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

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

2021 ALAA Conference
Sydney Law School, UTS Law, Australasian Law Academics’ Association
Date: 4 July – 6 July 2021
Deadline for submissions: 7 March 2021

Conference theme: Boldly Academic: Defining, Supporting and Celebrating Legal Scholarship

The ALAA conference will be jointly hosted by The University of Sydney Law School and University of Technology Sydney Law Faculty. The conference will be a hybrid model, with all conference sessions being accessible for in-person attendance or Zoom attendance. Speakers may elect to present either in-person or via Zoom. In-person attendance will depend on state and federal government health guidelines in place at the time of the conference.

The theme of the Conference has been chosen to enable exploration and celebration of legal scholarship and the role of the academic.

“Legal academics are not failed practitioners or wannabe sociologists. Law schools are not adjuncts to the profession. Legal teachers and researchers have made and continue to make significant contributions to the law, the legal profession, the community and society at large. The 2021 ALAA conference will celebrate these contributions. We will explore the role of legal scholars and the legal academy in the 21st century; identify and commemorate the heroes of legal scholarship; examine ways to better define, measure and support legal research; celebrate innovation within Australasian law teaching and scholarship; and identify strategies for supporting academic wellness, professional development and career success”.

The conference theme is a broad one, but sub-theme areas may include:
• Why legal scholarship matters
• The future of legal scholarship in a neoliberal higher education environment
• Problematising Western hegemony in contemporary legal scholarship
• Indigenous perspectives on legal scholarship
• The relationship between legal scholarship and impact
• The role of the law school in the 21st century
• Teaching and scholarship in a post-COVID world
• The relationship between scholarship and legal education and the tension between knowledge and skills
• Legal scholars we admire and their influence
• The contemporary relevance of the ‘great man’ approach to legal scholarship

ALAA interest groups are encouraged to propose sub-themes relating to their interest group focus.

For further information, click here.

The Holt Prize 2021
The Federation Press
Deadline for applications: 30 April 2021

The Holt Prize is Australia’s richest law book prize for first time authors. It was established by the owners of The Federation Press in 2015 to honour the late Christopher Holt, co-founder of the press. The prize recognises early career academics and lawyers.

The prize is awarded to an academic or lawyer for an unpublished legal manuscript. It must be the entrant’s first published book.

$12,000 goes to the winner along with a publishing contract with The Federation Press.

The 2021 judging panel consists of the Hon Justice Susan Crennan AC QC, Professor Mark Aronson of the University of New South Wales, and Perry Herzfeld SC of the New South Wales Bar.

For further information, and to submit an application, 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 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.

Public Confidence, Apprehended Bias and the Modern Federal Judiciary
Australian Academy of Law, Australian Law Reform Commission
Date: 2 March 2021
Time: 5:30 pm (AEDT)
Location: Court 1, Level 21, Joint Courts Building, Queens Square, 184 Phillip Street, Sydney NSW and online

The Australian Law Reform Commission invites you to a panel seminar hosted in conjunction with the Australian Academy of Law.

An expert panel will explore how the fair-minded observer is faring by examining issues of public confidence, apprehended bias, and the modern federal judiciary. The Q&A style format will provide the opportunity for questions relevant to the ALRC’s ongoing review of judicial impartiality.

The seminar will be delivered online, via Microsoft Teams, along with limited in-person attendance at the Federal Court Building in Sydney.

For further information, and to register, click here.

Regulating Truth and Lies in Political Advertising: Implied Freedom Considerations
ANU College of Law
Date: 3 March 2021
Time: 1:00 – 2:00 pm (AEDT)
Location: Phillipa Weeks Staff Library, ANU College of Law, Fellows Road, Acton ACT

Contemporary politics is increasingly described as ‘post-truth’. In Australia and elsewhere, misleading or false statements are being deployed in electoral campaigning, with troubling democratic consequences. Presently, two Australian jurisdictions have laws that require truth in political advertising; there have been proposals for such regulation in several more, including at a federal level.

This seminar paper considers whether these laws are consistent with the implied freedom of political communication in the Australian Constitution. It suggests that the existing provisions, in South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory, would likely satisfy the proportionality test currently favoured by the High Court.

However, the seminar paper identifies a number of implied freedom concerns which could prevent more onerous limitations on misleading political campaigning. Legislatures therefore find themselves between a rock and a hard place: minimalistic regulation may be insufficient to curtail the rise of electoral misinformation, while more robust truth in political advertising laws are potentially unconstitutional.

For further information, and to register, click here.

ANU Law & Philosophy Forum: Freedom of Expression as Self-Restraint
ANU College of Law
Date: 3 March 2021
Time: 7:30 – 8:30 pm (AEDT)
Location: Online

Matthew Kramer is Professor of Legal and Political Philosophy at the University of Cambridge, a Fellow of the British Academy, and Fellow of Churchill College. He is a leading international scholar on legal and political philosophy and has published several books and scholarly works on various topics in legal and political philosophy. His most recent book is Freedom of Expression as Self-Restraint, published by Oxford University Press in 2021.

He will talk to the ANU Law & Philosophy Forum about the connection between the moral principle of freedom of expression and the principle of self-restraint. Professor Kramer has a brief outline for his presentation, which you can access here.

We look forward to hosting Professor Kramer at the Forum, and hope you will be able to attend.

For further information, and to register, click here.

Constitutional and Rule of Law Webinar Series: Formation & Succession in Parliamentary Governments – The Role of the Legislature, Executive & Judiciary
LAWASIA, Commonwealth Lawyers Association, Law Council of Australia, South Pacific Lawyers Association
Date: 4 – 11 March 2021
Location: Online

Jointly organised by LAWASIA, the Commonwealth Lawyers Association, the Law Council of Australia and the South Pacific Lawyers Association, the series will run over four consecutive weeks, every Thursday from 18 February to 11 March 2021.

Please find below details of each webinar and links to register. Registration is complimentary. 

Constitutional Breakdowns, Coups, Crises and Disruptions: Experiences from the Commonwealth
Thursday, 4 March 2021
4.30-6.00pm AEDT


The Role of Law Associations in Promoting the Rule of Law
Thursday, 11 March 2021
4.30-6.00 pm AEDT


For further information, click here.

Law, Capitalism and Political Economy: Public and International Perspectives
Centre for International and Public Law, ANU College of Law
Date: 4 March 2021
Time: 5:00 – 7:00 pm (AEDT)
Location: ANU College of Law Moot Courts, ANU College of Law, Fellows Road, Acton ACT

This joint book launch will bring in conversation Dr Will Bateman and Dr Ntina Tzouvala over their recently published books (see here and here). Engaging with different fields and methodologies, both monographs raise questions concerning legal authority, capitalism and the global political economy. This event will introduce both works, situate them within the broader revival of interest in law and political economy, and explore possibilities for further dialogue and research across legal fields.

For further information, and to register, click here.

The Politics of International Law Seminar Series
Centre for International and Public Law,  College of Law
Date: 5 March – 14 May 2021
Location: Online

The Centre for International and Public Law (CIPL), ANU College of Law is pleased to announce a new seminar series, entitled ‘The Politics of International Law’ led by Dr Ntina Tzouvala.

The international legal order is currently facing unprecedented challenges. At the same time, international law, understood both as academic discipline and professional practice, is undergoing profound transformations that throw into question certainties that have been taken for granted at least since the end of the Cold War.

This series will explore these fundamental questions, to historicise and theorise their origins, and imagine possible answers to our current problems. The seminars are designed to bring internationally-leading voices in the discipline in conversation with scholars from The Australian National University.

Covert Resistance in Pursuit of Symmetry in International Investment Law
FRIDAY 5 MARCH 2021, 12-1PM
Guest Speaker: Jean Ho, National University of Singapore, Faculty of Law
Chair: Esmé Shirlow, ANU College of Law
Zoom registration

Legalised Identities: Cultural Heritage Law and the Shaping of Transitional Justice
FRIDAY 19 MARCH 2021, 12-1PM
Guest Speaker: Lucas Lixinski, Faculty of Law, UNSW Sydney
Chair: Laurajane Smith, ANU Centre for Heritage and Museum Studies
Zoom registration

Not Equal: Toward an International Law of Finance
FRIDAY 16 APRIL 2021, 12-1PM
Guest Speaker: Kangle Zhang, Law School of Peking University/ Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki
Chair: Will Bateman, ANU College of Law
Zoom registration

A Case Against Crippling Compensation in International Law of State Responsibility
Guest Speaker: Martins Paparinskis, University College London, Faculty of Laws
Chair: Anthea Roberts, ANU School of Regulation and Global Governance
Zoom registration

International Law and the Ecologically Embedded Relational Individual
FRIDAY 14 MAY 2021, 12-1PM
Guest Speaker: Sara Seck, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University
Chair: Cassandra Steer, ANU College of Law
Zoom registration

For further information, and to register, click here.

US Presidential Impeachment: the Process, the Outcome, the Lessons
WA Bar Association
Date: 9 March 2021
Time: 5:00 – 6:00 pm (AWST)
Location: Level 25, Francis Burt Chambers, Perth WA 6000

In December 2019, a President of the United States was impeached for just the 3rd time in history. In February 2020, the United States Senate acquitted the Forty Fifth President of the charges laid by the Congress, having resolved against calling any witnesses. What happened? Why did the Congress and the Senate make the decisions they did? What implications does this have for the impeachment process more generally, which is the exclusive means of removing Federal Judges, amongst others, in the United States? To the extent that the Australian Constitution draws, often heavily, from the United States Constitution, what may we learn? Jason MacLaurin SC and Richard Douglas propose answers to these questions.

For further information, and to register, click here.

Global Public Law Virtual Book Seminar Series 2021
Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law at the Faculty of Law, UNSW
Date: from 19 March 2021 to 22 October 2021
Location: Online

The aim of this series is to invite leading scholars in public law around the globe to share ideas from a recent book with an Australian audience. The Series will be hosted by the G+T Centre and feature Australian-based commentators from both within and outside the Centre to discuss the book with the authors.  It will also involve a collaboration with AUSPUBLAW, to develop a special blog series featuring commentary on the book for an Australian audience. 

9am – Friday 19 March
Julie Suk, We the Women: The Unstoppable Mothers of the Equal Rights Amendment (Simon & Schuster, 2020)
Commentators: Helen Irving, Amelia Loughland and Rosalind Dixon
Chair: Lisa Burton Crawford

5pm – Friday 23 April
Ran Hirschl, City, State: Constitutionalism and the Megacity (OUP, 2020)
Commentators: Adrienne Stone, Erika Arban
Chair: Rosalind Dixon

9am – Friday 28 May
Richard Albert, Constitutional Amendments: Making, Breaking and Changing Constitutions (OUP, 2019)
Commentators: Paul Kildea, David Hume
Chair: Rosalind Dixon

1pm – Friday 20 August [TBC]
Eric Ip, Judging Regulators: The Political Economy of Anglo-American Administrative Law (Edward Elgar, 2020)
Commentators:  Swati Jhaveri and Lisa Burton Crawford
Chair: Janina Boughey

9am – Friday 17 September
Joanna Bell, The Anatomy of Administrative Law (Hart, 2020)
Commentators: Mark Aronson, Janina Boughey
Chair:  Lisa Burton Crawford

9am – Friday 22 October
Aileen Kavanagh The Collaborative Constitution (CUP, forthcoming)
Commentators: Rosalind Dixon, Joshua Aird
Chair: Rosalind Dixon

For further information, and to register, click here.

Judicial Independence – From What and to What End?
Australian Academy of Law
Date: 27 March 2021
Time: 5:00 – 7:00 pm (ACST)
Location: Grand Ballroom, Hilton Darwin, 32 Mitchell Street, Darwin NT

Australian lawyers might think the phrase ‘judicial independence’ to be clear in its meaning. Yet even in our federation it may have different connotations. So too does constitutional context in other jurisdictions give it a different meaning. History teaches us that judicial independence of thought is not always vigorously pursued and that judicial independence is not always a force for good. These reflections may be seen to raise two questions about judicial independence: independence from what and to what end? And those enquiries may illuminate what judicial independence can and should mean to us.

For further information, and to register, click here.

Secrecy and Spying: The Trials of Bernard Collaery and Witness K
ANU College of Law
Date: 31 March 2021
Time: 6:00 – 7:15 pm (AEDT)
Location: Online

Witness K, a former Australian spy, and his lawyer, former ACT Attorney-General Bernard Collaery, are currently being prosecuted for breaches of the Intelligence Services Act 2001 (Cth). The allegations relate to the exposure of Australia’s alleged espionage against Timor-Leste during the negotiation of a resources treaty between the two countries in the early 2000s. The prosecutions have been shrouded in secrecy and elicited considerable public controversy. They raise complex legal issues, including the legality of spying on a friendly neighbour, the invocation of national security law to keep the prosecutions secret, the role of Attorney-General Christian Porter in the prosecutorial process, and the broader impact on Australia’s court system and the rule of law.

This webinar will bring together some of Australia’s leading experts on civil liberties, whistleblowing and national security law to explore these issues.

Nicholas Cowdery AO QC FAAL (Former NSW Director of Public Prosecutions; Director, Justice Reform Initiative)
Dr Rebecca Ananian-Welsh (Senior Lecturer, TC Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland)
Kieran Pender (Senior Lawyer, Human Rights Law Centre; Visiting Fellow, ANU College of Law, The Australian National University)
Pauline Wright (President, NSW Council for Civil Liberties; Immediate Past President, Law Council of Australia; Partner, PJ Donnellan & Co Solicitors)

Kim Rubenstein FAAL, FASSA (Professor & Co-Director, 50/50 by 2030 Foundation, University of Canberra; Honorary Professor, ANU College of Law, The Australian National University)

For further information, and to register, click here.