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George Winterton Memorial Lecture 2014: Professor Fiona Wheeler   View Summary
13 February 2014

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'Judges as Royal Commissioners' Reprised: The Involvement of Australian Judges in Extra-Judicial Work

The late George Winterton, Professor of Constitutional Law, University of Sydney, published 'Judges as Royal Commissioners' in the University of New South Wales Law Journal in 1987. In this paper, he claimed there was 'overwhelming' justification for the view 'that judges should generally decline to undertake extra-judicial governmental duties'. This was because the use of judges in such roles 'can endanger public confidence in the independence, impartiality and competence of the judiciary'. At the same time, he argued that the Boilermakers Case'should be overruled' and replaced by a more flexible principle preventing federal courts from exercising functions at odds with their role as repositories of judicial power. Over 25 years later, this lecture reprises the themes - notably the need for judges to avoid controversy arising from contact with political matters - that Winterton explored in this characteristically incisive essay. Drawing on archival research undertaken by the speaker, the lecture will provide a window into the rich - though neglected - history of the involvement of Australian judges in extra-judicial work and explore the reasons why Winterton's arguments remain valid today.

About the Speaker

Fiona Wheeler is a Professor at the Australian National University where she is Deputy Dean, ANU College of Law, and Chair of the ANU Academic Board. Prior to joining ANU, she was an Associate to Justice Mary Gaudron, High Court of Australia. Her research is in the area of constitutional law, with a particular interest in courts and the judicial system, including separation of powers and the history of the High Court, areas in which she has published widely. Her doctorate on the separation of judicial power under the Australian Constitution was awarded the ANU JG Crawford Prize. She has previously served the ANU College of Law as Sub-Dean, Director of Research and Head of School. In the first half of 2009, she was based at the National Library of Australia as an Honorary Harold White Fellow. She has served on the Executive of the Australian Association of Constitutional Law and is a member of the Australian Academy of Law.

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.

Lawyers/barristers: attendance at this seminar is equal to 1.5 MCLE/CPD units.

Immediately following the lecture, The Hon. Thomas Bathurst QC, Chief Justice of NSW, will launch the book Winterton's Australian Federal Constitutional Law: Commentary & Materials 3rd edition(Thomas Reuters, 2013). The launch will take place in in the foyer of the Banco Court. You are invited to proceed there for the launch after the lecture.


Friends and colleagues of the late Professor George Winterton areinvited to make a gift to the Memorial Fund named in his honor. Gifts to the Fund will support activities at Sydney Law School in the area of Constitutional Law in memory of Professor Winterton. For further information or to make your gift, please contact Professor Peter Gerangelos, Convenor of the Winterton Memorial Fund and Winterton Lecture Series on (02) 9351 0200 or

Ross Parsons Law and Business Seminar Series: Market Manipulation   View Summary
20 February 2014

This event is FULLY BOOKED.


Market manipulation has become a regulatory focal point, particularly since the global financial crisis. This seminar, which is convened jointly by Sydney Law School and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, will discuss central issues and recent developments in the area of market manipulation. Specific matters that will be addressed in the seminar include: -

  • How is market manipulation defined under the Corporations Act?;
  • What are the typical techniques through which market manipulation occurs?
  • What incentives drive market manipulation?;
  • What is the impact of contemporary developments in market structure, such as the rise of algorithmic and high-frequency, trading, on traditional notions of market manipulation?

The seminar will also examine recent case law in the area, including the Australian High Court decision in Director of Public Prosecutions (Cth) v JM [2013] HCA 30 (27 June 2013).


Justice Ashley Black, Supreme Court of New South Wales
Carole Comerton-Forde, Professor of Finance, University of Melbourne

Dr Greg O'Mahoney, Barrister, Seven Wentworth

Chair:Professor Jennifer Hill, Sydney Law School

MCLE/CPD Points: 2

SCIL International Law Year in Review Conference   View Summary
21 February 2014

To register click here

Please note: Online registrations must be paid by Mastercard or VISA. To arrange analternative payment method, please contact


The Sydney Centre for International Law at Sydney Law School is delighted to present the second International Law Year in Review Conference. The conference will give participants insight into the latest developments in international law over the preceding year, especially those most salient for Australia.

Speakers at the conference will include leading academics, practitioners and government lawyers, and will provide an in-depth and critical analysis of contemporary developments in international law on topical themes, including Australia's participation in international cases in the International Court of Justice and the World Trade Organization. Participation will enable lawyers and non-lawyers alike to remain abreast of important trends in international affairs.

Confirmed keynote speakers include The Hon Mark Dreyfus QC, MP, Shadow Attorney-General and Shadow Minister for the Arts (who will be speaking on his experience appearing as counsel for Australia in the Whales Case in the International Court of Justice) and author, lawyer and activist Anna Rose (speaking on her book Madlands and her experience as an observer of international climate negotiations).

Conference Program

Please click here to download the conference program.

Registration (GST Inclusive)
Full day: $200

Students: $99 (full day registration)

Morning sessions: $100 (includes morning tea and lunch)
Afternoon sessions: $100 (includes afternoon tea and cocktail reception)

Employment Relations and the Law Seminar Series 2014    View Summary
12 March 2014

To register and make your secure online payment, please CLICK HERE

This popular annual series is made up of 10 evening seminars and provides an introduction to the current regulation of employment and labour relations in Australia. The seminars will be presented by a number of qualified academics and lawyers with extensive knowledge and experience in the area of employment law.

Topics covered include employers' and employees' rights and obligations under the Fair Work Act and the common law of employment, anti-discrimination law, and the regulation of collective bargaining and industrial action.

Students will be advised of reading material relevant to the series of lectures. A number of the lecturers will also supply students with copies of papers and notes relevant to their presentations.

SEMINAR SCHEDULE (subject to change)



12 March

Introduction/System of Workplace Regulation in Aus,

19 March

The Employment Contract

26 March

Termination of employment

2 April

Fair Work System, NES and Awards

9 April

Enterprise Bargaining

16 April

Contemporary Issues - Social Media

23 April


30 April

Regulation of Trade Unions

7 May

Gender and Equality at Work

14 May

Diversity and Work

21 May


No formal qualifications are required for enrolment, and participants who attend a minimum of eight (8) seminars in the series will be issued with a certificate of attendance.

University of Sydney staff receive a 50% discount on the series fees. For details on how to register, please

Information for lawyers and barristers: Attendance at this seminar series is equal to 20 MCLE/CPD units, based on 2 points per seminar attended.

One-Punch Assaults    View Summary
12 March 2014

FULLY BOOKED - please email to be placed on the waitlist.


The Sydney Institute of Criminology presents an expert panel discussion on the recent debate over one-punch assaults and street violence. The forum is an opportunity to consider ways to address alcohol-fuelled violence within the community, including assessing the effectiveness of the NSW Government's recent response to one-punch assaults. This includes new laws introducing an offence of assault causing death, increased penalties, mandatory minimum sentences and tighter licensing regulations. The panel will discuss key issues relating to the cause, prevention and responses to one-punch assaults.


Professor Raewyn Connell: University Chair, University of Sydney

David Shoebridge: Greens MP in the NSW Legislative Council

Associate Professor Thomas Crofts: Co-Director, Sydney Institute of Criminology, University of Sydney

Professor Mark Halsey: Flinders Law School, Flinders University

Dr Julia Quilter: Senior Lecturer of Law, University of Wollongong

Professor Stephen Tomsen: Professor of Criminology, University of Western Sydney

Lawyers/barristers: attendance at this lecture is equal to 2 MCLE/CPD units.

2014 Julius Stone Address: Professor Frederick Schauer    View Summary
13 March 2014

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Sydney Law School is please to announce the 2014 Julius Stone Address guest speaker, Professor Frederick Schauer, David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Virginia (USA).

Do People Obey the Law?

At least as far back as Socrates, there have been important debates about whether people should obey the law just because it is the law. When what the law commands differs from what people think is the right thing to do, should they follow the law solely because it is the law? These debates have been important, but equally important is the empirical question whether people actually do obey the law just because it is the law. It would be easy to answer this question in the affirmative by observing the vast amount of law-compliant behaviour, but it is important to distinguish engaging in behaviour that happens to be consistent with the law from engaging in behaviour because of the law. And it is equally important to distinguish engaging in behaviour because of the law from engaging in behaviour because of what the law may do to us if we do not comply. When we draw these distinctions, we may discover that voluntary obedience to the law because it is the law is a less widespread phenomenon than is commonly believed. To the extent that this is so, we can understand why force and coercion are so central to law's characteristic operation, and why the dismissal of the importance of coercion in much of modern jurisprudence is a mistake in need of correction.

About the speaker

Frederick Schauer is David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Virginia. He is also Frank Stanton Professor of the First Amendment, Emeritus, at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, where he taught from 1990 to 2008, served as academic dean and acting dean, and also taught courses on evidence and freedom of speech at the Harvard Law School. Previously, Schauer was professor of law at the University of Michigan and has also been visiting professor of law at the Columbia Law School, Fischel-Neil Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Chicago, Morton Distinguished Visiting Professor of the Humanities at Dartmouth College, distinguished visiting professor at the University of Toronto, distinguished visitor at New York University and James Goold Cutler Professor of Law at the College of William and Mary. In 2007-2008, he was the Eastman Professor at Oxford University and a fellow of Balliol College. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and former holder of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Schauer is the author of numerous articles on freedom of speech and press, constitutional law and theory, evidence, legal reasoning and the philosophy of law, and many books, includingFree Speech: A Philosophical Enquiry(Cambridge, 1982),Playing By the Rules: A Philosophical Examination of Rule-Based Decision-Making in Law and in Life(Oxford, 1991) and Thinking Like a Lawyer: A New Introduction to Legal Reasoning(Harvard, 2009). He is also the editor of Karl Llewellyn,The Theory of Rules (Chicago, 2011) and co-editor ofThe Philosophy of Law (Oxford, 1996) andThe First Amendment(West, 1995). Schauer was founding co-editor of the journalLegal Theory, has served as chair of the Section on Constitutional Law of the Association of American Law Schools and of the Committee on Philosophy and Law of the American Philosophical Association. His books have been translated into Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese and Turkish, and his scholarship has been the subject of a book and special issues of several law reviews.

This event is generously sponsored by the Educational Heritage Foundation

Lawyers/barristers: attendance at this lecture is equal to 1.5 MCLE/CPD unit.

This address is presented by the Julius Stone Institute for Jurisprudence. For information about the institute's programs (including the Masters in Jurisprudence) and other upcoming events, CLICK HERE.

Book Launch: Asia-Pacific Disaster Management: Socio-Legal and Comparative Perspectives   View Summary
18 March 2014

Please join us for the book launch of Asia-Pacific Disaster Management: Socio-Legal and Comparative Perspectives, co-edited by Simon Butt and Luke Nottage (University of Sydney Law) and Hitoshi Nasu (Australian National University, College of Law).

The book will be launched by The Hon Robert McClelland, former federal Attorney-General and Minister for Emergency Services.

Robert McClelland is a partner at Turner Freeman Lawyers and a Visiting Fellow at the University of New South Wales.

Robert had served as the Federal Member for Barton for 18 years before retiring at the last Federal election.

Between 2007 and 2011 Robert served as the Commonwealth Attorney General. In that capacity he had responsibility for Australia's counter terrorism capability and also Australia's emergency response capability. He has spoken and written widely about the need to give a much greater emphasis to Australia's ability to become resilient to natural disasters. In particular, Robert McClelland has argued that there needs to be a much greater focus on prevention and mitigation strategies rather than simply relief effort after a natural disaster has occurred.

About the Book
The book outlines the regulatory environment for disaster prevention and management in broad social, economic and political context. The first half of the book focuses mainly on Japan, especially the '3.11' events: the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the Tohoku area on 11 March 2011 and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant radiation leaks. The second half focuses on the USA (the only other Asia-Pacific country to have experienced a serious nuclear emergency), Indonesia, China, New Zealand, Australia and international law. One question explored in several of the 14 chapters is whether socio-legal norms play different roles in preventing and managing responses to natural disasters compared to 'man-made' disasters. Another is how 'disaster law' interacts with society across very diverse communities in the disaster-prone Asia-Pacific region. The book also addresses the increasingly important roles played by international law and regional regimes for cross-border cooperation in disaster prevention and relief, including the functions played by military forces.

'Erudite, pragmatic, and charged with detailed, substantive knowledge of an astonishing range of contexts and research fields, this timely collection of important essays on the law and society of disaster management stands as an exemplary international academic response to the disasters of 11 March 2011.' (Prof Annelise Riles, Cornell University)

For more details or to purchase the book, visit:

2014 JSI Seminar Series: Professor Peter Cane   View Summary
20 March 2014

To register for this event CLICK HERE

Public Law inThe Concept of Law

This paper adopts what Frederick Schauer calls a 'non-essentialist' approach to understanding the nature of law, which can be contrasted with the widely practised method of 'conceptual analysis'. Instead of seeking a set of necessary conditions for the existence of law in all possible worlds, non-essentialism reflects upon pervasive features of actual legal systems. The paper focuses on constitutional and administrative law and contrasts modern standard accounts of public law with HLA Hart's highly influential threefold list of 'necessary' types of public 'secondary rules': rules of recognition, change and adjudication. The argument is that non-essentialist methodology not only yields a rich descriptive account of certain fundamental characteristics of modern legal systems but also provides theoretically significant insights into how law is conceived in many contemporary societies. Because the resulting account is firmly rooted in actual social and legal practices, it provides a more fine-grained and less abstract theory of those practices than is offered by Hart's approach, based as it is on hypothetical stories about how law 'might have developed'.


For the first 20 years of his academic career, Peter Cane taught at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, successively as lecturer, reader and professor. Since 1997 he has been Professor of Law at the ANU, until 2007 in the Research School of Social Sciences. He was appointed Distinguished Professor in 2007. He is a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law. In 2011-12 he was joint Arthur Goodhart Visiting Professor of Legal Science at the University of Cambridge.

Lawyers/barristers: attendance at this lecture is equal to 1.5 MCLE/CPD unit

Negotiating Deals: Key points in contract negotiation   View Summary
27 March 2014

To register for this seminar please CLICK HERE

27 March - Please note the payment gateway for online registrations is currently experiencing high traffic volumes, if you are having difficulty registering, please contact 02 9351 0429 or

NB: To pay by Mastercard & VISA please utilise the online registration form link above. The University of Sydney no longer accepts AMEX payments, to pay by cheque, pleaseemail for an invoice. We apologise for any inconvenience.


This seminar will examine some aspects of negotiation techniques, including examining how negotiated decisions are reached and made and the particular aspects of lawyer-to-lawyer negotiations that can present especial challenges. The seminar will also consider the elements of a negotiation that contribute to win/win solutions, the BATNA, the reservations price and the ZOPA, set against the context of some legal issues pertaining to written contractual documents, "umbrella" agreements and the role of pre-contract negotiations. As well as discussing a range of Australian and English authorities, the Lecture will also focus on one specific English case (Baird Textiles Holdings v Marks & Spencer plc [2002] 1 All ER (Comm) 737) to illustrate some of the pitfalls that poor preparation for a negotiation can reveal.

Professor David Yates is a solicitor and a U.S Attorney-at-Law and holds degrees from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. He has held appointments in the Universities of Hull, Bristol and Manchester in the U.K. as well as continuing to hold visiting professorships at a number of overseas universities in Australia, the United States and Asia. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Law in the University of Sydney. He was Foundation Professor of Law, Dean of the School of Law and Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Essex before joining Baker & McKenzie in 1987 as the international firm's Director of Professional Development. He is currently the
Warden of Robinson College in the University of Cambridge and an Honorary Fellow of St. Catherine's College Oxford. David Yates continues to teach and write on legal topics, training and law firm management issues, in various jurisdictions and universities around the world.

A light lunch will be served.

Distinguished Speakers Program: Professor Barbara McDonald   View Summary
27 March 2014

To register and make your secure online payment, please CLICK HERE

27 March - Please note the payment gateway for online registrations is currently experiencing high traffic volumes, if you are having difficulty registering, please contact 02 9351 0429 or


Private Lives, Public Spheres

In this lecture, Professor Barbara McDonald, currently Commissioner at the Australian Law Reform Commission, will explore the way the law, in Australia and other countries, has developed protection of personal privacy. At the heart of that development is the balance between the private and public spheres in society. The digital era has extended the balancing act into the online world yet also has the potential to affect physical privacy. What is the interplay between privacy and other public interests? When does protecting privacy also protect freedom of speech? What role should the law play? Professor McDonald will also outline the proposals that the Australian Law Reform Commission will have made in its Discussion Paper on Serious Invasions of Privacy in the Digital Era, to be released earlier in March.

About the speaker:

Barbara McDonald is a Professor at the Faculty of Law at the University of Sydney, currently teaching in the areas of Torts, Equity, Torts and Contracts II in the undergraduate programme, and Advanced Obligations and Remedies in the postgraduate programme. She is currently the Director of the Faculty's Sydney Law School in Europe programme which conducts courses in Berlin and Cambridge, and elsewhere, and has been the Director of the JD programme.

Barbara is currently serving as a Commissioner of the Australian Law Reform Commission in Sydney where she is heading the Inquiry into Serious Invasions of Privacy in the Digital Era. The Inquiry will be completed in June 2014.

Lawyers/barristers: attendance at this lecture is equal to1 MCLE/CPD unit.

Rapid Response Seminar: The Judgment in the Whaling in the Antarctic Case   View Summary
3 April 2014

To register for this event, CLICK HERE


On 31 March the International Court of Justice will hand down its eagerly awaited judgment in the Whaling in the Antarctic case between Australia and Japan. The decision carries major significance for Australia and Japan and the international regulation of whaling. This rapid response seminar led by two international legal experts on whaling and fisheries issues will review the background to the case, the key conclusions reached in the Court's judgment, and the implications of the case for the International Whaling Commission.

Professor Donald R Rothwell (ANU College of Law)
Donald R Rothwell is Professor of International Law, and Head of School at the ANU College of Law, Australian National University where he has taught since July 2006. His research focusses on law of the sea, law of the polar regions, and implementation of international law within Australia as reflected in over 160 articles, book chapters and notes in international and Australian publications. Rothwell has authored, co-authored or edited 17 books including The International Law of the Sea (Hart, 2010) with Tim Stephens. He has acted as a consultant or been a member of expert groups for UNEP, UNDP, IUCN, the Australian Government, and acted as advisor to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). In November 2006 he chaired the Report of the Sydney Panel of Independent International Legal Experts on Japan's Special Permit ('Scientific') Whaling Under International Law; and in November 2008 chaired the Canberra Panel addressing the same issue. He was also a member of the Paris Panel of Independent Legal Experts on Special Permit 'Scientific' Whaling Under International Law (May 2006).

Associate Professor Tim Stephens (Sydney Law School)
Dr Tim Stephens is Associate Professor and Associate Dean (Postgraduate Coursework) at the Sydney Law School. Dr Stephens has published widely on issues of public international law, the law of the sea, and international environmental law. Dr Stephens was Rapporteur of the Sydney and Canberra Panels of Independent International Legal Experts on Japan's Special Permit ('Scientific') Whaling under International Law. In 2014, Dr Stephens was appointed, on the nomination of the Australian Government, to the List of Experts for the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation.

RP Law and Business Series: Crowd sourced equity funding: What should be the Australian response?   View Summary
7 April 2014

To register for this seminarCLICK HERE

Please note: Individual online registrations MUST be paid by Mastercard or VISA. To pay by cheque or arrange a group registration, please email for an invoice. We apologise for any inconvenience.


About the lecture

The CAMAC review of crowd sourced equity funding (CSEF) is taking place within the context of on-going developments worldwide with this form of corporate fundraising for start-up and other enterprises. Central to the CAMAC review are questions whether CSEF should be facilitated in Australia and if so, by what means. What are the potential benefits of CSEF; what are the possible pitfalls? John Kluver, Executive Director of CAMAC, will discuss these key issues and their implications for the future.

The financing of new ventures presents many challenges, especially in Australia. Entrepreneurs are typically only able to obtain funds from a limited number of sources, giving rise to a "capital gap" when it comes to financing innovation. Jason Zein will review the various forms of funding available to new Australian ventures and consider the role that crowd sourced equity can play in both addressing the deficiencies, and exacerbating the problems associated with funding start-up firms.

About the Speaker

John Kluver, as Executive Director of Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee (CMAC) since its inception in 1989, has been closely involved in many of the major developments in corporate and financial markets law over the last decades.

About the Commentator

Jason Zein, is an Associate Professor of Finance at the Australian School of Business at UNSW. He has taught courses in Venture Capital and Entrepreneurial Finance at UNSW and the University of Melbourne. He has published his work in a number of leading journals in the field of corporate finance and corporate governance.

Chair: Professor Jennifer Hill, Sydney Law School

Law & Business Program 2014

Sydney Law School is pleased to announce its Law & Business Program for 2014. Students can enrol in single units as part of their professional development under the Legal Professional Development program (LPD).Single unit enrolment students are not required to undertake assignments or examinations.

Click here for more information.

Conviction and imprisonment of innocent people: The root of untruth in the adversarial system   View Summary
7 April 2014

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About the lecture

This paper questions whether the adversarial system has come to accept a high number of innocent-person convictions by placing a focus on judicial process rather than on the discovery of exonerating facts. The paper proposes a plea of innocence and innocence procedures, through which accused persons would be entitled to compel particular government investigations if they waived their right to silence and consented to answer questions from the government.

About the speaker

Tim Bakken is a professor in the Department of Law at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Prior to his academic career, he practiced law in New York City, where he served as a prosecutor in the homicide bureau of the Kings County District Attorney's Office (Brooklyn) and worked at law firms focusing on federal and commercial litigation. He has taught at several universities, including Ural State Law Academy in Yekaterinburg, Russia, and his subject areas include constitutional law and criminal law. He has worked under the Department of State and European Union to train judges and prosecutors in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Department of Defense to establish a law department at the National Military Academy of Afghanistan in Kabul. He has been a research scholar at New York Law School, visiting scholar at the Columbia University School of Law, and visiting fellow at the Australian National University College of Law. He is a member of the bars of New York, Wisconsin, and several federal courts, including the United States Supreme Court.

This event is presented by theSydney Centre for Interational Law and theInstitute of Criminology at the Sydney Law School.

Lawyers/barristers: attendance at this lecture is equal to1 MCLE/CPD unit

2014 JSI Seminar Series: Professor Jeremy Webber   View Summary
15 April 2014

To register for this event CLICK HERE


"We are Still in the Age of Encounter: Indigenous Rights, the Nature of Sovereignty, and Agonistic Constitutionalism"

This paper examines whether Canada's recent grappling with Indigenous rights has begun to unsettle the longstanding assumption that Canadian institutions are sovereign in a manner that excludes Indigenous sovereignty. It identifies five substantially different claims often associated with sovereignty, arguing that it is worth considering them in disaggregated fashion. It investigates the particular attributes of sovereignty that are placed in issue by the encounter between Indigenous peoples and settler states, in particular the legal and political institutions of Canada. And it explores the specific form that the recomposition of sovereignty should take.

In particular, it suggests that we may be observing a bracketing of the question of sovereignty, not in a way that ignores the question, but that suspends its final determination, allowing multiple assertions of sovereignty to exist in a continual, unresolved - perhaps never resolved - tension. If the question of sovereignty is being reconstructed in this way, then it represents a substantial change in our understanding of what is necessary to sustain a constitutional order. It represents the emergence of what might be called an 'agonistic constitutionalism', in which a constitutional order is characterized by divergent, perhaps even contradictory, assertions of fundamental principle, held in continual tension. Such a constitutionalism is especially evident in the Indigenous dimensions of Canadian constitutional practice, but it is also apparent elsewhere. Indeed, it may turn out to be a more common feature of constitutional orders than we have ever suspected.

About the speaker:

Jeremy Webber is Dean of Law at the University of Victoria, Canada. He has held the Canada Research Chair in Law and Society in the Faculty of Law of the University of Victoria since 2002. In 2009 he was appointed a Fellow of the prestigious Trudeau Foundation. Prior to joining the University of Victoria, he was Dean of Law at the University of Sydney (1998-2002) and Professor of Law at McGill University (1987-1998).

Professor Webber is widely recognized in the areas of constitutional law, cultural diversity, constitutional theory, federalism, and indigenous rights, in Canada and in comparison to other countries (especially Australia). He is the author of Reimagining Canada: Language, Culture, Community and the Canadian Constitution (1994).

Lawyers/barristers: attendance at this lecture is equal to 1.5 MCLE/CPD units

Used and Abused? The term 'gang' and its implications for ethnic minority youth   View Summary
16 April 2014

To registerplease CLICK HERE


About the seminar

In this Juvenile Justice seminar, Dr Hannah Smithson will deliver a keynote presentation on the problematic usage of the term 'gang' and its implications for ethnic minority youth in the United Kingdom. Dr Smithson will present an assessment of the current situation in relation to the extent, and nature, of violent gang activity in three predominately Asian (Pakistani and Bangladeshi) areas and outline empirical evidence of the problematic way that the term 'gang' is being used and abused in the United Kingdom. She will unpack these issues by examining how the term 'gang' is mobilised in UK policy and policing practices, the increased surveillance and policing of Asian communities, the ensuing policy transfer and its potential to further marginalise and isolate some ethnic minority communities and how the application of gang labels elevates the perceived level of risk young people pose.

Following her presentation, Dr Smithson will be joined in conversation with Dr Greg Martin and Dr George Morgan to discuss relevant issues such as: how might we extend these insights to the Australian context? What are some of the implications for Australian youth around the term 'gangs'? What is the role of the media? And how might we better understand and respond to young people's behaviour? Join us for an evening of stimulating discussion to examine the contentious topic of 'youth gangs'.

About the speakers

Hannah Smithson is Reader in Criminology at Manchester Metropolitan University. Hannah has worked in the field of criminology and criminal justice for 15 years. She obtained her PhD from the University of Manchester in 2002 on the topic of 'Reducing the risks of youth offending through early intervention', following a fully funded scholarship awarded by a UK Police Force. Since then, she has undertaken numerous research and evaluation projects funded by government departments, local authorities, police forces and charities. Her research findings have impacted on policy at a local and national level including directly influencing UK government policy. Her research has been instrumental in shaping agendas in research and policy across three interconnected areas: Youth Justice, Youth Gangs and Community Crime prevention. She is an expert member of the UK's Ministry of Justice Evaluation Research Steering Group and a member of the Eurogang Network. Hannah is Editor-in-Chief of the Safer Communities Journal and has recently formed and is co-director of the Manchester Centre for Youth Studies. Her book Gang Policy in International Perspective: A Critical and Comparative Analysis of Contemporary Gang Responses will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in September 2015.

Greg Martin is Senior Lecturer in Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Sydney. His research expertise includes youth studies, social movements, cultural criminology, criminal law and public order policing. Greg's interest in youth and subculture began in the 1990s while researching his PhD on New Age Travellers, which he completed at the University of Exeter, UK. Since then he has written on a number of areas relating to youth and crime, including a comparative study of anti-social behaviour in Britain and New South Wales, and an analysis of the 'chav' phenomenon from a cultural criminological perspective. His more legally oriented work has involved writing about the role of secret evidence in the control of 'bikie gangs' across Australia. Greg is an Associate Editor of the journal, Crime Media Culture, and has published in numerous international journals, such as the British Journal of Sociology, Policing & Society, and the Journal of Law and Society.

George Morgan is a researcher at the University of Western Sydney's Institute for Culture and Society who has published research on a variety of themes: contemporary moral panics; Islamphobia; minority youth; and settler colonialism. He is currently researching youth and precarious labour, in particular how urban working class and minority youth including those from Aboriginal and Middle Eastern backgrounds, develop vocational aspirations in a world where jobs and skills are precarious. In the last three years he has published articles in journals including - Postcolonial Studies, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Journal of Youth Studies Journal of Urban Affairs, Economic and Labour Relations Review, Journal of Cultural Economy. He is co-editor with Scott Poynting of the collection Global Islamophobia (Ashgate, 2012)

This event is sponsored by Juvenile Justice NSW and hosted by the Institute of Criminology, Sydney Law School.

Who's afraid of the nanny state? Freedom, regulation and the nation's health   View Summary
28 April 2014 to 29 April 2014

Click here to register for Monday 28 April- Free
Click here to register for Tuesday 29 April - $80.00


The 'nanny state' has become a familiar phrase in debates about what government ought to do, and not do, in its efforts to improve the health and wellbeing of the population.

This two-part symposium, presented by the University of Sydney's Charles Perkins Centre and Sydney Law School, considers the rightful role of government.

In an event spanning two days, speakers from a range of backgrounds will present theoretical perspectives on government's role, new approaches to regulation which minimize intrusion on individual choices and lifestyles. The symposium will also address the reality of industry's role in influencing lifestyles, and in some cases, creating markets for the risk factors for the diseases we most want to avoid.

Professor Paul E. Griffiths, Professor of Philosophy and Associate Academic Director, Charles Perkins Centre
Professor Roger Magnusson, Professor of Health Law & Governance, Sydney Law School



Auditorium, Charles Perkins Centre

John Hopkins Drive

University of Sydney

Click here

6.00pm - 7.30pm
Cost: Free

Professor Gerard Hastings OBE, Professor of Social Marketing, University of Stirling and the Open University and L'École des Hautes Etudes en Santé Publique

"The Marketing Matrix: Why I'm not lovin' it, will not just do it, and sure as hell will never be worth it"

The Foyer, Level 2, New Law Building
Eastern Ave

University of Sydney

9.00am - 4.00pm
Cost: $80.00


Professor Janet Hoek, Professor of Marketing, Otago Business School, Otago University
"Smokers and informed choice: myth or reality?"

Professor Rogan Kersh
, Provost and Professor of Politics & International Affairs, Wake Forest University "Of Nannies and Nudges: advances and setbacks in U.S. health policymaking"

The Hon Judi Moylan, President, Diabetes Australia; Co-Chair of the National Diabetes Strategy Advisory Group "Personal freedom versus public interest: politics of public health protection?"

Professor Philip Pettit, L.S. Rockefeller University Professor of Politics and Human Values, Princeton University "Two images of state and economy"

Other speakers include:

Professor Catriona Mackenzie, Professor of Philosophy, Macquarie University

Professor Michael Moore, CEO, Australian Public Health Association

Dr Belinda Reeve, JD, Law Fellow, O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Georgetown University

Dr Caroline West, Department of Philosophy, University of Sydney

Draft program and speaker information

Lawyers/barristers: attendance at the public lecture is equal to 1.5 MCLE/CPD unit, full day conference is equal to 6 MCLE/CPD units.

A New Right to Freedom from Corruption   View Summary
30 April 2014

Global corruption has reached staggering proportions. Illicit financial flows out of developing countries over the past decade are calculated to be US$8.44 trillion. This is more than ten times what those countries received in aid during that time, and equivalent to the total of all foreign direct investment into the developing world over the same period. As a result, governments are compromised, the law perverted, and human rights trampled. Corruption pollutes public and private spheres in wealthy states as well as poorer ones.

Australia is no exception, as illustrated by ICAC's investigation of public sector fraud in NSW, the Heydon Royal Commission into unions' finances, and the ongoing criminal investigations into bribery allegations against Australian corporations Securency/NPA and Leighton Holdings. But rather than be a victim of this global "plague" (as Kofi Annan called it), can human rights contribute to its cure? Professor David Kinley argues it can, by way of the creation of a new, free-standing human right in international law - a "right to freedom from corruption".

In this talk Professor David Kinley explains why we need such a new right, what form it should take, and whether it would work in practice.

About the Speaker

Professor David Kinley holds the Chair in Human Rights Law at University of Sydney. He is also an Academic Panel member of Doughty Street Chambers in London, a member of the Australian Council for Human Rights, and was a founding member of Australian Lawyers for Human Rights. He is currently on the Faculty of Oxford/George Washington Universities' International Human Rights Law Summer School and has previously held teaching positions at Cambridge University, ANU, University of New South Wales, Washington College of Law, American University, and Paris 1 (La Sorbonne). He was also the founding Director of the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law at Monash University (2000-2005). He was a Senior Fulbright Scholar in 2004, based in Washington DC, and the Herbert Smith Visiting Fellow at the Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge in 2008. He has also held visiting positions at the universities of Edinburgh, Geneva, Pretoria, Queen's University Belfast and the South Pacific (Vanuatu), and has been invited to lecture at leading law schools worldwide, including the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, City University of Hong Kong, Columbia, Copenhagen, Duke, Georgetown, George Washington, Harvard, Hong Kong University, Humboldt, the LSE, the Max Planck Institute, McGill, NYU, New Delhi, Nottingham, Osgoode Hall, Oxford, the Raoul Wallenberg Institute, Sheffield, Stanford, Tilburg, Toronto, Trinity College Dublin, Tulane, Tsinghua, UCLA, Virginia and Yale. He has written and edited eight books and more than 80 articles, book chapters, reports and papers.

RP Law and Business Series: The professional regulation of investment bankers   View Summary
5 May 2014

To register for this seminar CLICK HERE

Please note: Individual online registrations MUST be paid by Mastercard or VISA. To pay by cheque or arrange a group registration, please email for an invoice. We apologise for any inconvenience.


The global financial crisis raised widespread concerns about the conduct of many financial professionals, including investment bankers. In response, the UK and other jurisdictions have proposed imposing professional regulation -- or rules of professional responsibility -- on investment bankers. In the US, investment bankers have long been subject to rules of professional responsibility. These rules are written and enforced by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), formerly known as the NASD, under SEC supervision. The rules are part of broker-dealer regulation.

How effective is the professional regulation of US investment bankers? Should investment bankers in other jurisdictions also owe rules of professional responsibility? What lessons can be learned from the professional regulation of other professionals, such as lawyers and accountants? This seminar will present evidence of enforcement actions by FINRA against investment bankers in the wake of the GFC. The study claims that FINRA regulation of investment bankers offers no credible deterrence against investment banker misconduct and that other deterrent mechanisms, including direct SEC enforcement and private actions fail to correct this state of affairs. The seminar will also consider comparative aspects of broker-dealer regulation and recent Delaware Court of Chancery decisions bearing on the conduct of financial professionals.

About the Speaker
Andrew Tuch, a associate professor at Washington University School of Law, teaches and researches in the fields of corporate law and securities and financial regulation. His scholarship has appeared in leading academic journals in the US, UK and Australia and has been cited judicially in Australia and the US, including by the Delaware Court of Chancery. He holds LLM and SJD degrees from Harvard Law School, where he was a John M. Olin Fellow in Law and Economics and a Fellow of the Program of Corporate Governance. Before entering academia, he practiced corporate law at Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York and London.

About the Commentator

Cathie Armour's (BEc, LLB (Hons) (ANU); LLM (Sydney))appointment as ASIC Commissioner commenced on 3 June 2013 and is for a four-year term.
Cathie has 18 years experience in legal counsel leadership roles in international financial institutions. Most recently, she was General Counsel for Macquarie Capital and an Executive Director of Macquarie Group, advising on equity, debt and private capital markets, mergers and acquisitions and financial investment transactions. She has also held senior compliance and operational risk positions at Macquarie Capital and at JP Morgan in Australia. Before she joined ASIC, Cathie was also a member of the ASX Tribunal.

Cathie previously worked in private legal practice for the forerunners of the firms King & Wood Mallesons and Allens in Sydney and for Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy in New York.

Chair: Professor Jennifer Hill, Sydney Law School

MCLE/CPD points: 1

Law & Business Program 2014

Sydney Law School is pleased to announce its Law & Business Program for 2014. Students can also enrol in single units as part of their professional development under the Legal Professional Development program (LPD).Single unit enrolment students are not required to undertake assignments or examinations.

Click here for more information.

2014 JSI Seminar Series: Dr Kristen Rundle    View Summary
8 May 2014

CLICK HERE to register for this event


Legal subjects and juridical persons:Personhood, institutions and authority in Fuller and Arendt

Lon Fuller and Hannah Arendt are rarely sighted as companions within the same inquiry, if indeed at all. In this paper, however, Kristen Rundle develops the argument that Arendt and Fuller are both proponents of a distinctly normative theory of law that hinges upon the way that the institutional conditions through which a subject experiences her relationship with political authority sustain her status as a person. The distinctive realm of the legal (Fuller), or juridical (Arendt), the argument runs, can only be explained by witnessing how three ideas - personhood, institutions and authority - 'travel together' in both scholars' analyses, mutually informing and shaping each other.

The aims of the paper are threefold. First, Rundle seeks to contribute to the increasing interest in Arendt's legal theory through an analysis of her neglected idea of the 'juridical person'. Second, she considers whether there is equally a contribution to be made for the further development of Fuller's project, as she has interpreted it, from an engagement with Arendt. Third, and broader still, the overriding aim of the paper is to explore what the connections between the themes of personhood, institutions and authority that she traces in Fuller and Arendt suggest to us about the possibility of a normative legal theory that is capable of reconciling the distinctiveness and authority of law to its treatment of persons.

Kristen Rundle recently joined UNSW Law as a Senior Lecturer following four years as a Lecturer at the Department of Law, London School of Economics and Political Science. Her areas of teaching include administrative law, legal theory, and law and the Holocaust, and her research explores the relationship between the form of law and human agency from both a theoretical and practical standpoint. Kristen was awarded an SJD from the University of Toronto, where she also held the Doctoral Fellowship in Ethics at the Centre for Ethics. She undertook an LLM (honours) in public law and legal theory from McGill University as the 2001 Australian Lionel Murphy Postgraduate (Overseas) Scholar, and also holds a BA/LLB (first class honours) from the University of Sydney. Her book, Forms Liberate: Reclaiming the Jurisprudence of Lon L Fuller (Hart Publishing, 2012) was awarded second prize, Society of Legal Scholars Peter Birks Book Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship, 2012.

Lawyers/barristers: attendance at this lecture is equal to 1.5 MCLE/CPD unit.

Are trade mark surveys dead, or just resting?   View Summary
8 May 2014

To register for this seminar CLICK HERE


About the lecture

A key aim of trade mark law is to prevent consumer confusion over the source of goods and services. You might think therefore that actual consumers would be the best source of evidence about how trade marks are perceived in the real world. A series of cases in both the UK and Australia however, illustrates that the courts remain sceptical of such evidence. This seminar will look at recent developments and consider a global report on the best practices in the use of survey evidence by the International Trademark Association (INTA), to try and get to the bottom of the question: are consumer surveys ever worth the trouble?

About the speaker

Robert Cumming is a Senior Associate in the Trade Marks team at Appleyard Lees. His dual-qualification as a European and UK trade mark attorney and English solicitor means his clients receive the full range of brand protection advice, whether that is registering their marks, managing their international portfolio or enforcing their rights in court. Robert is chair of the International Trademark Association's Judicial Administration and Trademark Litigation Subcommittee and a prolific writer and blogger.

Discussant:Associate Professor Kimberlee Weatherall, Sydney Law School

MCLE/CPD points: 1

This seminar is supported by The Institute of Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys of Australia (IPTA).

Sydney Law School Wingara Mura-Bunga Barrabugu Strategy Information Session   View Summary
14 May 2014

The Faculty of Lawwill be running an information session on the Faculty's implementation of the Wingara Mura - Bunga Barrabugu Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Integrated Strategy. We will give a brief overview of the University's strategy and then we will talk about the Law Faculty's seven point plan for 2014. The Faculty's plan was devised in 2012 in consultation with a dedicated and passionate group of law students and we began to implement it last year. The 2014 plan includes a curriculum review, cultural competence training for staff and students and an exciting summer camp program for Indigenous High School students.

To continue our close working relationship withlaw students we will be asking students to share their ideason how they would like to see the Facultyintegrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues and culture into the Faculty's environment, culture and curriculum. This is an exciting opportunity for us to work together to make a change in the Law School. We hope to see you all there.

Corporate Governance in North Asia Seminar   View Summary
14 May 2014

CLICK HERE to register


The Centre for Asian and Pacific Law (CAPLUS) and the Australian Network for Japanese Law (ANJeL) presents a seminar with Professor Bruce Aronson, Hitotsubashi University, Japan.

About the seminar:

Despite general interest in the economic rise of Asia and in the role of law in the development of the region, the literature on comparative corporate governance in Asia is surprisingly undeveloped with respect to in-depth comparisons among Asian countries. In particular, it should be both valuable and feasible to compare and contrast corporate governance systems and practices among countries in East Asia, in light of Japan's historical influence and more recent divergences from that influence.

At a recent conference a distinguished group of corporate law scholars from Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and China engaged in a broad-ranging panel discussion centering on the question of the operation and reform of traditional stakeholder-oriented corporate governance systems featuring concentrated ownership and a board of directors involved in day-to-day management against the need to account for greater monitoring of management on behalf of shareholders.

This seminar will highlight both the challenges and significant potential rewards for greater scholarly collaboration in making cross-Asian comparisons in the field of corporate governance.

About the speaker:
Bruce Aronson is a professor of law at Hitotsubashi University's Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston University and his JD from Harvard Law School in 1977. Professor Aronson was a corporate partner at the law firm of Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP in New York (1989-2000) and a professor of law at Creighton University (2004-2013). He has also engaged in research and teaching at a number of US law schools including Columbia (2002-2004), Michigan (2004), Boston University, and Georgetown. His experience in Japan includes research as a Senior Fulbright Research Scholar at the University of Tokyo (2000-2002) and at Waseda University (2011-2013), the first holder of the Chair on International Capital Markets Law at the University of Tokyo (2004), and a Visiting Scholar at the Bank of Japan (2010). His main area of research is comparative corporate governance with a focus on Japan. He also acts as an advisor to the law firm of Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu.

Distinguished Speakers Program: Nicholas Cowdery AM QC   View Summary
15 May 2014

To register and make your secure online payment, pleaseCLICK HERE


Mandatory sentencing: Getting justice wrong

The spectre of mandatory sentencing has haunted sentencing legislation in NSW for at least a century and a half. It has arisen again in recent months. This lecture will explore some of its history, its faults (there being no virtues) and its avoidance. It will argue that a stake should be driven through its heart one last time.

About the speaker
Nicholas Cowdery AM QC is an Adjunct Professor in the Sydney Institute of Criminology and a Visiting Professorial Fellow at UNSW and the University of Wollongong. He has practised in criminal law since 1971 and was Director of Public Prosecutions for NSW from 1994 to 2011. He has been an Associate (acting) Judge of the District Court of NSW. He was founding Co-Chair of the Human Rights Institute of the International Bar Association and was President of the International Association of Prosecutors. He has been a member of the NSW Sentencing Council since its establishment in 2003. He is a member of the Governing Committee of the Rule of Law Institute of Australia. He is the author of "Getting Justice Wrong: Myths, Media and Crime" (Allen & Unwin, 2001).

Lawyers/barristers: attendance at this lecture is equal to 1 MCLE/CPD unit.

2014 JSI Seminar Series: Dr George Duke   View Summary
29 May 2014

CLICK HERE to register for this event

Law as a Rational Standard for Conduct: The Weak Natural Law Thesis and Legal Positivism

The weak natural law thesis (WNLT) asserts that any instance of law is either a rational standard for conduct or defective. On the face of it, the reference to defective law in this formulation of the WNLT suggests that it is compatible with the legal positivist claim that the validity of a law within a legal system depends upon its sources, not its merits. George Duke argues that the WNLT, whilst on one level compatible with both the conventionality and sources theses, can nonetheless be employed to challenge commonly held legal positivist views on the identity conditions of law. The cogency of this challenge, however, depends upon more substantive commitments than can be derived from the WNLT itself. Section one argues that the WNLT must be situated within the broader context of natural law politics and jurisprudence if it is to avoid the charge of triviality. In section two, Duke examines the compatibility of the WNLT with legal positivism in light of that broader context.

Dr George Duke is a senior lecturer in philosophy at Deakin University. George completed a PhD in philosophy at the University of Melbourne in 2010. His research interests include the philosophy of language, legal theory, the history of political thought, political philosophy and ancient philosophy.

George is currently preparing a book manuscript on natural law theories of political authority and the common good and he has published articles in Legal Theory, Law and Philosophy and TheAmerican Journal of Jurisprudence on these topics.

Lawyers/barristers: attendance at this lecture is equal to 1.5 MCLE/CPD unit

Developments in Corporate Governance - East Meets West   View Summary
6 June 2014 to 7 June 2014

To register for this conferenceCLICK HERE

Please note: Individual online registrations MUST be paid by Mastercard or VISA. To pay by cheque or arrange a group registration, please for an invoice. We apologise for any inconvenience.


This two day conference discusses key developments in the field of corporate governance in Australia, the United States and Asia. The conference is convened jointly by Sydney Law School, Vanderbilt University, National Taiwan University and Seoul National University, and includes many leading national and international scholars in the field of corporate governance.

The conference will traverse a range of topical contemporary issues in corporate governance including;

  • transplantation of legal principles from West to East;
  • the role of the board of directors, and the rise of independent directors in Asia;
  • corporate wrongdoing and whistleblowing as a regulatory technique;
  • regulation of financial markets;
  • the regulation of executive remuneration, through shareholder 'say on pay';
  • hedge fund activism and issues relating to market manipulation;
  • the role of government in corporate activities and cross border transactions.

Speakers include;

  • Dr Robert Austin, Minter Ellison & Sydney Law School
  • Professor Vivienne Bath, Sydney Law School
  • Dr. Margaret M. Blair, Professor of Law, Milton R. Underwood Chair in Free Enterprise, Vanderbilt University Law School
  • Professor Kyung-Hoon Chun, Seoul National University
  • Dr Olivia Dixon, University of Sydney Law School
  • Kent Greenfield, Professor and Law School Fund Research Scholar, Boston College of Law
  • Professor Jennifer Hill, Professor of Corporate Law, Sydney Law School
  • Professor Ron Masulis, Australian School of Business, UNSW
  • Professor Luke Nottage, Sydney Law School
  • Dr Greg O'Mahoney, NSW Bar & Sydney Law School
  • Frank Partnoy, Georgia E. Barrett Professor of Law and Finance, University of San Diego
  • Professor Amanda M. Rose, Vanderbilt University Law School
  • Professor Hyeok-Joon Rho, Seoul National University
  • Ching-Ping Shao, College of Law, National Taiwan University, Taiwan
  • Morgan Ricks, Assistant Professor of Law, Vanderbilt Law School
  • Randall S. Thomas, John S. Beasley II Professor of Law and Business, Vanderbilt University Law School
  • Wen-yeu Wang, Professor of Law, National Taiwan University College of Law
  • Yesha Yadav, Assistant Professor of Law, Vanderbilt Law School

Click here to download the full program.

Registration Fees

Full Fee $450

Alumni rate $350

Academic rate $225

Student rate $150

Day registration (Friday or Saturday) $275

Law & Business Program 2014

Sydney Law School is pleased to announce its Law & Business Program for 2014. Students can also enrol in single units as part of their professional development under the Legal Professional Development program (LPD). Single unit enrolment students are not required to undertake assignments or examinations.

Click here for more information.

BEYOND PUNISHMENT: Muslim experiences of the NSW correctional system    View Summary
17 June 2014

This event is FULLY BOOKED. Please email to be placed on the waiting list.


About the Forum
Muslim offenders and ex-offenders face a range of challenges both inside and outside the correctional environment. This forum provides an important opportunity to discuss the challenges they face and issues confronting family members and communities. Topics to be discussed at the forum will include: Muslim inmate experiences, observing faith while in custody, radicalisation and in-prison conversions, and ways to optimise post release outcomes for offenders and their families.

Drawing on a diverse range of voices from academic, correctionaland community organisations, the forum aims to generate discussion about issues and challenges faced in prevention, diversion, custodial and post-release phases, and how best to improve justice outcomes and achieve lasting solutions for Muslim offenders, ex-offenders, their families and their communities, to the benefit of all Australians.

Speakers and Panel Members include:
Maha Abdo OAM, Executive Officer, United Muslim Women Association
Sheikh Shady Alsuleiman, Australian National Imams Council, founder of United Muslims of Australia
Rosemary Caruana, Assistant Commissioner Community Corrections, Corrective Services NSW
Ola El Hassan, social worker and community activist
Associate Professor Salim Farrar, Sydney Law School, University of Sydney
Luke Grant, Assistant Commissioner Strategic Policy and Planning, Corrective Services NSW
Dr Ghena Krayem, Sydney Law School, University of Sydney
Dr Anne Marie Martin, Assistant Commissioner Offender Management and Policy, Corrective Services NSW
Dr Gabriele Marranci, Department of Anthropology, Macquarie University
Reverend Rod Moore, Coordinator Chaplaincy Services, Corrective Services NSW
Dr Asmi Wood, Senior Research Fellow, National Centre for Indigenous Studies

This event is part of the 2013-2014 Beyond Punishment seminar series sponsored by Corrective Services NSW.

Lawyers/barristers: attendance at this event is equal to 6 MCLE/CPD units.

Distinguished Speakers Program: Prof Andrew Harding, National University of Singapore   View Summary
18 June 2014

To register and make your secure online payment, pleaseCLICK HERE

Constitutional reform in emerging countries

In 1997 Thailand adopted a state-of-the-art 'people's constitution' designed to bring an end to six decades of constitutional uncertainty. That reform was brought to an abrupt end by the coup of 2006, since when political instability has stalled the reform process, political polarisation between the 'red' and 'yellow' factions has deepened, and a crisis of legitimacy has remained unresolved. From October 2013 several months of protests sought to overthrow the 'red' government of Yingluck Shinawatra.

The Constitutional Court invalidated the general election of February 2014, and in May 2014 it dismissed the Prime Minister from office. Despite an evolving constitutional framework for determining political issues, Thailand's political instability continues unabated.

Professor Harding is co-author of "The Constitutional System of Thailand: A Contextual Analysis", reflects on current developments and the prospects for stable governance and constitutional reform."

About the speaker

Professor Andrew Harding is a leading scholar in the fields of Asian legal studies and comparative constitutional law. He commenced his academic career at NUS before moving to SOAS, University of London, where he became Head of the Law School and Director of the Centre for South East Asian Studies. He joined NUS, as Director of the Centre for Asian Legal Studies and Director of the Asian Law Institute, from the University of Victoria, BC Canada, where he was Professor of Asia-Pacific Legal Relations and Director of the Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives. Professor Harding has worked extensively on constitutional law in Malaysia and Thailand, and has made extensive contributions to scholarship in comparative law, and law and development, having published nine books as author or editor. He is co-founding-editor of Hart Publishing's book series 'Constitutional Systems of the World', a major resource for constitutional law in context, and has authored the books on Malaysia and Thailand in that series (2011, 2012).

Lawyers/barristers: attendance at this lecture is equal to 1 MCLE/CPD unit.

2014 JSI Seminar Series: Assoc Prof Kevin Toh   View Summary
19 June 2014

CLICK HERE to register for this event.


The Place of Social Practices in Our Normative Lives

The distinction between what we ought to do anyway on the one hand, and what we ought to do because of our practices on the other seems to have been a perennial philosophical concern. And as befits a perennial philosophical concern, the distinction has proved stubbornly elusive and difficult to pin down. Recently, in a thought-provoking and vigorously-argued paper, Nicholas Southwood (2011) has pursued the query in terms of the distinction between morality and conventions, or more specifically between moral judgments and conventional normative judgments; and he has proposed a way of characterizing this distinction that he deems superior to some common and influential alternatives. According to Southwood, appeals to social practices, or "what is done", are necessary non-derivative grounds for conventional normative judgments, whereas such appeals can only be derivative grounds for moral judgments. In effect, Kevin Toh argues, Southwood is characterizing us as invariably treating social practices as having final extrinsic values when we make conventional normative judgments. In assessing and questioning Southwood's proposal, Toh scrutinizes and questions a view that seems to have become an orthodoxy in contemporary normative ethics -- namely, the view that there is a clear, qualitative distinction between final extrinsic and non-final extrinsic values.

About the speaker
Kevin Toh is Associate Professor of Philosophy at San Francisco State University. He has degrees from Harvard College and the University of Michigan. He has also taught at Indiana University in Bloomington and University of Texas School of Law. He is the author of a number of articles in philosophy of law.

Lawyers/barristers: attendance at this lecture is equal to 1.5 MCLE/CPD unit

Distinguished Speakers Program: Professor Lawrence Gostin, Georgetown University Law Center   View Summary
17 July 2014

To register and make your secure online payment, please CLICK HERE


Latest developments in global health masterclass

Lawrence Gostin is a globally renowned scholar and leader in public health law. In this Masterclass - which will be accessible to a general audience - Professor Gostin will explore how law and governance can be used to improve the health of the world's population, with particular attention to the demands of global social justice. He will use a Rawlsian Thought Experiment to demonstrate the power of the public health and justice approach. He will examine the major international health law instruments, such as the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the International Health Regulations, and the WHO Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework (The PIP Agreement). He will also examine the role of multiple international regimes in global health such as trade, intellectual property, and climate change. He will also point to the role of softer forms of governance such as the International Code of Practice on the Migration of Health Workers and the new United Nations and WHO initiatives on non-communicable diseases. Finally, Professor Gostin will discuss innovative proposals for global health reform such as a Framework Convention on Global Health. Professor Gostin is fascinated by the possibilities of advancing global health with justice and is a global leader in this field. Please join him for this unique event.

There will be two short responses to Professor Gostin's address.

The first response will be given by the Honourable Michael Kirby AC CMG, former Justice of the High Court of Australia. Justice Kirby's recent roles have included serving as Chair of the United Nations Human Rights Council's Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (2013-14). During 2012-2014 he has also served as a Commissioner on the UN AIDS Lancet Commission on Defeating AIDS and Advancing Global Health. During 2010-2012 he was also appointed by the UNDP to serve as a member of the Global Commission on AIDS & the Law, and as co-chair of the Technical Advisory Group of the Commission.

The second response will be given by Professor Rebecca Ivers, Director of the Injury Division at The George Institute, and Conjoint Professor at the University of Sydney. Professor Ivers is immediate past president of the Australian Injury Prevention Network, editor (Epidemiology) of the journal Injury, a member of the editorial board of Injury Prevention and PloS Medicine and external editor of the Cochrane Injuries Group. Professor Ivers has published widely on injury prevention and is a member of the NSW Road Safety Advisory Council.

About the Speaker
Professor Lawrence Gostin is the Linda and Timothy O'Neill Professor of Global Health Law, Georgetown University, Washington DC, where he directs the O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law. Professor Gostin is also the Director of the World Health Organisation's Collaborating Centre on Public Health Law and Human Rights. His most recent book, Global Health Law, was recently published by Harvard University Press. His other books include: Public Health Law and Ethics: A Reader (University of California Press, 2nd ed., 2010); Public Health Law: Power, Duty, Restraint (University of California Press, 2nd ed. 2008); and Principles of Mental Health Law & Practice (Oxford University Press, 2010).

Professor Gostin is a long-time friend of Sydney Law School and the University of Sydney and on the nomination of the Dean of Law and the Dean of Medicine, was awarded a Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) by the University in 2012.

Lawyers/barristers: attendance at this lecture is equal to 1 MCLE/CPD unit.

2014 Ross Parsons Lecture in Corporate Law: Professor Jennifer Payne, Oxford University   View Summary
24 July 2014

To register for all locations, please CLICK HERE


Investor Protection in Financial Regulation: The Role of Gatekeepers in the Post-Crisis Era

Gatekeepers are financial intermediaries that operate between issuers and investors and have a potentially valuable role to play in the financial market. This lecture will consider the role of gatekeepers, will examine gatekeeper failure and will analyse recent attempts at gatekeeper regulation. There are a number of limitations on the effectiveness of gatekeepers as an investor protection device, largely concerning the conflict of interest arising from the funding model for gatekeepers, but exacerbated by factors which reduce a gatekeeper's incentive to perform its role well, including a lack of competition in the market, a lack of litigation risk and, in relation to Credit Rating Agencies, the development of a regulatory licence.

The lecture will assess the likely success of the regulatory measures that have been put in place to address these issues, particularly in response to the financial crisis. It will be suggested that, despite the raft of measures that have been introduced, regulators have largely failed to tackle the core issues that lead to gatekeeper failure. As a result, although many measures that have been implemented are valuable, the overall effectiveness of the regulatory response may be doubted. The role of gatekeepers in the post-crisis era will then be assessed in the light of these concerns.

About the Speaker
Jennifer Payne is Professor of Corporate Finance Law at the University of Oxford where she teaches courses on company law, corporate finance law, corporate insolvency law and principles of financial regulation. She has written widely in the field of corporate law in leading journals and edited collections. Books include Corporate Finance Law: Principles and Policy (Hart Publishing, 2011, with Louise Gullifer, 2nd edn 2015) and Schemes of Arrangement: Theory, Structure and Operation (CUP, 2014). She is a contributor to Palmer's Company Law and an editor of the Journal of Corporate Law Studies.

Lecture Opening Address: Justice Kathleen Farrell, Federal Court of Australia


The lecture will be broadcast live into the following states/territories;

  • Victoria - Courtroom 1, Level 8, Owen Dixon Commonwealth Law Courts Building, 305 William Street, Melbourne
  • Queensland - Courtroom 1, Level 7, Harry Gibbs Commonwealth Law Courts Building at 119 North Quay (entrance Tank Street), Brisbane
  • Western Australia - Courtroom 4, Level 4, Peter Durack Commonwealth Law Courts Building, 1 Victoria Ave, Perth
2014 JSI Seminar Series: Dr Arie Rosen    View Summary
31 July 2014

To register CLICK HERE


Statutory interpretation and the many values of legislation.

The question of statutory interpretation is closely connected to convictions we have in our political theory. Our particular understanding of the nature and value of modern legislative practices affects our approach to the interpretation of the statutes they produce. This paper develops two arguments in this regard. The first argument traces the way varying understandings of modern legislation and alternative accounts of the value of legislative practices should lead to different modes of statutory interpretation. The second argument criticizes existing theories of statutory interpretation for assuming a monolithic account of the practices and value of legislation and suggests that different approaches to statutory interpretation might be appropriate for different exercises of legislative power.

Dr Arie Rosen is a lecturer in legal philosophy at the University of Auckland Faculty of Law. His research interests include jurisprudence, political philosophy and hermeneutics.

Employing a contextual approach to questions of legal philosophy, Arie's work tries to shed light on abstract conceptual controversies by locating them in their practical, political and historical context. His current work focuses on relations of authority within the modern state, and the way such relations shape contemporary understandings of law, adjudication, and legal interpretation.
Before joining the University of Auckland, Arie was the Emile Noël Postdoctoral Fellow at NYU School of Law and served as the Associate Editor of the International Journal of Constitutional Law (I.CON).

Arie completed his J.S.D. at New York University School of Law in summer 2012. His dissertation deals with relations of legal authority within the modern state, and the way such relations have shaped controversies in legal theory and practice.

Prior to his doctoral studies, Arie completed an LL.M. at NYU as an Arthur T. Vanderbilt scholar, and received undergraduate degrees in law and in philosophy from Tel Aviv University.

Lawyers/barristers: attendance at this lecture is equal to 1.5 MCLE/CPD unit.

RP Law & Business Series: Business & Human Rights   View Summary
6 August 2014

To register for this complimentary seminarCLICK HERE

This seminar will be held in honour of Fiona Gardiner-Hill.
Staff and students were saddened to hear of the untimely death, in February of Fiona Gardiner-Hill (BA 1984, LLB 1986, LLM 1995), who had lectured on corporate and securities regulation at Sydney Law School and was a Sydney Law School Foundation board member. A member of the M&A team at Herbert Smith Freehills, she had been a partner at the firm since 1996. In 2013, she was appointed to the Takeovers Panel. Known for her brilliant and lateral thinking, she was admired and loved by her peers for her gentle and generous nature.


Issues of human rights are now central to the way in which business engages in cross-border transactions. The publication in 2011 of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights highlights in many different ways the relevance of the conduct of corporations and their complicity in human rights abuses to the protections granted by the legal system. Donald Robertson will explore some of those ways, and how host states and contractual counterparties can use an allegation of human rights violations strategically, as an excuse to override the investor's or contracting party's rights under international treaty law, international contract law or customary international law. The doctrine of necessity and how it responds to the new globalised world of business is one of the most important developments in international law and one that all businesses and their advisors must understand, leading to practical implications in the structuring and conduct of cross border transactions.

Associate Professor Ian Lee will consider these issues from the perspective of both principle and policy. The question of principle is: What should be the extent of the responsibility of business enterprises, and of the individuals who oversee them, to respect or protect human rights? Although a responsibility in principle not to infringe human rights might seem uncontroversial, matters become more complicated when concepts such as complicity and parent company liability are considered. Disagreement also arises as to whether or not it is meaningful to speak of the responsibilities of artificial legal entities (i.e., corporations), unless what is meant are the legal duties of such entities. The policy question is: Assuming that businesses, their managers or both owe responsibilities in relation to human rights, what are the strengths and limitations of the different instruments available to national and international policy makers for giving effect to those responsibilities?

About the speakers

Donald Robertson, Senior partner, Herbert Smith Freehills practises international law and international arbitration arising from commercial transactions. He specialises in international commercial contracts and transactions, and the mechanisms under international law for allocating country and sovereign risk in investments and cross-border transactions. He also has an emphasis on the public international law aspects of corporate social responsibility and human rights as they apply to businesses.

He is an affiliate of the Sydney Centre for International Law, and a member of the Journal of Contract Law's editorial board. An Adjunct Professor of Law at University of Sydney Law School, Donald teaches international contract law and related subjects.

Associate Professor Ian Lee, (University of Toronto)clerked with Justice Claire L'Heureux-Dubé of the Supreme Court of Canada and Justice Mark MacGuigan of the Federal Court of Appeal, and later served as a legal researcher with the Privy Council Office. He practised with Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in Paris, France, and New York, New York, before joining the Faculty of Law in 2003. His teaching and research interests are in the areas of constitutional law, corporate law and European Union law. Professor Lee is admitted to practice in Ontario and New York.

Chair: Professor Jennifer Hill, Sydney Law School

Law & Business Program 2014

Sydney Law School is pleased to announce its Law & Business Program for 2014. Students can also enrol in single units as part of their professional development under the Legal Professional Development program (LPD). Single unit enrolment students are not required to undertake assignments or examinations.

Click here for more information.

Fiona Gardiner-Hill Student Support Fund

Sydney Law School has established the Fiona Gardiner-Hill Student Support Fund to honour Fiona's contribution to the faculty and the legal community. The fund will provide vital assistance to students studying corporate law. To give in memory of Fiona, please contact Jessica Sullivan on 02 9351 0467 or

Descent into crime: Serious repeat offending in the early to mid-life course    View Summary
7 August 2014

To register CLICK HERE


Join us for this Juvenile Justice NSWseminar presented by Professor Mark Halsey (Flinders University, SA) who will discuss his work on young offenders and desisting from crime.

About the seminar:

In this seminar, Professor Mark Halsey will draw from the forthcoming book Young Offenders: Crime, Prison and Struggles for Desistance (Mark Halsey and Simone Deegan, 2015, London: Palgrave), focusing particularly on the story of one young man and his descent into serious crime and long-term incarceration. Based on 10 years of interviews with him, his family, and various prison officials, Professor Halsey will discuss the key implications of this and other stories for those working at the coal-face of youth offending as well as those responsible for policy and practice in the youth space. Professor Halsey's presentation will be followed by comments and discussion by expert panellists.

About the speaker:

Mark holds a four year Australian Research Council Future Fellowship and is a Professor of Criminology in the Flinders University Law School. In addition to teaching at Flinders University and University of Melbourne, he has given guest lectures at Cambridge University (United Kingdom), Berkeley Law School (University of California), John Jay College of Criminal Justice (New York), as well as the International Institute for the Sociology of Law (Spain). Mark has completed consultancies for various government and non-government agencies in areas such correctional corruption, restorative justice, community justice, young people and mentoring, and serious repeat youth offending. He is the recipient of successive Australian Research Council large grants resulting in a ten year study of young men aged 15 to 29 years and their attempts to desist from crime. In recognition his work, Mark was appointed in 2010 to the Social Inclusion Board, Department of Premier and Cabinet. He currently serves on the editorial boards of the International Series on Desistance and Rehabilitation as well as the International Journal for Crime and Justice. For several years he has been an Ambassador for Time for Kids - a not for profit organisation assisting children at risk of offending to find respite care with suitable families. His current research, due for completion at end of 2016, examines the causes, experiences and consequences of intergenerational incarceration.

Dr Kate Sullivan Kate holds degrees in anthropology, history and an MBA. Kate works as a facilitator, strategic planner, social researcher and evaluator working in community and organisational development, policy development and planning, mediation and senior level strategic planning. Kate has managed many national projects. Clients include Australian Department of Health and Ageing, DOTARS, the ABS, NSW Premier's Department, PlanningNSW, local government, the Fred Hollows Foundation, UnitingCare Burnside, corporate boards, senior management and Indigenous communities. Kate has 15 years experience in environmental heritage, particularly in Aboriginal heritage. Kate has been a member of the Metropolitan Greenspace Expert Panel for the past six years. Kate's company uses a participatory approach, assisting clients to develop clarity and vision and ensuring this is supported by practical implementation strategies that develop client capacity.

Mr Steve Wilson Steve is currently the Regional Director of the Metropolitan North Region of Juvenile Justice. Steve has over thirty years experience with Juvenile Justice. Steve commenced at Bidura Remand and Assessment Centre as a Youth Worker in January, 1984. Steve has held various positions within the Agency. These positions have included: Centre Manager of four juvenile justice centres (Mt Penang; Minda; Kariong and most recently Frank Baxter).

This event is sponsored by Juvenile Justice NSW and hosted by the Institute of Criminology, Sydney Law School.

The European Court of Human Rights and Social Rights - Emerging Trends in Jurisprudence    View Summary
12 August 2014

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The approach of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) to socio-economic rights has long been characterised by its caution. This comes as no surprise since the European Convention on Human Rights is a "classic" civil and political rights treaty, which is essentially framed in negative terms.
Still, there seem to be new trends in the Court's social rights jurisprudence. In fields such as housing, health and social security, the European Court takes a more and more affirmative stand. Increasingly, a core of socio-economic rights thus seems to be protected in the Court's interpretation of the European Convention.
This talk will focus on these emerging trends in the ECtHR's social rights jurisprudence. It will identify general lines/criteria in the Court's case law, outline the challenges encountered and show ways forward.

The presentation summarizes the results of a book which is to be published in fall 2014: C. Binder, F. Piovesan and E. Steiner "Key cases in Social Rights Jurisprudence".

Christina Binder is Associate Professor of International Law at the Department of European, International and Comparative Law at the University of Vienna. She was visiting fellow at the Lauterpacht Center for International Law in Cambridge (2007-08) and at the Max Planck Institut for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg (2008-10). She is member of the Young Academy of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. Christina also served as legal and electoral expert for EU and OSCE/ODIHR election observation and assessment missions in several countries.

2014 JSI Seminar Series: Associate Professor Massimo Renzo   View Summary
14 August 2014

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Human Rights and the Priority of the Moral
The main point of contention between "naturalistic" and "political" theories of human rights concerns the need to invoke the notion of moral human rights (i.e. rights that all human beings have simply by virtue of their humanity) in justifying the international practice of human rights. Political theories argue that we should bypass the question of the justification of moral human rights and start with the question of which norms and principles should be adopted to regulate the practice. Naturalistic theories by contrast, claim that a convincing answer to the latter question will have to presuppose some answer to the former. An adequate justification of the system of human rights included in the international practice will ultimately have to rely on some appeal to moral human rights. Associate Professor Renzo calls this view the "Priority of the Moral over the Political".

Associate Professor Renzois a lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Wawrick in the UK. He works primarily in legal and political philosophy and his main research interests are in the problems of authority, political obligation, international justice and the philosophical foundations of the criminal law.Heisone of the editors of Criminal Law and Philosophy, the Secretary of the UK Branchof the International Association of Legal and Social Philosophy (IVR) and the Honorary Secretary of the Society for Applied Philosophy.

Lawyers/barristers: attendance at this lecture is equal to 1.5 MCLE/CPD units

22nd Annual Labour Law Conference 2014 - Labour Law in practice 2014: the big issues and big cases   View Summary
25 August 2014

At this year's Labour Law Conference, presenters will discuss the top cases and major issues facing labour law in 2014. Senior Deputy President Jonathan Hamberger from the Fair Work Commission will present the keynote address on the topic of 'The new anti-bulling provisions and the growth of individual employment rights'.

View the full Conference Program

Click here for more information and to register.

Other upcoming events: Advocacy in the Tribunals Course 2014

The popular Advocacy in the Tribunals Course aims to teach participants how to plan successful appearances and to develop quality advocacy skills. In 2014 the course will run from 13 August to 15 October on Wednesday evenings at the Fair Work Commission in Sydney. To find out more visit: or contact Stacey Young on

The Art of Strategic Litigation in International Law: How, When and Where to Sue the Bad Guys   View Summary
25 August 2014

To register pleaseCLICK HERE


Richard Hermer QC is barrister practising in international human rights law at Matrix Chambers in London. He has appeared as counsel in a range of cases stemming from the "War on Terror" including litigation arising out of UK involvement in Guantanamo Bay (Al Rawi & Others v Security Services), detention in Afghanistan (Serdar Mohammed v Ministry of Defence), internment in Iraq (Al Jedda v Ministry of Defence) and extraordinary rendition (Belhadj v Jack Straw). Richard's talk touches on some of these cases and reflects upon the roles of lawyers, judges and civil society in protecting the rule of law.

Richard is currently acting for several hundred Iraqis seeking damages for alleged torture and mistreatment by UK troops. He was counsel in the recent claim against the UK brought on behalf the 'Mau Mau' victims of colonial abuses in pre-independence Kenya. In addition to claims against States, Richard also specialises in human rights and environmental claims against multinational corporations in respect of their activities overseas, including claims arising from the Ivory Coast, Colombia, Peru, Tanzania and Sierra Leone.

RP Law and Business Series: Effective Corporate Communication   View Summary
8 September 2014

To register for this seminar CLICK HERE

Please note: Individual online registrations MUST be paid by Mastercard or VISA. To pay by cheque or arrange a group registration, please email for an invoice. We apologise for any inconvenience.


'Great companies exist only because they are created and safeguarded by our institutions; and it is our right and our duty to see that they work in harmony with these institutions. The first requisite is knowledge, full and complete; knowledge which may be made public to the world.' - Theodore Roosevelt, State of the Union Message to Congress (3 December 1901).

Complete, balanced, and timely listed company disclosure is vital for the health of corporations and financial markets, for sustainable and competitive economies, and for the wellbeing of national and global communities. Most developed nations around the globe have enacted regulation requiring listed companies to report periodically and on a continuous basis. Gill reviews this disclosure regulation in countries spanning the Americas, Europe, North Asia and the Asia/Pacific and she examines leading company communications, regulatory reviews, and relevant scholarly studies. To identify essential elements of effective corporate communication frameworks, she notes common disclosure practices and issues, discusses sound regulatory features, and highlights best practice communication features.

Associate Professor Gill North contends that enacting company disclosure regulation is only a first step. As corporate communication policy and practice is essentially about power, politics and perspective, effective communication frameworks require robust and consistent support from bodies of committed stakeholders. To work well, disclosure regimes should be systematically monitored, supervised and enforced; the content and quality of company reports, disclosures and engagement mechanisms should be reviewed independently; and the disclosure regulation should be re-considered periodically to ensure it remains relevant and appropriate as financial market and corporate environments change.

About the Speaker
Associate Professor Gill North has extensive experience of company reporting and communication spanning more than two decades in various roles in Australia and globally. She has worked for Japanese, British and American investment banks, and her roles have included senior executive positions in Wellington, London, Tokyo, New York, and Sydney in the areas of corporate strategy, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, securities analysis and funds management.

Gill has published extensively on matters relating to corporate communication, including a book entitled "Company Disclosure in Australia" published by Thomson Reuters in 2013. A second book on global company disclosure law and practice will be published by Kluwer International in early 2015.

Gill's primary areas of research include corporate communication; corporate governance; banking and financial regulation and reform; and efficiency in financial markets.

Gill has a doctorate in law from the University of New South Wales. She is also a chartered accountant and a qualified and experienced securities analyst.
Gill is currently working at the University of Western Australia, where she teaches banking law, finance law, corporate finance and securities regulation, and corporations law.

About the Commentator

Robert (Bob) Austinheld an academic position in the fields of equity and company law at the University of Sydney from 1969 to 1990, becoming Professor (1984) and Head of the Department of Law (1985). He has continued to teach part-time in the postgraduate program, with emphasis in recent years on corporate takeovers, fundraising and corporate governance.

He was a partner with Minter Ellison from 1990 to 1998. He was a member of the Takeovers Panel from 2001 to 2006. After serving as a Judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales from 1998 to 2010, he has returned to full-time legal practice as a Senior Legal Consultant with Minter Ellison, and is Head of Minters' Corporate HQ Advisory Team.

He is co-author of Ford's Principles of Corporations Law, the leading Australian corporate law text (with Professor Ian Ramsay), and Austin and Black's Annotations to the Corporations Act (with Justice Ashley Black).

Chair:Professor Jennifer Hill, Sydney Law School

Law & Business Program 2014

Sydney Law School is pleased to announce its Law & Business Program for 2014 .Students can also enrol in single units as part of their professional development under the Legal Professional Development program (LPD). Single unit enrolment students are not required to undertake assignments or examinations.

Click here for more information.

Sydney Juris Doctor (JD) Information Session   View Summary
17 September 2014

We invite you to attend a special information session on Sydney Law School's Juris Doctor intake for 2015, which takes place on Wednesday, 17 September 2014.

The Sydney Juris Doctor (JD) Information Session is designed to help you find out more about admission requirements, exclusive features, fees and scholarships.

Register now to attend presentations on:


Professor Joellen Riley Dean, Sydney Law School


Andrew Dyer Colin Phegan Lecturer


Luke Atkins Final Year JD Student


Peter Finneran Head of Recruitment (Law)


Since its inception, Sydney Law School has been a leader in the teaching and research of law.

We provide you with a first-rate legal education that prepares you for the global environment in which lawyers of today operate.

Our Juris Doctor is a comprehensive three-year degree with an unrivalled international focus.

You will gain a broad overview of the practice and profession of the law in Australia and how it relates to jursidictions overseas.

We are committed to flexibility, and offer evening classes for those who wish to study part-time.


Distinguished Speakers Program: Professor Luke Nottage   View Summary
24 September 2014

To register and make your secure online payment, please CLICK HERE


Consumer Protection and Free Trade Agreements

Bilateral and regional trade and investment treaties are questioned by many on the political left and some on the (economic) right. The former think they go too far and inevitably undercut regulatory controls. The latter think they don't go far enough and detract from multilateral agreements. This lecture seeks a middle way, proposing innovative treaty drafting to enhance free trade and investment while promoting higher shared regulatory safeguards.

Trade agreements should incorporate provisions allowing national regulators to share information about unsafe consumer goods - and indeed credit services - reinforced by national laws requiring suppliers to report incidents to the respective regulators.

Investment agreements (including FTA investment chapters) should retain Investor-State Dispute Settlement processes, not abandon ISDS altogether (as proposed by a recent Senate Bill), but with various provisions to re-balance private and public interests. In particular, the treaty partners should be allowed to agree that an investor's claim against a host state's regulatory measure (like Australia's tobacco plain packaging legislation) does not violate the host state's treaty commitments. This would not only suspend the investor's claim, but also encourage the investor's home state to "trade up" domestically to the higher regulatory standards already adopted by the host state.

About the speaker
Dr Luke Nottage specialises in consumer law, contract law, arbitration and corporate governance, with a particular interest in the Asia-Pacific region. He is Associate Dean (International) and Professor of Comparative and Transnational Business Law at Sydney Law School. Luke's many books include International Arbitration in Australia (Federation Press, 2010), Foreign Investment and Dispute Resolution Law and Practice in Asia (Routledge, 2011), Consumer Law and Policy in Australia and New Zealand (2013) and Asia-Pacific Disaster Management (2014). Luke serves on the ILA's Committee for the International Protection of Consumers as well as the ACICA Arbitration Rules drafting committee, and is the Japan Representative for the Australasian Forum for International Arbitration council. He has also consulted for law firms world-wide, the EC, OECD, UNDP, ASEAN and the Japanese government, and is founding Director of Japanese Law Links Pty Ltd .

Current joint research projects include a study for SSEAC focused on ASEAN consumer law and policy, and an ARC Discovery Project on "The Fundamental Importance of Foreign Direct Investment to Australia in the 21st Century: Reforming Treaty and Dispute Resolution Practice" .

Commentary by: Assistant Professor Jean HO, Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore.

Jean co-lectures Arbitration of Investment Disputes with Professor M Sornarajah and is completing her doctoral thesis, "State Responsibility for Breaches of Investment Contracts", at the University of Cambridge.

Lawyers/barristers: attendance at this lecture is equal to 1 MCLE/CPD unit.

ANZSOC 2014 Conference   View Summary
1 October 2014 to 3 October 2014

2014 ANZSOC conference:

Testing the edges: Challenging Criminology

Sydney, Australia

Wednesday 1 -Friday 3 October 2014

The 27th annual Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology conference (ANZSOC) will be held in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia from 1 - 3 October 2014 at the University of Sydney Law School, Camperdown.

Please visit the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology conference 2014 website for more information.

Important dates

Call for abstracts

Monday,13 January 2014

Registration opens

Monday,13 January 2014

Closing date for submissions

Extended until 31 May 2014

Notification to authors

Monday, 23June 2014

Early bird closes

Monday,28 July2014

Early bird registrations

Early bird available until Monday, 30 June 2014


Cost(inc GST)







Standard registrations


Cost (inc GST)







Click heretoaccess conference website and for registration.

China's Long March Toward Rule of Law   View Summary
2 October 2014

Co-presented with The Centre for Asian and Pacific Law at the University of Sydney (CAPLUS), this is the keynote lecture of China Studies Centre 2014 Annual workshop on Chinese Law.

In 2002, Professor Randall Peerenboom published a major work on legal reforms in post-Mao China, entitled "China's Long March Toward Rule of Law". In 2011, Professor Carl Minzner published a major article on trends of legal development in China in the first decade of the 21st century, entitled "China's Turn Against Law". Has China really embarked upon a "long march toward Rule of Law" since Deng Xiaoping initiated the era of "reform and opening" in the late 1970s? If so, has there been a regression or retrenchment in Rule of Law developments in China in the first decade of this century?

These questions cannot be properly addressed without first reflecting on what methodology or approach we should adopt in describing and assessing legal developments in contemporary China. This lecture therefore consists of two main parts. Part I engages in methodological reflections on the study of contemporary Chinese law as an exercise in comparative law, by reviewing and commenting on some relevant writings of leading scholars in the field. Part II of the lecture then proceeds to evaluate the legal reforms in post-Mao China and recent trends in the Chinese legal system.

To register or for more information please CLICK HERE

2014 Annual Workshop on Chinese Law   View Summary
3 October 2014 to 4 October 2014

With an ambitious economic reform programme and a full-scale anti-corruption campaign now under way, the reform of China's legal system has moved into the top agenda of President Xi Jinping's administration. The forthcoming Fourth Plenum of the Communist Party in October 2014 will focus on the development of rule of law in China. This Workshop, to be held during 3-4 October 2014 on the eve of the Fourth Plenum, will attempt to provide an early review and assessment of the legal and judicial reform under the Xi administration. Five panels of leading academics, judges and practitioners from China, Australia and elsewhere will address a broad variety of issues in the latest development in China's rule of law, constitutionalism, judicial reform, human rights, civil law and justice, corporate and securities law, economic regulation, foreign trade and investment and the Chinese perspectives on international law.

To register or for more information please CLICK HERE

Sydney Ideas - Film Screening of 'Playground: The Child Sex Trade in America'   View Summary
7 October 2014
Screening of 'Playground: The Child Sex Trade in America' and conversation

Co-presented with Sydney Law School, the University of Sydney

Commercial sexual exploitation of our children is not a third-world problem. It is happening here in first world countries. Yes, here in Australia, in our own streets, in our own backyards. Come join us to understand the issues, and how we can work together in prevention and early detection to safeguard our children.

Playground is directed by Libby Spears, and executive produced by Abigail Disney and George Clooney. It looks at the underground epidemic of young children being forced into prostitution in the United States - which sees some 300,000 children at risk of commercial sex exploitation each year. It has been critically acclaimed and screened around the world, including numerous times at the United States Congress, and it has helped inform and shape legislation to better protect young victims of sexual exploitation.

Libby is also the founder and Executive Director of NEST Foundation, and the new community movement - Campaign 13, which advocates for an intelligent, holistic and urgent response to sex trafficking of minors. NEST partners with the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, End Child Prostitution and Trafficking (ECPAT), survivors, experts and legislators across the USA who are fighting to end child sex trafficking.

NEST has also been working with the National Center for Missing Children, FBI and Queensland Police Department in Australia to aid in helping a victim who was trafficked starting at the age of four.

Through this effort, Libby has come to better understand the vast prevalence of CSEC in Australia and the need for Nest Foundation's programming here in Australia. Libby has found that the issues of sex trafficking of Australian children remain severely underreported and improperly understood.

A national online survey completed by the Australian Institute of Criminology, 75% of respondents believed they would not be able to identify a trafficked person. Overall, the survey revealed a high level of confusion regarding the definition and scope of the human trafficking issue facing the Australian community.

Libby Spears is a US film director and social changemaker, and was recently named one of the '150 Women Who Shake the World' in Newsweek magazine. Libby has more than 15 years' experience producing and directly critically-acclaimed films that have been viewed in more than 100 countries. Libby will be visiting Australia to run screenings of Playground in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, as well as meet with Australians, to collaborate with new partners and find ways to explore an adaptation of US high school curriculum here in Australia

After the film screen Libby will be in conversation with Dr Judy Cashmore, Associate Professor in Socio-Legal Research and Policy at the University of Sydney Law School. Judy's research concerns children's involvement in civil and criminal proceedings and other processes in which decisions are made about their lives. This includes the reporting and prosecution of child sex abuse, and together with colleagues Associate Professor Rita Shackel and Professor Patrick Parkinson, she is conducting research on the prosecution of recent and historical cases of child sexual abuse. She has also worked with colleagues on the preparation and presentation of Australia's alternate report to the UN Committee of the Rights of the Child in 2005 and 2011.

RP Law & Business Series: Contemporary Issues for General Counsel   View Summary
8 October 2014

To register for this seminar CLICK HERE

Please note: Individual online registrations MUST be paid by Mastercard or VISA. To pay by cheque or arrange a group registration, please email for an invoice. We apologise for any inconvenience.


General Counsel face a broad array of contemporary issues. These include matters such as continuous disclosure (particularly the question of what is material and what is not); insider trading issues in relation to dividend reinvestment programs, employee share schemes, director share schemes etc; bribery and corruption issues for companies operating globally; the future of the annual general meeting; differences between the role of General Counsel and law firm partners; the combination of the role of General Counsel with Company Secretary; and, finally, the thorny matter of fees. In this seminar, Brian Salter and Julie McPherson, who are General Counsel at AMP and Amcor Limited respectively, will examine some of the key problems facing today's General Counsel, with Ron Barusch providing commentary. The seminar will be chaired by ASIC Commissioner, Cathie Armour.

About the Speakers

Brian Salter is the General Counsel at AMP. He joined AMP on 1 July 2008. Before then, he was a partner with a major Australian law firm for 19 years. Brian has more than 30 years experience advising many of Australia's leading financial and wealth management companies. Brian is a member of the Legal Committee of the Commonwealth Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee (CAMAC), the Law Committee of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and the Corporations Committee of the Business Law Section of the Law Council of Australia. Brian is also a director of AMP Superannuation Limited, NM Superannuation Pty Limited and SCECGS Redlands Limited. He has a Bachelor of Arts and Laws (with Honours) from ANU and a Masters of Laws (with Honours) from Sydney University. He is a Fellow of the Australian Securitisation Forum (ASF) and a member of the AICD.

Julie McPherson is the Group General Counsel/Company Secretary forAmcor Limited. Julie commenced practice as a lawyer in 1981. Prior to joining Amcor in 2005, Julie held executive, legal and commercial positions, including Company Secretary and General Counsel at Goodman Fielder, Deputy Managing Director of Dresdner Kleinwort Benson and Partner, Corrs Chambers Westgarth. Julie has broad experience in corporate law, finance and commerce.
Julie has been a member of the Law Committee of the Australian Institute of Company Directors since 2006. She was also a member of the Takeovers Panel from 2011 to 2014 and was appointed as an acting President in 2013.

About the Commentator

Ron Barusch was a mergers and acquisitions lawyer with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP for over 30 years. Ron retired in 2010 after 25 years as a partner at the firm, including three years as office leader of Skadden's Sydney office.

He is currently a visiting lecturer at Sydney Law School teaching 'Cross Border Deals.' Ron also writes 'Dealpolitik' for The Wall Street Journal's Deal Journal providing a strategic look at deals currently making the headlines as well as the major forces at work in the deal-making world.

Chair: Cathie Armour, ASIC Commissioner

Law & Business Program 2014

Sydney Law School is pleased to announce its Law & Business Program for 2014. Students can also enrol in single units as part of their professional development under the Legal Professional Development program (LPD). Single unit enrolment students are not required to undertake assignments or examinations.

Click herefor more information.

2014 Paul Byrne SC Memorial Lecture. Guest Speaker: The Hon. J D Heydon AC QC   View Summary
15 October 2014

Additional places have become available, please email: to register


Topic: Is the weight of evidence material to its admissibility?

The Hon J D Heydon AC QC was educated at The University of Sydney (BA) and Oxford University (MA, BCL), was Rhodes Scholar for New South Wales in 1964 and Vinerian Scholar for 1967. He was a fellow of Keble College Oxford in 1967-1973, a Professor of Law at the University of Sydney from 1973, and Dean of the Faculty of Law in 1978-1979. He practised at the Bar as a junior from 1979 and as Queen's Counsel from 1987 until 2000, when he was appointed to the New South Wales Court of Appeal. He was a Justice of the High Court of Australia from February 2003 to March 2013. He has written various textbooks and monographs on evidence, equity, trade practices law, restraint of trade and economic torts.

About Paul Byrne SC

Paul Byrne SC graduated in Arts and Law from the University of Sydney, and worked with the Public Solicitor's Office as a solicitor. He became a barrister in 1979, and was appointed a public defender. In 1983 he was awarded a Master of Laws degree with First Class Honours, and was awarded a University Medal. He was appointed Director of the Criminal Law Review Division and a Commissioner of the New South Wales Law Reform Commission. In 1995 he took silk and continued an outstanding career as an advocate, taking on the toughest cases, in courts at all levels, with a deep sense of responsibility and the utmost commitment to justice and fair process. This is the third Paul Byrne SC Memorial Lecture honouring Paul Byrne SC, who had a life long interest in criminal law and the criminal justice system, as well being an active participant and generous supporter of the Institute of Criminology at the Sydney Law School.

The Paul Byrne Memorial Fund

The Paul Byrne Memorial Fund has been set up to honour and continue Paul's interest in the criminal justice system by supporting the ongoing activities of the Institute of Criminology, such as lectures, seminars, publications, and awards. Attendees of the Paul Byrne SC Memorial Lecture are warmly invited to make a donation to The Paul Byrne SC Memorial Fund. Gifts to The Paul Byrne SC Memorial Fund support the activities of the Institute of Criminology and other activities in the field of criminal law at Sydney Law School, in memory of the late Paul Byrne SC.

Lawyers/barristers: attendance at this lecture is equal to 1.5 MCLE/CPD unit.

Distinguished Speakers Program: Professor Ben Saul   View Summary
20 October 2014

To register and make your secure online payment, please CLICK HERE


Justice at the Ends of the Earth: What Rebels and Terrorists Think of Law

What do "terrorists" think of law and justice, including human rights and the law of war? This lecture explores this question based on field interviews with "terrorist" groups from Asia to the Middle East, including communist insurgents, rebels in civil war, national liberation fighters, and religious fighters. This question is often not asked, or its answers are obscured, because after 9/11 the world simply outlawed terrorists. Terrorists are often seen as outside reason and legality, and never to be negotiated with. If terrorists are evil monsters, they have taken themselves outside the rule of law and into a pre-modern state of nature, where horrifying violence is the only law and the rule of the gun prevails. In turn, our law responds by out-casting terrorists and offering them only stigmatisation and the harshest punishment - and even death - as moral deviants.
This lecture explores the attitudes and practices of groups labelled as "terrorist" towards international and national law. It also examines how these groups produce and enforce their own "laws" and "legal" institutions, from military rules about war fighting and the treatment of civilians, to "administrative" regulations about taxation and governance, to "civil" laws about personal and property disputes, to institutional ideas about dispute settlement, remedies, and punishment. A better understanding of what terrorists think of law, and how they use it, can improve counter-terrorism. Why do some groups violate humanitarian norms more than others? What factors pull terrorist groups closer towards respecting human rights, and what factors push them away? Are there ways that the international community can constructively engage with some groups to socialise them into behaving better? What are the limits of such engagement? Are some groups, such as the "Islamic State", so beyond the pale that all we can do is kill them?
This research is funded by an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship.

About the speaker
Dr Ben Saul is Professor of International Law and an Australian Research Council Future Fellow at the University of Sydney. Ben is internationally recognised as a leading expert on global counter-terrorism law, human rights, the law of war, and international crimes. He has published 10 books, 70 scholarly articles, and hundreds of other publications and presentations, and his research has been used in various national and international courts. Ben has taught law at Oxford, the Hague Academy of International Law and in China, India, Nepal and Cambodia, and has been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School. Ben practises as a barrister in international and national courts, has advised various United Nations bodies and foreign governments, has delivered foreign aid projects, and often appears in the media. He has a doctorate in law from Oxford and honours in Arts and Law from Sydney.

Lawyers/barristers: attendance at this lecture is equal to 1 MCLE/CPD unit.

2014 JSI Seminar Series: Julia Domnick   View Summary
22 October 2014

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Constituent power in transition? The international community and constitution-making in post-conflict states

We live in an era of constitution-making, renowned observer V. Hart noted. Since the end of the Cold War, we are witnessing a 'comeback' of constitution-making - but this time under fundamentally changed conditions. The fifth wave of constitution-making (Y. Ghai) takes place in highly internationalised post-conflict settings, marked by a high degree of factual international involvement, support and monitoring. In the aftermath of conflict, processes of constitution-making in post-conflict societies are a core element within complex, multidimensional peacebuilding operations and serve a multitude of normative and constitutive purposes from transforming society to establishing a common identity. Most remarkably, the exerted foreign influence on the genuinely national constitutional processes exceeds a mere constitutional borrowing or migration of constitutional ideas. Consider East Timor's reconstruction process after independence as a prime example, where process and organizational framework of the new constitution were almost entirely determined by the United Nations (UNTAED). This increasing de facto involvement not only integrates national-international factual situations, but moreover leads to a legalisation of the constitutional involvement: constitution-making is becoming an object of international law. Considering, that since the French Revolution at the end of the 18th century, constituent power has been conceived to rest exclusively within the nation (Abbé Sieyes) and only the nation is understood to create an entirely new order - the aforementioned observation is disturbing. Hence, the increasing involvement of international actors in various forms of constitution-making raises not only questions concerning the authority to engage in such reform, but challenges the traditional (ideally) democratic theory of constituent power. This paper focuses on the transitions of constituent power in post-conflict settings and asks different, related research questions. Analysing the new global dimension of constitution-making it asks if the external influence amounts to an evolving concept of internationalised constituent power in international public law. Should we conceive - as international constitutionalist do - of internationalised constituent power as the adoption of traditional constitutional functions by (constitutionalised) international law? Are these models of constitution-making necessarily post-sovereign as A. Arato puts forward? The paper goes on to propose a re-thinking of the traditional legal theory of constituent power given the changes in international practice. Is it possible to reconfigure the constituent power in times of transition - or should we even abandon the mystical, 'enigmatic' (A. Somek) concept of constituent power?

Julia Domnick is a Fellow and Scholarship Holder of the interdisciplinary DFG (German Research Foundation) Research Training Group 'Multilevel Constitutionalism: European Experiences and Global Perspectives' at Humboldt University, Berlin. She studied Law and Political Sciences in Munich, Geneva, Córdoba, Argentina and Cincinnati, USA and specialized in European and International Public Law. Julia is completing her doctoral thesis on "Internationalised pouvoir constituant" investigating the international community's influence on constitution-making in post-conflict states. .

Lawyers/barristers: attendance at this lecture is equal to 2 MCLE/CPD units

Matt Laffan Memorial Lecture on Social Justice   View Summary
28 October 2014

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Speaker: Rosemary Kayess, University of New South Wales

Introductory Reflections: Andrew Coorey

Topic: Disability as Human Diversity and the implications for Justice

Central to the objectives of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is recognition of disability as an aspect of human diversity. Society has in many ways failed to approach disability and people with disability as just another aspect of the human condition. This failure has been the basis for many separate and segregationist policies that have resulted in entrenched disadvantage and social isolation. This lack of equality has effectively denied people with disability social justice. In this address human rights lawyer Rosemary Kayess will explore the impact this has had on people with disability and how mechanisms framed by human rights and CRPD can drive change. Two areas will be used to highlight the issues: education and the question of fitness to plead in criminal trials.

About the Speakers

A human rights lawyer, Rosemary Kayess currently teaches in the Faculty of Law at the University of New South Wales. She convenes international law and human rights subjects, focusing on the equality provisions within international instruments and their translation into domestic law and policy. Rosemary also has extensive research experience working and advising on a variety of social research projects including access to justice, human rights and disability, including work on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in Australia, the Asia/Pacific and Europe. Rosemary was an external expert on the Australian Government delegation to the United Nations negotiations for this Convention. During the ad hoc Committee she facilitated the negotiations on Article 24 Education. She is currently a member of the AusAID Disability Inclusive Development Reference Group and Chairperson of the Australian Centre for Disability Law.

Andrew Coorey initiated the inaugural Laffo's Long Lunch in order to fund a scholarship to assist disabled students to reside and study at St John's College within the University of Sydney. Andrew chairs an event committee which has frequently been a committee of one but has had stellar assistance of Dick and Jenny Laffan and a coterie of well meaning fans of Matt Laffan. Since Matt had many fans Andrew's work has not been onerous and the scholarship fund holds well in excess of $400,000, the vast majority of which has flowed from the lunch. Laffo's Long Lunch has always included Matt's passions of poetry, rugby, wine, women and song and friendship. It has always acknowledged how much residence of St John's College created access for Matt to all these things and of course his education. Andrew is a former banker, has been a broadcaster, is currently a pub entertainment promoter and event manager and will talk to audiences when paid or indeed sometimes when just asked nicely.

This event is co-presented by Sydney Ideas.


Sydney Law School is wheelchair accessible. This lecture will have Auslan Interpreter provision. Please notify us of any accessibility requirements you may have so that we can assist you appropriately by calling 9351 0249.

About Matt Laffan

On Sunday 1 March 2009, Sydney Law School alumnus Matt Laffan passed away after he fought and lost the biggest battle of his colourful and active life. In memoriam of the significant impact Matt has had in his short life, Sydney Law School has established an annual social justice address in his honour.
Matt Laffan had severe disabilities, but he will be remembered most for his impressive abilities. With enormous enthusiasm for life, Matt grabbed opportunities and made the most of them.

Lawyers/barristers: attendance at this lecture is equal to 1.5 MCLE/CPD unit.

2014 JSI Seminar Series: Dr Dale Smith   View Summary
30 October 2014

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Statutory Interpretation, Meaning and the Content of the Law

It is widely accepted by both courts and academic commentators that the legal effect of a statutory provision (i.e. the contribution it makes to the content of the law) is - at least typically - equivalent to its linguistic content (i.e. the meaning of the words contained in the provision). Dale Smith calls this "the equivalence thesis". In this paper, Smith fleshes out the core commitments of the equivalence thesis and explain why the thesis appears attractive. However, he then argues that the equivalence thesis struggles to account for the operation of what he calls "modifier laws" - that is, laws which alter the legal effect of one or more statutory provisions, such as the presumption of mens rea in criminal law or s 32(1) of the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic). On some occasions, the equivalence theorist may be able to account for the operation of modifier laws (e.g. on the basis that these laws also contribute to the linguistic content of the statutory provision in question, such that the legal effect of that provision is equivalent to its linguistic content). However, on many occasions, the operation of modifier laws results in the legal effect of a statutory provision diverging from its linguistic content. This, Smith argues, provides a strong reason for thinking that the equivalence thesis is mistaken.

Dale Smith's research focuses primarily on analytic legal philosophy, especially on the jurisprudential writings of Ronald Dworkin. His recent publications include 'Law, Justice and the Unity of Value' (2012) 32 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 383, 'Must the Law Be Capable of Possessing Authority?' (2012) 18 Legal Theory 69, 'The Role of Conventions in Law' (2011) 2 Jurisprudence 451, 'Theoretical Disagreement and the Semantic Sting' (2010) 30 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 635, 'Has Raz Drawn the Semantic Sting?' (2009) 28 Law and Philosophy 291, and 'Reckless Rape in Victoria' (2008) 32 Melbourne University Law Review 1007.

Dale is currently working on issues in analytic legal philosophy, statutory interpretation and (with Dr Colin Campbell from Monash University) discrimination law.

Dale graduated from the University of Melbourne in 1998 with first class honours degrees in Law and Arts. He also holds a Masters of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Melbourne and a D.Phil in Law from the University of Oxford. His doctoral thesis was on the implications for adjudication of the debate between moral objectivists and anti-objectivists. Prior to joining Melbourne Law School as a Senior Lecturer in 2014, Dale was a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Law at Monash University. He was a Visiting Academic at the Faculty of Laws, University College London in October 2012.

Lawyers/barristers: attendance at this lecture is equal to 2 MCLE/CPD units

Division of Humanities and Social Sciences Postgraduate Research Conference   View Summary
10 November 2014

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Crossing Boundaries

The Division of Humanities and Social Sciences Post-Graduate Research Conference examines the theme of "Crossing Boundaries". Research students from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Education and Social Work and Faculty of Law will present papers from a range of disciplines. Academics, students and social researchers are welcome to attend.

2nd Annual GAR Live Sydney    View Summary
11 November 2014
Presented by Global Arbitration Review, the 2nd Annual GAR Live Sydney features a number of high profile speakers including Professor Luke Nottage.
2014 JSI Seminar Series: Professor Helen Irving   View Summary
13 November 2014

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The Quality of Citizenship: Challenging Normative and Formalist Theories of Citizenship

Citizenship is a disorderly concept. On the one hand, citizenship theory has generated multiple adjectival forms, normative models, and strained claims about the character of the citizen, producing an unwieldy body of literature, telling us too much. On the other hand, the legal treatment of citizenship has been reductionist, focusing on formal tests of status and consequence, telling us too little. Each seems to be speaking to a different audience about essentially different things. However, both sides - the normative/hortatory and the legal/formalist - have in common a view of citizenship that is essentially contingent and consequential. This view is most recognisable in Hannah Arendt's claim that citizenship is the "right to have rights." This paper challenges, not Arendt's scholarship, but the idea of citizenship as a test of, or pathway to, something else, whether virtue or rights. It offers, instead, a view of citizenship as a quality, sui generis, that is constrained by law, but is much more than a bundle of either rights or attributes.

Professor Helen Irving teaches Australian, comparative, and United States constitutional law. She has researched and written on the making of the Australian Constitution; comparative constitutional design and gender; the use of history in constitutional interpretation; and the 'dialogue' model of judicial review. Her current major research, supported by a four-year ARC Discovery Grant, is on the history of constitutional citizenship and gender.

Lawyers/barristers: attendance at this lecture is equal to2 MCLE/CPD units

Australian Labour Law Association Conference:    View Summary
14 November 2014 to 15 November 2014

The Australian Labour Law Association (ALLA) is pleased to announce that its 7th Biennial Conference is being held in Manly, Sydney on Friday 14 and Saturday 15 November 2014.

The theme of the conference is 'Under the Microscope: The Next Phase of Australian Labour Law?'

Click here to view the full conference website.

International Arbitration Symposium   View Summary
14 November 2014
AFIA and The University of Sydney are pleased to invite you to AFIA's 39th International Arbitration Symposium, sponsored by Clifford Chance. There will be two panels as part of this Symposium. Panel 1 will be comprised of Antony Crockett (Senior Associate, Herbert Smith Freehills); Ben Kremer (Barrister, Banco Chambers); and Dr Luke Nottage (Professor of Comparative and Transnational Business Law, The University of Sydney). Panel 2 will be comprised of Julia Dreosti (Special Counsel, Lipman Karas); Dr Sam Luttrell (Counsel, Clifford Chance); and Paul Tan (Partner, Rajah & Tann).
2014 Kevin McCann Lecture on Energy and Resources Law: Professor Kim Talus   View Summary
18 November 2014

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Topic: The legal and market challenges facing the energy sector in light of the Russia/Ukraine conflict

European energy policy objectives are competitiveness, security of supply and sustainability. The interplay of these objectives is a complicated issue and different objectives have been emphasised in different periods. Market building and competitiveness in the 1990s, security in early 2000's, and sustainability taking the lead in more recent times. The recent events in Ukraine have once again changed the relative weight of these three objectives and have arguably raised the security of supply discussion in the EU to a new level.
The increasing tension between Russia and the West has not come without consequences for the energy sector. Common projects are being reconsidered, supply diversification is high on the political agenda, there has been a re-enforced push for renewable energy, and the increased interconnection of various member states, are among the consequences of these events.
The lecture by Professor Kim Talus will examine and discuss the effects of the Russia - Ukraine crises on EU energy law and policy. In addition to this, the lecture will highlight other current issues in EU energy law and policy.

About the Speaker

Kim Talus is a Professor of European Economic and Energy Law at UEF Law School and the Director of the Center for Climate Change, Energy and Environmental Law ( He is also a Professor of Energy Law at the University of Helsinki. His research and other activities focus on international, comparative and European energy law. More specifically, his activities focus on international upstream petroleum law and regulation and on EU energy law and policy. He has published widely in these areas and is a frequent speaker in international conferences. He has held teaching positions at University College London, University of Houston and Bonn University. He is the Editor-in-Chief for Oil, Gas and Energy Law ( and a member of the Editorial Board for Journal of World Energy Law and Business. He works frequently with companies, public authorities and governments in various areas of energy law and policy. He is also an expert member (electricity) of the Finnish Market Court.
He works frequently with companies, public authorities and governments in various areas of energy law and policy. He is also an expert member (electricity) of the Finnish Market Court.

Lawyers/barristers: attendance at this lecture is equal to 1 MCLE/CPD unit.

IUCN World Parks Congress - Mock International Case on Marine Issues   View Summary
18 November 2014

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As part of the World Parks Congress been held at Sydney Olympic Park in November the Australian Centre for Climate and Environmental Law at the Sydney Law School and the University of Sydney Institute of Marine Science are conducting a mock case on marine issues. Based on a hypothetical request for an Advisory Opinion from the ICJ, the case will examine the legal and scientific issues concerning the protection of the world's most iconic reefs from human-induced climate change and ocean acidification. The case will be heard by Justice Nicola Pain (NSW Land and Environment Court), Justice Rachel Pepper (NSW Land and Environment Court) and Associate Professor Tim Stephens (Sydney Law School). The advocates will be senior students from the Sydney Law School (Elizabeth Pearson, Eric Shi and John Tsaousidis) and expert evidence will be given by Dr Paul Marshall (University of Queensland), a leading expert in applied conservation science and a specialist on the impacts of climate change on coral reefs.
This event is proudly presented by: the Australian Centre for Climate and Environmental Law at the Sydney Law School, the University of Sydney Institute for Marine Science, the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law and the IUCN World Commission for Protected Areas - Marine Specialist Group.
Proudly supported by: Office of the Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment

Distinguished Speakers Program: Associate Professor Arlie Loughnan   View Summary
20 November 2014

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Responsibililty in Criminal Law

Individual responsibility for crime is the central organising principle of the criminal law in the current era. While it is the subject of significant scholarly attention, the bulk of scholarly work expressly concerned with criminal responsibility is 'set' or located elsewhere (specifically, in the UK and North America), rather than in Australia. This 'northern orientation' has meant that the relevance of jurisdictional specificity - legal, social and political - to the study of criminal responsibility has escaped critical examination. Acknowledging the necessity of understanding responsibility in the context of Australian criminal laws and processes, on the one side, and the challenges its study poses, on the other, this lecture outlines an approach to the study of criminal responsibility that aims to take into account the temporal, institutional and other conditions of possibility of criminal responsibility norms and practices in Australia.
This research is supported by the Australian Research Council (ARC) grant, Responsibility in Criminal Law (No. DE130100418)

About the speaker
Arlie Loughnan is Associate Professor and ARC Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Faculty of Law, University of Sydney. Her interests include criminal responsibility, mental incapacity, and the historical development of criminal law doctrines and practices. She is the author of Manifest Madness: Mental Incapacity in Criminal Law (Oxford University Press, 2012) and is currently the co-editor of the Sydney Law Review. Arlie holds degrees from London School of Economics (LSE), New York University (NYU) and the University of Sydney, and has held several Visiting Fellowships, including at the University of Melbourne, University College London and LSE.

Lawyers/barristers: attendance at this lecture is equal to 1 MCLE/CPD unit.

RP Law & Business: The Protection of Minority Investors and the Compensation of their Losses    View Summary
3 December 2014

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Please note: Individual online registrations MUST be paid by Mastercard or VISA. To pay by cheque or arrange a group registration, please email for an invoice. We apologise for any inconvenience.


In this 2014 Ross Parsons Law & Business Seminar series, Professor Jennifer Hill and Dr Olivia Dixon will address the topic The Protection of Minority Investors and the Compensation of their Losses. "Investor protection" has a long-standing legal pedigree in relation to business corporation. Since the early 20th century, when Berle and Means famously highlighted shareholder vulnerability and powerlessness in the modern public corporation, investor protection has been an important underpinning ideal in corporate and securities law in both the United States and Australia. This is in spite of fundamental changes since that time to capital markets, and to the profile of shareholders. This seminar will examine Australia's continuous disclosure regime, in conjunction with ss1041E (false or misleading statements) and 1041H (misleading or deceptive conduct) of the Corporations Act. The seminar will examine the extent to which these regulatory mechanisms provide adequate protection to minority investors, focusing on the enforcement of rights through actions by ASIC (as in, for example, Forrest v ASIC (HCA, 2012) and investor litigation, particularly class actions.

About the Speakers
Olivia Dixon joined the Law School in 2013 as Lecturer in the Regulation of Investment and Financial Markets. Olivia teaches and researches in corporate law, with a particular interest in corporate crime. Prior to entering academia, Olivia practiced as a corporate finance attorney in Sydney and New York. Before becoming an attorney in 2003, Olivia worked as an analyst for a corporate finance company and at the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. Olivia has an LLM and JSD from New York University, where her doctoral dissertation was an empirical study examining the role of mutual funds as corporate governance monitors.

Jennifer Hillis Professor of Corporate Law at Sydney Law School and a Director of the Ross Parsons Centre of Commercial, Corporate and Taxation Law. She is known for her work in comparative corporate law and governance. A graduate of the University of Sydney and Oxford University, Jennifer has been a Visiting Professor at several overseas law schools, including Vanderbilt University, University of Virginia, University of Texas and Cornell. In 2013, she held the Foreign Chair at the University of Ghent, Belgium.

About the Commentator

Michael Leggis an Associate Professor at UNSW Law, Australia. Michael's research interests include class actions, litigation funding and the interaction between public and private enforcement in the area of securities regulation. His research has been cited in judgments from the Federal Court of Australia, Supreme Court of New South Wales and the Supreme Court of Victoria, and in law reform reports by the Australian Law Reform Commission, NSW Law Reform Commission and Victorian Law Reform Commission.

He is the author of Case Management and Complex Civil Litigation (2011) published by Federation Press and co-author of Principles of Civil Procedure in New South Wales (2d ed 2012) published by Thomson Reuters. He is also the editor of Regulation, Litigation and Enforcement (2011) published by Thomson Reuters and The Future of Dispute Resolution (2013) published by LexisNexis.

Michael has 15 years of experience as a legal practitioner having worked with leading Australian and US law firms. He is admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of NSW, Federal Court of Australia, High Court of Australia and in the State and Federal courts of New York.

MCLE/CPD points: 1

Law & Business Program 2014

Sydney Law School is pleased to announce its Law & Business Program for 2014. Students can also enrol in single units as part of their professional development under the Legal Professional Development program (LPD). Single unit enrolment students are not required to undertake assignments or examinations.

Click here for more information.

2014 Australasian Ethics Network Conference   View Summary
3 December 2014 to 5 December 2014

We are pleased to announce the 2014 Australasian Ethics Network Conference which will take place 3-5 December 2014 at the University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.

Please visit thefull conference website

Recent Developments in Securities Fraud and Insider Trading Litigation in the US and Australia   View Summary
22 December 2014

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Please note: Registration for this seminar will close on Thursday 18 December. Individual online registrations MUST be paid by Mastercard or VISA. To pay by cheque or arrange a group registration, please email for an invoice. We apologise for any inconvenience.


Antonia M. Apps is the keynote speaker at this joint ASIC/Sydney Law School seminar. Ms Apps, who played a major role as a prosecutor in a number of the recent high profile securities fraud and insider trading cases in the United States, will discuss recent developments in US securities law enforcement and US case law.

The commentators at this seminar will be Justice Michael Wigney of the Federal Court of Australia and Chris Savundra, ASIC. They will discuss recent Australian developments in securities fraud and insider trading litigation, including the issue of whether Australia has sufficiently stringent penalties in this area of law, compared to the US. The general issue of the relatively low penalties available to ASIC was recently noted by the Financial System inquiry in its Interim Report (July 2014).

The seminar will be chaired by Dr Greg O'Mahoney and Professor Jennifer Hill.

About the Speakers
Antonia M. Apps recently joined the prestigious firm, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, where she is a partner, specialising in securities litigation, white-collar crime and complex commercial litigation, in the New York office. Prior to joining Milbank, Ms Apps served in the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, Criminal Division, where she was a member of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force. She was a prosecutor in some of the government's highest profile securities fraud and insider trading cases. Prominent examples include the prosecution of hedge fund SAC Capital Advisers, LP (which resulted in a guilty plea by SAC Capital, with criminal and civil penalties of $1.8 billion), and the successful prosecution and conviction after trial of SAC's portfolio manager, Michael Steinberg. Ms Apps is an alumna of Sydney Law School (1990), Oxford University (1993) and Harvard Law School (1994).

Justice Michael Wigney was appointed to the Federal Court of Australia in 2013. He worked in the Office of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions from 1989 to 1993, and then went to the Bar, where he specialised, inter alia, in complex financial and corporate offences. Justice Wigney is an alumnus of Sydney University.

Chris Savundra is the Senior Executive Leader - Markets Enforcement at ASIC. His responsibilities include investigation and enforcement in relation to market misconduct, corporate governance and financial crime. He has had the carriage of some of ASIC's major investigations and litigation, including in the insider trading area. He is a graduate of University of Western Australia and Oxford University, and previously worked in the litigation group at Allens Arthur Robinson and Herbert Smith Freehills.

MCLE/CPD points: 1