional Impatience & Uncertainty – 24 November

Webinar 7 – Asia: Spotlight on India & Sri Lanka – 25 November

Webinar 8 – Europe: Spotlight on Hungary & Poland – 25 November

Webinar 9 – Saving Constitutional Democracy: Remedies & Renewal – 26 November

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.

Ensuring Respect for International Humanitarian Law
University of Queensland School of Law
Date: 20 November 2020
Time: 3:00 – 4:00 pm (AEDT)
Location: Online

This presentation explores the nature and scope of the provision requiring States to ‘ensure respect’ for international humanitarian law (IHL) contained within Common Article 1 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions. It examines the interpretation and application of this provision in a range of contexts, both thematic and country-specific. Accepting the clearly articulated notion of ‘respect’ for IHL, it builds on the existing literature studying the meaning of ‘ensure respect’ and outlines an understanding of the concept in situations such as enacting implementing legislation, diplomatic interactions, regulating private actors, targeting, detaining persons under IHL in non-international armed conflict, protecting civilians (including internally displaced populations) and prosecuting war crimes. It also considers topical issues such as counter-terrorism and foreign fighting.

For further information, and to register, click here.

Destruction of Juukan Gorge: Law, Mining and the Protection of Aboriginal Heritage
ANU College of Law
Date: 23 November 2020
Time: 5:30 – 7:00 pm
Location: Online

On 24 May 2020, Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto destroyed two 46,000 year old rock shelters at the Juukan Gorge in the Pilbara region of Western Australia – the traditional lands of the Puttu, Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura peoples, for whom these sites were sacred. News of the government-approved destruction attracted international condemnation and national soul searching, as attention turned to the manifest failures of Australia’s heritage protection and land rights regimes.

As we await the findings of the Joint Standing Committee on Northern Australia, the Law Reform and Social Justice (LRSJ) program has invited three national experts to share their views on the adequacy of these legal regimes, and the relationship between the extractive industries, Indigenous communities, and the law.

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 (AEST)
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.

Beijing Platform for Action at 25: Progress, Retreat and the Future of Women’s Rights
Institute for International Law and Humanities at Melbourne Law School, Australian Human Rights Institute at the Faculty of Law, UNSW
Date: 3 December 2020
Time: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm  (AEDT)
Location: Online

The Fourth World Conference on Women was held in Beijing in September 1995. The Conference adopted a Declaration and a Platform for Action, which identified 12 ‘critical areas of concern’: poverty, access to education; access to healthcare; violence against women; armed conflict; economic inequality; inequality in power and decision-making; promotion of the advancement of women; women’s human rights; media stereotyping of women; the environment; the girl child.

While the Beijing Conference and its outcome documents were regarded as an ambivalent success by some contemporary observers, 25 years later it seems a very progressive moment in the history of women’s rights.

Global politics have changed to the point that it is difficult to imagine that the Declaration or Platform could be negotiated in the same terms today.

To mark the occasion of Beijing +25 and to consider the influence of the conference and outcome documents, the Institute for International Law and the Humanities (Melbourne Law School) together with the Australian Human Rights Institute (UNSW Sydney), are co-hosting a conference to consider the advances, and retreats, in the situation of women internationally over the past 25 years. It will also identify possible avenues for responding to gender inequality and women’s rights now and into the future.

For further information, and to register, click here.

2021 Constitutional Law Online Conference
Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law at the Faculty of Law, UNSW, 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.