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

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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)







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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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

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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.

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.

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.

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. With a focus on actions under ss1041E (false or misleading statements) and 1041H (misleading or deceptive conduct) of the Corporations Act, the discussion will look to the enforcement of the rights of investors through 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