George Winterton Memorial Lecture 2013: Professor Geoffrey Lindell (FULLY BOOKED)

14 February 2013

This event is now FULLY BOOKED, please email to be placed on the waitlist.


Topic: Judicial review and the dismissal of an elected government in 1975: Then and Now?

When the Whitlam Labor Government was dismissed in 1975 it was widely assumed that judicial review was not available to challenge the validity of that dismissal. Since that time developments have occurred both in Australia and elsewhere which may involve in the future the courts resolving 'conflicts over the reins of power'. It has been questioned whether such conflicts would be resolved by a pronouncement of a court. In Australia developments in administrative law have undermined the assumption that the normal rules which govern the exercise of discretions vested in ordinary government officials and bodies do not apply to those vested in a Vice-regal representative. In addition there have also been developments which may have the effect of converting the core aspects of the conventions of responsible government - and their accompanying qualifications based on the reserve powers of the Crown - into judicially enforceable rules of law. This lecture addresses whether in the light of such developments the High Court would, and should, intervene to review the legal validity of the dismissal of an elected Government as a result of the Senate blocking Supply if this were to occur again.

About the Speaker

The 4th Annual George Winterton Memorial Lecture will be delivered by Professor Geoffrey Lindell. Geoffrey Lindell, is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Adelaide and Australian National Universities and a Professorial Fellow at the Melbourne University.

Before his recent retirement as a full time academic, he held senior academic positions at the Australian National University and later the University of Melbourne. He has taught and published widely in the field of Australian constitutional law. He has assisted in some major reviews of the Australian Constitution, as well as having provided (and continuing to provide) legal and constitutional advice to governments and parliaments. He was until 2002, the inaugural Secretary of the Australian Association of Constitutional Law, a body he helped to form.

About the Lecture

The late George Winterton, Professor of Constitutional Law in the University of Sydney, was one of Australia's foremost experts on the Constitution and constitutional law, with an international reputation. He is remembered as an outstanding scholar and teacher to generations of colleagues, students and the legal profession. His influence on Australian constitutional law and policy has been profound. He was an Emeritus Professor at the University of New South Wales; a member of the Constitutional Commission 1985-87 and of the Republic Advisory Committee 1993; an Appointed Delegate to the Constitutional Convention 1998; and foundation member of the Council and Trustees of The Constitution Education Fund Australia. He was the founding editor of Constitutional Law and Policy Review and author of the seminal book on executive power, Parliament, the Executive and the Governor-General. He was the lead author of the influential textbook Australian Federal Constitutional Law, currently being carried into its third edition by Professor Winterton's academic colleagues. This lecture series was inaugurated in 2010 to commemorate this outstanding contribution and to maintain this legacy of high and uncompromising standards in constitutional law, of considered and dispassionate reflection on constitutional issues, and of dedicated service to the Academy, the Commonwealth and the Constitution.

Time: 6 - 7.30pm (registration from 5.45pm)

Location: Banco Court, Supreme Court of NSW, 184 Phillip Street, Sydney


Contact: PLaCE Coordinator

Phone: 02 9351 0429

Email: 2a16266929253d3815400a1008205b4e16412a2f3d78390c