Welcome to the June 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 opportunity:

The Saunders Prize for Excellence in Scholarship in Constitutional Law: Call for Nominations

The AACL is delighted to announce its call for nominations for the annual Saunders Prize. The Saunders Prize is named in honour of Laureate Professor Cheryl Saunders AO, in recognition of her exceptional eminence in constitutional law and her leadership in the creation of the AACL. The Prize will be awarded to the author of an article or note on a subject of constitutional law, published in an Australian legal journal in the preceding calendar year, which, in the opinion of the Panel, reflects the highest standards of research and scholarship. The Prize will be judged by a Panel consisting of three eminent constitutional law scholars or practitioners, appointed for each year by resolution of the Council of the AACL. At least one member of the Panel is a member of the Council of the AACL.

The AACL is pleased to announce that the winner of the Saunders Prize in 2021 will be awarded $500.

The rules governing the Saunders Prize are available here.  

The AACL is now calling for nominations for the 2021 Saunders Prize, which will be awarded to the author of an article or note on a subject of constitutional law published in an Australian legal journal in 2020. 

The judging panel for the Award will be the Hon Virginia Bell AC, Professor Michael Crommelin AO and Professor the Hon William Gummow AC.

Nominations should take the following form:

– A nominated article should be sent by way of e-mail attachment to the AACL Council at secretariat@aacl.asn.au (with the subject line “Saunders Prize”) 

– The article should be in the form in which it was published. Manuscripts in other forms will not be accepted. 

– In addition, a covering letter should be included containing the details of the nominating party and (if different) the article’s author. The covering letter should also confirm that the article was published in an Australian legal journal in 2020.

– An article may be nominated by an individual or by a law journal.  However, each individual and each law journal is limited to one nomination.

 Nominations must be received by 21 June 2021.

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.

Problem or Panacea? The Puzzle of General Principles of Law as a Source of International Law
ANU Centre for International and Public Law
Date: 15 June 2021
Time: 5:30 – 7:30 pm (AEST)
Location: ANU College of Law Moot Courts, Building 6, Fellows Road, Acton ACT

You are invited to the launch of Associate Professor Imogen Saunders’ new book General Principles as a Source of International Law: Article 38(1)(c) of the Statute of the International Court of Justice.

This book provides a comprehensive analysis of an often neglected, misunderstood and maligned source of international law. Article 38(1)(c) of the Statute of the International Court of Justice sets out that the Court will apply the ‘general principles of law recognized by civilized nations’. This source is variously lauded and criticised: held up as a panacea to all international law woes or denied even normative validity. The contrasting views and treatments of General Principles stem from a lack of a model of the source itself. This book provides that model, offering a new and rigorous understanding of Article 38(1)(c) that will be of immense value to scholars and practitioners of international law alike.

At the heart of the book is a new tetrahedral framework of analysis – looking to function, type, methodology and jurisprudential legitimacy. Adopting an historical approach, the book traces the development of the source from 1875 to 2019, encompassing jurisprudence of the Permanent Court of International Justice and the International Court of Justice as well as cases from international criminal tribunals, the International Criminal Court and the World Trade Organisation. The book argues for precision in identifying cases that actually apply General Principles, and builds upon these ‘proper use’ cases to advance a comprehensive model of General Principles, advocating for a global approach to the methodology of the source.

The book will be launched by the Hon Justice James Edelman (High Court of Australia) with a panel discussion between Justice Edelman, Professor Hilary Charlesworth (judge ad hoc to the International Court of Justice) and Professor Anthea Roberts (ANU School of Regulation & Global Governance).

The event will conclude with light refreshments.

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:18 June – 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.  

1 pm – Friday 18 June
Featured Books:
Philipp Dann, Michael Rigner and Maxim Bönneman (eds), The Global South and Comparative Constitutional Law (Oxford UP, 2020)
Philipp Dann and Arun K. Thiruvengadam (eds), Democratic Constitutionalism in India and the European Union: Comparing the Law of Democracy in Continental Polities (Edward Elgar, 2021)

Speaker: Prof. Dr. Philipp Dann
Commentators: Professor Melissa Crouch, Professor Theunis Roux
Chair: Siddharth Narrain

1pm – Friday 20 August
Kent Roach, Remedies for Human Rights Violations: A Two-Track Approach to Supra-national and National Law (CUP, 2021)
Commentators: TBC
Chair: Dr Janina Boughey

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

5 pm – 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.

The Antarctic Treaty at 60: Reflections, Current Realities and Future Challenges
ANU Centre for International and Public Law
Date: 23 June 2021
Time: 9:00 am – 12:30 pm (AEST)
Location: ANU College of Law Moot Courts, Building 6, Fellows Road, Acton ACT

The Antarctic Treaty celebrates the 60th anniversary of its entry into force on 23 June 2021. The Treaty names Canberra as the place of the first meeting of the parties, and this occurred at Parliament House on 10-24 July 1961.

The Treaty, negotiated in 1959, is the sole example of an international legal instrument that governs a single continent. It has been very successful in diminishing sovereignty tensions over Antarctica and ensuring the continent has been reserved for scientific research, peaceful purposes, and environmental protection. Over the 60 years there have been a number of tensions between the Antarctic Treaty parties, most notably with respect to whether mining should be permitted.

In 1991 the Madrid Protocol to the Treaty placed a prohibition on mining activities and emphasised Antarctic environmental protection. However, the mining ban could be subject to review in 2048. The seminar aims to review the history of the Antarctic Treaty and reflect upon the strengths and weaknesses of the associated Antarctic Treaty System. Australia’s role will be particularly considered. The future of the Antarctic Treaty will also be assessed. Speakers will be asked to consider whether a treaty negotiated at the height of the Cold War is capable of dealing with new environmental and geopolitical challenges in the 2020s and beyond.

For further information, and to register, click here.

Women and International Peace and Security in Afghanistan
Castan Centre for Human Rights Law and Centre for Gender, Peace and Security at Monash University
Date: 24 June 2021
Time: 5:00 – 7:00 pm (AEST)
Location: Online

The Castan Centre for Human Rights Law and the Centre for Gender, Peace and Security at Monash University are delighted to co-host a panel discussion on the topic of ‘Women and International Peace and Security in Afghanistan’.

Sustainable peace requires women’s voices to be heard. To-date, the peace negotiations have been marked by limited participation of women, which poses a concern not only for the process of negotiation but also the broader implications which any agreement will have on the enjoyment of rights, peace and security for millions of women and girls in Afghanistan.

This event brings together speakers from different spheres of public life in Afghanistan to discuss important issues which have not received sufficient attention in official negotiations and debates. This includes the role of women for sustainable peace and the long-term effects of any agreement on the lives of women and girls in Afghanistan. The event also considers how the situation in Afghanistan affect Afghan diaspora in Australia and what we could all do to support and stand in solidarity with the people of Afghanistan.

This is the first panel discussion in a two-part series, the second to take place in August, focusing on more of the legal technicalities of conflict and the extent of which international law provides protection for women and civilians more broadly in Afghanistan.

For further information, and to register, click here.

ANU Law and Philosophy Forum: Deliberative Peace and Referendums
ANU College of Law
Date: 30 June 2021
Time: 4:30 – 5:30 pm (AEST)
Location: ANU College of Law Moot Courts, Building 6, Fellows Road, Acton ACT and online

The ANU Law and Philosophy Forum is delighted to announce its fifth meeting in 2021: a seminar with Dr Ron Levy and Dr Ian O’Flynn, on ‘Deliberative Peace Referendums’. All are welcome to attend.

Dr Ron Levy is Associate Professor at the ANU College of Law, and specialises in constitutional law and theory. Dr Ian O’Flynn is Senior Lecture in Political Theory at Newcastle University, UK. With Professor Hoi Kong (University of British Columbia), they are co-authors of Deliberative Peace Referendums (OUP, 2021), which explores the role referendums can play in managing and settling conflicts. Dr Levy and Dr O’Flynn will talk to the ANU Law and Philosophy Forum about the theoretical foundations and normative value of deliberative peace referendums, in a range of conflict situations.

For further information, and to register, click here.

World Heritage, Human Rights and Participation
University of Technology Sydney Faculty of Law
Date: 30 June 2021
Time: 6:00 – 7:00 pm (AEST)
Location: Online

In the leadup to the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the World Heritage Convention, the UNESCO Chair in International Law and Cultural Heritage with partners from the Our World Heritage initiative are hosting a series of webinars on the theme of World Heritage and Human Rights.

This webinar on participation beyond states in World Heritage and heritage protection is an opportunity to review and reflect on the operation of the Convention and its governance framework within broader developments in international law and human rights law since 1972. Developments which are challenging established understandings of the objectives and functions of the World Heritage framework and its role in realising the mandate of UNESCO to ‘further universal respect for justice, for rule of law and for human rights and fundamental freedoms’.

For further information, and to register, click here.

The Commonwealth Parliament and Preventive Detention: The High Court’s Decision in Minister for Home Affairs v Benbrika (2021) 95 ALJR 166
University of Sydney Law School, Sydney Institute of Criminology
Date: Released 30 June 2021
Location: Online

The effect of Fardon v AG (Qld) (2004) 223 CLR 575 is that a State or Territory Parliament may validly authorise its Supreme Court to commit to prison a person who poses an unacceptable risk of committing a serious sexual offence if released at the end of his or her prison sentence. But, in the same case, Gummow J (with whom Kirby J agreed on this point) contended that Chapter III of the Commonwealth Constitution prevents the Commonwealth Parliament from passing similar legislation. In Minister of Home Affairs v Benbrika (2021) 95 ALJR 166, a majority of the High Court held that his Honour was wrong. This seminar considers the reasons that the majority Justices gave for rejecting Mr Benbrika’s attack on Division 105A of the Criminal Code (Cth), which authorises a State or Territory Supreme Court to impose continuing detention orders on terrorist offenders who pose an unacceptable risk of committing certain terrorist offences if released into the community. The seminar also examines the more liberal approach adopted by Gageler and Gordon JJ in their respective dissents. The seminar suggests that Benbrika is consistent with the Court’s recent decisions in cases where ‘law and order’ measures are attacked on Chapter III grounds.

For further information, and to register, click here.

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

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 environmen
– 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.

ICON-S 2021 Mundo Conference
International Society of Public Law
Date: 6 – 9 July 2021
Location: Online

ICON•S Mundo will feature a multitude of diverse events over several days, including plenary events on “Technology and the Future of Public Law”, “Democracy and the Future of Public Law” and “The Future of Human Rights and the Rule of Law”. ICON•S Mundo will also include social events such as a virtual welcome session for new members, advice for early career scholars, interest group meetings, and a diversity and women’s receptions, among other things.

There will be a number of panels featuring Australian public lawyers, including panels considering Australian public law topics.

Attending Mundo will be free of charge for those not presenting their work or participating in a working group and all are welcome to attend. However, we do ask those who are able to consider supporting the Society by becoming an active member and join our lively community. You can view our membership options here.

All sessions will be hosted using Zoom; specific links and IDs will be made available via email and at mundo.icon-society.org/ at the end of June.

National Administrative Law Conference
Australian Institute of Administrative Law
Date: 22 – 23 July 2021
Location: RACV City Club, 501 Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC 2000

The AIAL National Administrative Law Conference is Australia’s pre-eminent administrative law conference, having been conducted since 1991. Following cancellation of the Conference last year due to COVID-19, we are pleased to advise that it will be going ahead this year in Melbourne on 22 and 23 July, hosted by the Victorian Chapter of the AIAL.

The aim of the Conference is to provide those involved or interested in Australian administrative law with the opportunity to discuss contemporary issues, share practical experiences and consider future developments.

The overarching theme for the 2020 AIAL National Administrative Law Conference will be Administrative Law on the Edge. The Conference will explore the many-faceted ‘edges’ of administrative law in the Commonwealth, States and Territories, including:
– intersecting areas of law and other areas of knowledge, for example, the law of interpretation and constitutional law
– the nature of any ‘boundary lines’ of administrative law
– the metes and bounds of jurisdictional error
– the capacity of civil and administrative tribunals to deliver administrative justice, having regard to the original intent of providing fast, low cost efficient reviews
– the scope to challenge the exercise of non-statutory executive power
– whether the performance of government functions that are ‘outsourced’ is outside administrative law bounds
– the scope to challenge automated ‘decision-making’.

The Conference will incorporate the 2021 AIAL National Administrative Law Lecture to be delivered by Professor Matthew Groves, Alfred Deakin Professor, Deakin University Law School. The Lecture will commence at 4:45 pm 22 July. This event is open to the public at no cost but registration for non-conference attendees will be required.

For further information, and to register, click here.

2021 CCCS Constitutional Law Conference
University of Melbourne Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies
Date: 23 July 2021
Time: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Location: Online

We warmly invite you to the Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies Constitutional Law Conference, to be held via Zoom on Friday 23 July 2021.

The Conference will commence with a keynote address by the Hon. Justice Michelle Gordon AC, who will consider the themes and legacy of Australian Communist Party v Commonwealth (1951).

The full program has now been published. Speakers will address two key themes. The first theme is the rule of law. Speakers will consider its place in the High Court’s constitutional case law, Indigenous perspectives on the rule of law following Love v Commonwealth, and comparative lessons. The second theme is government, courts and the law after COVID-19. Speakers will consider legal issues arising from hotel quarantine, legal regulation of the use of soft law, emergency powers, and the use of technology in court proceedings.

A final panel will mark the career of the Hon. Justice Geoffrey Nettle AC with a panel featuring the Hon. Justice Kenneth Hayne AC (formerly High Court of Australia), Julian Murphy (Melbourne), Julia Wang (Dever’s List) and Dr Scott Stephenson (Melbourne).

For further information, and to register, click here.

ANU Law and Philosophy Forum: Legality as Public Reason
ANU College of Law
Date: 23 September 2021
Time 5:00 – 6:00 pm (AEST)
Location: Online

The ANU Law and Philosophy Forum is delighted to announce its eighth meeting in 2021: a work-in-progress seminar with Dr Michael Foran, on ‘Legality as public reason’. All are welcome to attend.

Dr Michael Foran is a Lecturer in Public Law at the University of Strathclyde, UK. He researches in jurisprudence and constitutional law, with a particular focus on equality and discrimination. Dr Foran has published in the Cambridge Law Journal, the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, and Public Law, and his PhD (Trinity Hall, Cambridge) focused on equality before the law, including anti-discrimination law and theory. Dr Foran will talk to the ANU Law and Philosophy Forum about the principle of legality, and its capacity to constitute what we might call ‘public reason’.

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 of Law, 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.

ANU Law 60th Anniversary Conference: Public Law and Inequality
ANU College of Law
Date: 7 – 8 December 2021
Location: Australian National University, Acton ACT

To mark the 60th anniversary of ANU Law and the 30th anniversary of the Centre for International and Public Law (CIPL), a major public law conference will be held at the Australian National University in Canberra, on 7-8 December 2021.

Conference theme: Public Law and Inequality

Growing inequality is a defining challenge of our times, domestically and globally. Yet the role of inequality in social, political and economic life is often muted (sometimes, invisible) in much public law scholarship. Notably, public law’s foundational concepts were forged in a social world where the inevitability of inequality was often taken for granted. The stuttering processes of democratisation have rendered that assumption untenable. 

However, although public law scholarship has considered how the field can contribute to political equality, there has been less focus, particularly in recent decades, on the relationship between public law and material equality. The question of whether equality is achievable in a world of yawning disparities in wealth can no longer be brushed aside.

How do public law concepts, institutions and norms frame or contribute to political and material inequality? How can public law and public law scholarship contribute to clear thinking about the set of problems associated with pervasive inequity in contemporary society?

For further information, and to register, click here.