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

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

ECA Symposium in Law and Justice
Sydney Law School
Date: 9 – 10 July 2021
Deadline for applications: 16 April 2021

The University of Sydney Law School is pleased to announce a trial Symposium for Early-Career Academics (ECAs) in Law to be held on the mornings of 9 and 10 July 2021. The organisers are Dr Jeff Gordon and Dr Ben Chen. As a trial, the Symposium will be open to ECAs in law from Sydney and Canberra. We are delighted to invite you to submit an abstract for the Symposium. The theme of the Symposium is Directions in Australian Legal Methodology.

The objective of the Symposium is to provide a supportive environment for ECAs to present their work, receive feedback, and meet other ECAs (especially beyond their own institution). The Symposium will be held face-to-face or online over two mornings on 9 and 10 July 2021. We plan to have five to eight sessions of 60-90 minutes each. Each session will be chaired by a senior academic. Each speaker will have about 30 minutes to present their paper and answer questions from the audience. We will also invite senior academics and/or practitioners to lead lunchtime discussions on issues and challenges that are of particular interest to ECAs.

Those who would like to participate in the Symposium must first submit an abstract of their proposed paper by email to eca.symposium.au@gmail.com. Abstracts should be no more than 500 words long. The due date for abstracts is 16 April 2021, although earlier submissions are welcome. Given this Symposium is aimed at ECAs, please confirm in your submission email that you have an award of PhD/DPhil/SJD/JSD dated on or after 16 April 2016.

We will send notification of acceptance by mid-May 2021. Draft papers of 8,000-12,000 words (excluding footnotes and appendices) are due approximately two weeks before the Symposium.

There is no registration fee. We only ask the participants to commit to attending all sessions as well as their own.

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 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.

Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody – 30 Years On
Melbourne Law School
Date: 15 April 2021
Time: 6:00 – 7:00 pm (AEST)
Location: Online

The event will feature Senator Pat Dodson, the Commissioner in the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody talking about his experiences and outcomes of the Commission, 30 years on.

For further information, and to register, click here.

JSI Seminar: A Chinese Alternative to Sovereignty?: Revisiting the Qing Concept of ‘Stateliness’
Sydney Law School
Date: 15 April 2021
Time: 6:00 – 7:30 pm (AEST)
Location: Online

Today, the People’s Republic of China is one of the most prominent global advocates of a (near) absolute conception of state sovereignty vis-a-vis international legal norms. It is hardly unique in this respect of course. Quite a few of its positions are shared in many respects by other self-construed ‘great powers’, not least its fellow UN Security Council members. The modern critiques of sovereignty most often advanced in global discourse by international lawyers and political or legal scholars, meanwhile, frequently invoke notions of global integration, cosmopolitan ethical obligations, transnational legal processes, or other such ideas derived from Western legal thought. Some scholars, Chinese and Western, have also looked to ancient Chinese thought for sources of similar post-sovereign theories of political and legal order.

This paper, presented by Assistant Professor Ryan Mitchell of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, adopts a different approach, seeking to reconstruct a Chinese theory of state and world order distinct from that of post-nineteenth century nation-state sovereignty, but also from either a Kantian-influenced Western-cosmopolitan Souveränitätskritik or Confucian ethical universalism. This alternative conception centers on the concept of guoti, or “stateliness,” which was the most important norm invoked by China’s Qing rulers and officials as they confronted Western encroachments and treaty negotiations during the dynasty’s protracted decline from 1840-1911. As the paper will show, the notion of “stateliness” was articulated not as a critique of state sovereignty, but as a fully-realized alternative. Like the Western territorial-administrative state sovereign model, Qing “stateliness” posited a certain “domain reservée” for the individual state’s jurisdiction. Unlike the former, however, that authority was defined not by reference to administrative control or spatial exclusivity, but rather in relational terms permitting extensive compromise and forms of interaction within (debatable) boundaries. When Western international law came to China, it was first received by reference to these local theories of rule, before aggressive commercial and military expansionism gradually prompted a full Chinese embrace of the new Western sovereignty logic. After reconstructing the pertinent features of the Qing notion of stateliness, this paper will suggest several ways that the notion might be recovered for the problems and questions of international legal order today.

For further information, and to register, click here.

The Politics of International Law Seminar Series
Centre for International and Public Law, ANU College of Law
Date: 16 April – 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.

Not Equal: Toward and 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
Will Bateman, ANU College of Law

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

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

For further information, and to register, click here.

Uncovering Government Information: the Media and the Archives
Centre for Public Integrity
Date: 22 April 2021
Time: 12:00 pm (AEST)
Location: Online

Public office is the public trust. Governments are elected to serve the public interest. But finding out information about the actions, spending and decisions made on our behalf can be difficult.

The media plays an important investigative function in the public’s right to know. The National Archives provide historical information for public use.

Join investigative journalist Kate McClymont and Professor Anne Twomey as they discuss the role of the media and the National Archives in uncovering government information.

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: 23 April – 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. 

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]
Erip 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.

ANU Law and Philosophy Forum: Hohfeldian Analytics of Rights of Action
ANU College of Law
Date: 27 April 2021
Time: 1:00 – 2:00 pm (AEST)
Location: Liz Allen Meeting Room, Room 7.4.5, ANU College of Law, 5 Fellows Road, Acton ACT and online

The ANU Law & Philosophy Forum is delighted to announce its third meeting in 2021: a work-in-progress seminar with Professor Kit Barker, on his work on ‘Rights of Action in Public and Private Law – Some Hohfeldian Analytics’. All are welcome to attend.

Kit Barker is Professor of Private Law at the University of Queensland. He is a leading scholar on the philosophical foundations, doctrine and remedies of private law, and has particular interest in the law of torts and unjust enrichment. He will share his work-in-progress with the ANU Law & Philosophy Forum, in which he applies Hohfeldian analytics to ‘rights of action’ in public and private law. Professor Barker’s presentation will be followed by a discussion of his draft paper.

For further information, and to register, click here.

Julius Stone Address 2021: Can the People be Sovereign?
Sydney Law School
Date: 6 May 2021
Time: 6:00 – 7:30 pm (AEST)
Location: Online

The notion of sovereignty goes back to Jean Bodin, a 16th century French jurist. For him the sovereign had to be a single individual or a majoritarian committee—whether of an elite or of the whole—and had to be able to dictate the law without external, uncontracted constraint, including the constraint of previously established laws. From the late 18th century, many argued that in a representative democracy or republic the people were sovereign, although not by constituting a majoritarian committee of the whole. The claim retains currency in popular and academic circles—it is a centrepiece of populism—but has always defied reconciliation with the original definition.

The claim and the definition may both stand, however, under a conception of the people as an organization that operates, via a multitude of mutually checking channels, as a corporate agent. Those who act in the name of that corporate people may each be externally constrained by organizational checks but those checks will represent only internal constraints on the body as a whole; they will be analogous to the constraint of majoritarian voting that Bodin himself allowed. Hence the collective people, suitably organized, can be sovereign, being free to dictate law without external, uncontracted constraint.

Will that entail democracy? Alas, no. Democracy requires that within the organization of the sovereign corporate people, ordinary individuals must enjoy equal powers of a kind that corporate popular sovereignty does not ensure. It requires power for individual citizens, not just power for the collective citizenry.

The Address will be delivered by Philip Pettit, Princeton University and Australian National University.

For further information, and to register, click here.

Taking Minutes and Wasting Years: Reviewing the Australian Public Service
Melbourne Law School Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies, and the Accountability Round Table
Date: 7 May 2021
Time: 6:30 – 8:30 pm (AEST)
Location: Law G08, Law Building, University of Melbourne, Melbourne VIC

Jim Carlton was closely involved in establishment of the Australia and New Zealand School of Government, just one of his many contributions to high level policy advice and skilled administration.

The Australian Public Service Jim Carlton knew and valued has changed much over the past decade, its progress tracked by a series of reviews. These have pointed to a number of challenges to public administration, from concerns about integrity and job security to worry about loss of policy capacity, the ascendency of consultants over internal advice, and a drift of authority from public servants to ministerial staff.

In the 2021 Jim Carlton Annual Integrity Lecture, Professor Glyn Davis AC asks what these reviews, and decisions taken in response, tell us about contemporary governance in Australia. It explores the rationale of Prime Minister Morrison to reject key findings of the Thodey review, and speculates on the long run consequences of changes now shaping the Australian Public Service.

This event is a collaboration between the Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies and the Accountability Round Table.

For further information, and to register, click here.

ANU Law and Philosophy Forum: Religious Freedom – Liberalism and Republicanism
ANU College of Law
Date: 24 May 2021
Time: 1:00 – 2:00 pm (AEST)
Location: ANU College of Law Moot Court, Building 6A, 5 Fellows Road, Acton ACT and online

The ANU Law & Philosophy Forum is delighted to announce its fourth meeting in 2021: a work-in-progress seminar with Dr John Tate, on his work on religious freedom, entitled Burqas, Burqinis and Marilyn Manson: Liberalism and Republicanism in the French and American Public Spheres.

Dr John Tate is Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of Newcastle, and specialises in political philosophy and the history of political thought. His particular interests include freedom of speech and expression, toleration, and issues relating to individual liberty and its limits within liberal democratic polities. Within his broad interest in the history and practice of liberalism, Dr Tate has special expertise and has published widely on the works of John Locke. In this work-in-progress seminar, Dr Tate will share his current work on the politics and law of religious freedom in France and America.

For further information, and to register, click here.

Justice: the Political Economy of International Law
Institute for International Law and the Humanities at Melbourne Law School, Amsterdam Centre for International Law at the University of Amsterdam
Date: 26 May 2021
Time: 5:00 – 6:00 pm (AEST)
Location: Online

The Amsterdam Center for International Law (ACIL) at the University of Amsterdam, and Melbourne Law School’s Institute for International Law and the Humanities (IILAH) are pleased to announce a new seminar series entitled ‘Unpacking Transitional Justice: International Law, Memory, and Power’ convened by Dr Eliana Cusato and Valeria Vázquez Guevara.

The aim of the Series is to bring together scholars from around the world employing interdisciplinary and critical approaches to the study of transitional justice and international law, broadly understood. The relationship between international law and societies ‘in transition’ has been subject to increased scholarly interest over the past years. By exploring how international law, memory, and power interact in current responses to the violence of the ‘past’, the Series intends to push the conversation forward, as well as build new research networks and opportunities for collaboration.

This seminary will be presented by Associate Professor Christine Schwöbel-Patel (University of Warwick) and Dr Hannah Franzki (University of Bremen).

For further information, and to register, click here.

2021 ALAA Conference
Sydney Law School, UTS Law, Australasian Law Academics’ Association
Date: 4 July – 6 July 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”.

For further information and to register, click here.

Religious Freedom, Religious Discrimination and the Role of the Law
University of Queensland School of Law
Date: 7 October 2021
Time: 5:00 – 6:45 pm (AEST)
Location:  The Banco Court, Queen Elizabeth II Courts oLaw, 415 George Street, Brisbane QLD

Religious freedom and freedom from discrimination on the basis of religion are well-established rights in international law and many jurisdictions have a substantial case-law that examine both of these rights, including the tensions between them. While some limited forms of these rights are protected in the constitution, to date there has been a relatively limited case law in Australia. With the development of statutory bills of rights and increased social tensions between secular and religious Australians, however, the law is increasingly being asked to step into conflicts that involve religion. What can we learn from the Australian case law to date and from other similar jurisdictions that can help Australian courts and legal policy makers with the complex issues that arise in this realm?

For further information, and to register, click here.