Rule of Law Lecture Series for 2012 Announced

1 May 2012

A new lecture series by a former federal court judge on the rule of law will enable University of Sydney Law students to develop insights into this important cornerstone of democracy, thanks to a generous donation by the Rule of Law Institute of Australia.

The Honourable Kevin Lindgren QC, a retired judge of the Federal Court of Australia and an adjunct professor at Sydney Law School, will deliver the first in a series of four lectures in May 2012. The lecture, "Rule of Law and Judicial Independence" will introduce first year students to the significance of the separation of powers and the role of the courts in regulating executive action.

The central principle of the rule of law is that even lawmakers are bound by laws- so parliament, judges and government executives must abide by the rules they make. The concept was first developed by Aristotle and was enshrined in the Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights. It continues to provoke debate today, particularly in the fields of administrative and constitutional law.

It has a major role to play in some of the key issues affecting contemporary Australian public life, for example in the debates on immigration and climate change, and is an omnipresent issue in global affairs, as seen most recently in the fallout from the 'Arab Spring' and continuing reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"These lectures will be an excellent opportunity for our students to learn directly from one of Australia's leading legal thinkers," said Sydney Law School Dean Professor Gillian Triggs. "Some of Justice Lindgren's lectures will be targeted at first-year students, and they will find it particularly beneficial to start their legal education with the chance to develop their knowledge of this fundamental democratic principle."

The Rule of Law Institute has provided funds to Sydney Law School to support the lecture series, as well as research activities on the rule of law.

The Rule of Law Lecture Series is designed to ensure that Sydney Law students gain a sound understanding of the Rule of Law, its history and its contemporary relevance. The Institute and Sydney Law School hope to develop other joint initiatives, such as the delivery of a postgraduate and undergraduate program and initiatives on the Rule of Law.

Contact: Humyara Mahbub

Phone: +61 2 9351 0467

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