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A Sydney Institute of Criminology Book Event: Reasonable Doubt: Spies, Police and the Croatian Six   View Summary
30 April 2019



A Sydney Institute of Criminology Book Event: Reasonable Doubt: Spies, Police and the Croatian Six

Author Hamish McDonald in discussion with Emeritus Professor Rodney Tiffin and human rights lawyer Sebastian de Brennan

"For the first time, the full story of how ASIO, the police and the legal system got it wrong" - Emeritus Professor Rodney Tiffen

About the book

Knock, knock — it's a hot summer night in 1979 and Roger Rogerson is at the front door with a posse of Sydney's toughest cops. Sticks of gelignite are discovered, and the family's young men are taken off for a rough night at CIB headquarters, joined by others arrested in simultaneous raids across the city. For them, and the entire community of migrants from Croatia, it's the start of a nightmare, ending in 15-year jail terms for terrorist conspiracy. But even during their 10-month trial, holes appeared in the police case. Later the chief crown witness confessed on TV he made up his crucial testimony.

Decades later, a chance reference drew journalist Hamish McDonald to explore this case. He uncovers evidence that authorities took pains to conceal from the court: that the crown witness was an agent of the Yugoslav secret service and had been under ASIO surveillance. This book shows how an unreformed police force, inept politicians, scheming security men, and mutually back-slapping judges contributed to Australia's biggest miscarriage of justice. It's Sydney's underbelly, with a dash of international intrigue and espionage.

About the author

Hamish McDonald is one of Australia's best known journalists. Graduate of the University of Sydney in government and French, he has been a correspondent and foreign editor with The Sydney Morning Herald and the former Far Eastern Economic Review magazine, with postings in Jakarta, Tokyo, Hong Kong, New Delhi and Beijing as well as assignments around Australia and the Pacific islands. Based in Sydney, he is currently a contributing writer for The Saturday Paper, The Monthly and the Nikkei Asian Review. He has written several books on Indonesian Indian and Japanese subjects. This new book takes him out of his usual Asian fields to Balkan rivalries enacted in Australia, and is the result of investigation over 12 years.

The book will be available for purchase on the night ($29.95RRP).

This event is sponsored by the Sydney Institute of Criminology at Sydney Law School.


Disaster in the Murray Darling Basin: Explanations and Consequences   View Summary
9 May 2019



Disaster in the Murray Darling Basin: explanations and consequences

In 1994, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to a major reform of water resource management, a key component of which was the principle of ecologically sustainable development. This recognised the fact that past practices of over-allocation had impacted heavily on species, river health, ecosystems and wetlands. The instrument which COAG adopted to achieve these goals was the water trading market. The reform project has been reinvigorated each decade including by the Commonwealth government intervening to take control of the Murray Darling Basin in 2007 under the Water Act 2007 (Cth). The 2012 Murray Darling Basin Plan is a consequence of that. How is it then that after 25 years of so-called reforms the Murray Darling Basin is in such a state of crisis - as evidenced by the Menindee Region Fish Kill in the summer of 2018-19? What strategies are in place to deal with the existing ecological crisis while meeting the growing challenges of climate change?

This forum examines the origins of the challenges and the state of the rivers, the legal frameworks and socio-economic ramifications.

Chair: Professor Rosemary Lyster, Professor of Climate and Environmental Law and Co-Director of the Australian Centre for Climate and Environmental Law, The University of Sydney Law School

Professor Richard Kingsford "Fixing the state of ecosystems in the Murray-Darling Basin - are we on track?"

Dr Emma Carmody "When nature revolts: advocating for an environmental rule of law in the Murray-Darling Basin."

Professor Sarah Wheeler "What are the Facts about the impacts of Water Recovery on Rural Communities in the Murray-Darling Basin?"

About the speakers:

Professor Richard Kingsford is a river ecologist who has worked extensively across the wetlands and rivers of the Murray-Darling Basin. He also worked with many different communities and governments across this region. His research has influenced the policy and management of the Murray-Darling Basin, including through involvement on state and federal advisory committees. He is the Director for the Centre for Ecosystem Science UNSW, Sydney.

Dr Emma Carmody is an environmental lawyer with particular expertise in water law. She is a senior solicitor at Australia's oldest public interest environmental law centre, EDO NSW, where she advises farmers, Traditional Owners and conservation groups about water laws at all levels of government. She also serves as legal advisor to the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands in Switzerland, is a visiting fellow in the Faculty of Law at the University of NSW and on the board of the Alliance for Water Stewardship International. In 2018, Emma won the Dunphy Award for "most outstanding environmental effort of an individual" at the NSW Environment Awards. The award was made in recognition of her efforts to enforce water legislation and expose alleged non-compliance and maladministration in the Murray-Darling Basin.

Professor Sarah Wheeler is the Associate Director of Research with the Centre for Global Food and Resources, University of Adelaide. She was an Australian Research Council Future Fellow from 2014-2018, and is an Associate Editor/editor of three water and economic journals and on five editorial boards. She has currently published over 115 papers on issues associated with water, climate change and farmer adaptation behaviour and was a member of the Australian Academy of Science's Investigation of the causes of mass fish kills in the Menindee Region NSW over the summer of 2018-2019 and is an expert on water policy in the Murray-Darling Basin

This event is presented by Australian Centre for Climate and Environmental Law (ACCEL) and the Sydney Environment Institute.


Law & Business Seminar: The Unique Challenges of Regulating a Cross-Border Derivatives Market   View Summary
13 May 2019



Please note: This Law & Business seminar is free to attend.

The Unique Challenges of Regulating a Cross-Border Derivatives Market: International Coordination, Deference and Free Markets

Christopher Giancarlo, Chairman, U.S Commodity Futures Trading Commission
Eric Pan, Director, Office of International Affairs at the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission

U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Chris Giancarlo, along with CFTC International Affairs Director Eric Pan, will speak about the CFTC's efforts over the past 2.5 years to revamp how the CFTC approaches cross-border regulation, engages its foreign counterparts and promotes the development and operation of the OTC derivatives markets. During this time, the CFTC has been a leading voice in international fora for stronger coordination among global regulators and deference to each other's' regimes as the best way to address regulatory causes of market fragmentation and inefficient financial resiliency.

About the speakers

J. Christopher Giancarlo

J. Christopher "Chris" Giancarlo was unanimously confirmed to serve as Chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission by the U.S. Senate on August 3, 2017. Prior to becoming Chairman, Mr. Giancarlo was designated Acting Chairman on January 20, 2017 and was nominated by President Trump to serve as the Chairman on March 14, 2017 to a term that expires in April 2019. Mr. Giancarlo had served as a CFTC Commissioner since his swearing in on June 16, 2014, after a unanimous consent by the U.S. Senate on June 3, 2014. He was nominated by President Obama on August 1, 2013.

Before entering public service, Mr. Giancarlo served as the Executive Vice President of GFI Group Inc., a financial services firm. Prior to joining GFI, Mr. Giancarlo was Executive Vice President and U.S. Legal Counsel of Fenics Software and was a corporate partner in the New York law firm of Brown Raysman Millstein Felder & Steiner. Mr. Giancarlo joined Brown Raysman from Giancarlo & Gleiberman, a law practice founded by Mr. Giancarlo in 1992 following his return from several years in London with the international law firm of Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle.

Mr. Giancarlo was also a founding Co-Editor-in-Chief of eSecurities, Trading and Regulation on the Internet (Leader Publications). In addition, Mr. Giancarlo has testified three times before Congress regarding the implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act, and has written and spoken extensively on public policy, legal and other matters involving technology and the financial markets.

Mr. Giancarlo was born in Jersey City, New Jersey. He attended Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa with Government Department Honors. Mr. Giancarlo received his law degree from the Vanderbilt University School of Law where he was an associate research editor at the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law and President of the Law School's International Law Society. Mr. Giancarlo has been a member of the Bar of the State of New York since 1985.

Eric Pan

Eric J. Pan is the Director of the Office of International Affairs at the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Eric oversees CFTC international initiatives, provides guidance regarding international issues raised in Commission matters, and represents the CFTC in international bodies, including the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and the Financial Stability Board (FSB). He is responsible for the CFTC's engagement with non-US regulatory counterparts, including those in Europe, China, India and Japan, and manages the development and governance of international workstreams involving the CFTC.

In international fora, Eric chairs the IOSCO Committee on Derivatives, the OTC Derivatives Regulators Group, and the FSB Working Group on UTI and UPI Governance and assists the CFTC Chairman in chairing the IOSCO Cyber Task Force and the IOSCO Task Force on Market Fragmentation. He also has represented the CFTC in the IOSCO Board and in international workstreams related to derivatives reform, central clearinghouse regulation and supervision, trade reporting, data harmonization, margin regulation, market conduct and corporate governance, cybersecurity, fintech and regtech, data protection, cross-border information sharing, benchmarks, and trading.

Before joining the CFTC, Eric was Associate Director for International Regulatory Policy at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, recruited in 2011 from academia to assist in the implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act and the G-20 reforms. Before entering government service, he was a professor of law, director of a center on corporate governance, and lawyer in private practice. Eric received his A.B. in Economics from Harvard College, M.Sc. in European and International Politics from the University of Edinburgh, and J.D. from the Harvard Law School. He is a member of the American Law Institute.

Chair: Professor Jennifer Hill, Sydney Law School

Complimentary, however registration is essential


CPD Points: 1

The Law & Business Downtown seminar series is organised by Professor Jennifer Hill, Director of the Law & Business Program, Professor of Corporate Law, The University of Sydney Law School.


BOOK LAUNCH: Crimes against Humanity in the 21st Century   View Summary
15 May 2019



BOOK LAUNCH: Crimes against Humanity in the 21st Century: Law, Practice and Threats to International Peace and Security

Dr Robert Dubler SC, 12 Wentworth Selborne Chambers

Matthew Kalyk, 12 Wentworth Selborne Chambers

Guest speakers:
Professor Gillian Triggs & The Honourable Michael Kirby AC

In Crimes Against Humanity in the 21st Century, Dr Robert Dubler SC and Matthew Kalyk provide a comprehensive analysis of crimes against humanity in international criminal law. The text tracks the crime from its conceptual origins in antiquity, to its emergence in customary international law at Nuremberg, to the establishment of the 'modern definition' at the Hague with the ICTY, ICTR and ICC, and finally to recent state practice and jurisprudence. The text sets out conclusions about the legal elements of the crime and contends that the raison d'être of the crime is located not in the inhumanity of its authors' actions but in the extent to which its authors threaten international peace and security so as to justify international intervention.

About the authors

Dr Robert Dubler SC

Robert Dubler SC graduated with First Class Honours and the University Medal from the University of Sydney and was called to the Bar in 1990, reading with James Allsop (now Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Australia). In 1993 Robert took up a Commonwealth and Churchill Scholarship to complete a LL M in Cambridge University graduating with First Class Honours. Robert was appointed Senior Counsel in 2004 and completed a PhD in law (International criminal Law) at the University of Sydney in 2008.

Apart from having a broad practice primarily in commercial law, Robert maintains a keen interest in international human rights law and international criminal law. He is a member of the International Commission of Jurists and chairman of the Sri Lankan Evidence Project which is assembling evidence of war crimes. He has appeared pro-bono in several cases in these areas including the Aboriginal Stolen Generation constitutional law case in the High Court, refugee cases, as Counsel for one of the 'Balibo five' of Australian journalists killed in East Timor in 1975, at his coronial inquest and for victims of torture in China before the Committee Against Torture in Geneva, the New South Wales and the High Court of Australia.

Matthew Kalyk

Matthew has a broad practice primarily in commercial law, regulatory matters, professional negligence, administrative law and Commonwealth criminal matters. Prior to coming to the Bar, Matthew was a Federal Prosecutor with the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP), working in fraud, tax and corporate crime, money laundering, drug importation, child exploitation and aviation offences. Previously Matthew was a solicitor at Herbert Smith Freehills working in commercial litigation, white collar crime / regulation and employment law.

Matthew also has a strong interest in international criminal law, having interned at the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia on the prosecution case against former Bosnian Serb president, Radovan Karadžić. More recently, Matthew assisted the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) with its report into the alleged commission of international crimes during the Sri Lankan civil war.

Information about the book

This event is sponsored by The University of Sydney Law School, Herbert Smith Freehills, International Commission of Jurists, Australian branch and the International Law Association of Australia.


Beyond Punishment Seminar Series 2019: Aboriginal Women in the Criminal Justice Network   View Summary
23 May 2019



Beyond Punishment Seminar Series 2019: Sydney Institute of Criminology and Corrective Services NSW

Aboriginal Women in the Criminal Justice Network

Aboriginal women in the criminal justice system face distinctive problems. This seminar will focus on strategies that aim to address the rising rates of incarceration of Aboriginal women, and to assist Aboriginal women prisoners to achieve reintegration into the community upon their release from custody.

Panelists will include:

Distinguished Professor Elizabeth Sullivan, who is the Principal Researcher on the Bangamalhana Project, a throughcare programme for young Aboriginal women making the transition from prison life to life in the general community. This programme is being developed in collaboration with Aboriginal communities and aims to deliver culturally appropriate, tailored services for young Aboriginal women;

Ms Kelly-Anne Stewart, who is the Principal Advisor on Women Offenders at Corrective Services NSW; and

Ms Louise Lynch, who is Principal Manager of the Aboriginal and Strategy Policy Unit at Corrective Services NSW.

More information to come

CPD Points: 1.5


This event is sponsored by the Sydney Institute of Criminology at Sydney Law School and Corrective Services NSW.


Interpretive Disputes in Contract Law   View Summary
5 June 2019



Please note that online payments accept credit card only (Visa/ Mastercard. AMEX is not an accepted method of payment). For cheque or EFT payment, please email


Speaker: Dr Ryan Catterwell, The University of Queensland

In this CLE seminar, Dr Ryan Catterwell sets out practical guidance for dealing with interpretive disputes in contract law. Dr Catterwell claims that contract interpretation is a process through which objective intention is inferred from the choice of words in a contract. The interpretive process involves four steps: define the question of interpretation; identify the competing constructions; formulate arguments in favour of each construction; and weigh and balance the competing arguments to arrive at the interpretation that was probably intended. The "correct" construction is the one that is established to the highest degree of probability. Hence, an interpretive dispute is determined by analysing the arguments in favour of each interpretation—arguments that are constructed from the admissible materials, ie, the potential meanings for the words, the background to the transaction, the objects served by the contract and the consequences of the competing interpretations. Dr Catterwell demonstrates how interpretation works in practice by reference to simple hypothetical examples and a small selection of well-known seminal cases.

Chair: The Honourable Kevin Lindgren QC

Full fee: $50
Sydney Law School alumni: $40
Sydney Law School student: $25

CPD point: 1

This seminar is sponsored by the Ross Parsons Centre at Sydney Law School.


3 July 2019 to 5 July 2019



Food Governance Conference Page


Sydney Law School, the University of Sydney's Charles Perkins Centre, and The George Institute for Global Health will host the second Food Governance Conference in 2019.

Opening public oration: Hilal Elver, UN Rapporteur on the Right to Food.

Keynote speakers on main days of the conference:

Amandine Garde, Law & NCD Unit, University of Liverpool

Juan Rivera, National Institute of Public Health of Mexico

Everybody eats; it is the key to our survival, but food also has the potential to compromise health. The global food system is challenged by issues of drought, climate change, trade, malnutrition, and exploited workers. Population growth and the forces of marketization have further compromised the ability of the food system to deliver safe, nutritious and sustainable food to the world's population.

In conjunction with the University of Sydney's Charles Perkins Centre, The George Institute for Global Health and Sydney Law School will be hosting the second Food Governance Conference from 3 - 5 of July 2019. The Food Governance Conference will explore how law, policy, and regulation address food system challenges or contribute to them at local, national, regional, and global levels. This includes issues such as food security, food safety, food sustainability, equity and social justice in global food systems, and nutrition: under/malnutrition, obesity, and noncommunicable disease.

While food-specific law and regulation will be a key focus of the Food Governance Conference, it will consider how broader legislative and policy regimes impede or facilitate access to a nutritious, equitable, and sustainable food supply, including economic, trade, and intellectual property regimes.

The conference takes a broad, interdisciplinary approach, in the hope of highlighting the interrelationships between the main challenges facing the global food system in the 21st century, and to create new opportunities for collaboration between researchers, policymakers and practitioners in the related fields of food safety, security, and sustainability, and diet-related health.


Head to the Food Governance Conference page for full information



Closed workshops: Wednesday 3 July, 2019
(The Organizing Committee invites expressions of interest for hosting invitation-only workshops on the 3 July at Sydney Law School. EOIs should be no more than one page in length, contain a declaration of conflicts of interests, and be submitted by Thursday, 18 April 2019. For more information, or to submit an EOI, please contact Belinda Reeve -

Opening public oration: 6-7.30pm, Wednesday 3 July, 2019

Main days of the conference: Thursday 4 July - Friday 5 July, 2019

Early bird registration closes: Friday 3 May, 2019

Abstract submissions: 

Abstract submission open: Monday September 10, 2018

Abstract submission closes: Friday March 1, 2019 (date has been extended)

Notification to authors: Friday 29 March, 2019


More information and submission of abstracts


Registration fees (GST included):

Early bird full fee: $160 (until 3 May 2019)

Full fee: $200 (from 4 May 2019)

Sydney Law School alumni/students: $120

Day rates: $100 per day


Indigenous Legal Research Workshop    View Summary
8 July 2019 to 9 July 2019

Call for applications


Indigenous Legal Research Workshop

Sydney Law School invites applications for participation in a workshop for Higher Degree Research students and Early Career Researchers. We welcome applications from Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander scholars researching in all legal areas. We also welcome applications from non-Indigenous scholars working in the broad field of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the law, including inter-disciplinary research.

The focus of this workshop is on research presentation, developing networking opportunities and mentoring from experienced academics in developing research and an academic career in legal scholarship. Over two days, participants will present their research followed by discussion and feedback from peers and more senior academics who will be attending in a mentoring role. In addition, participants will be exposed to a variety of speakers who will share their research experiences. Numbers will be limited to facilitate participants getting to know one another and to maintain an atmosphere of collegiality in sharing insights and challenges in research and academic experience. This will be the third time we have held this workshop and feedback from past participants was overwhelmingly positive.

In addition to participant presentations, there will be two mentoring sessions:

- Forging a career in academia: This session is an opportunity to obtain answers to those questions you have about how to carve out a career in academia. From the outside, the academy can often seem enigmatic. What are the traditional and alternative pathways into academia? What are the unwritten rules and politics surrounding obtaining an academic position? The aim of this session is to help participants think strategically about their career and the value of diverse perspectives and experiences to academic work in enhancing career progression.

- Ethical research: This session is about the ethical and political issues surrounding research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and issues. What do the ethical research guidelines mean in practice? Why is ethical research imperative? What are the gaps between the ethical research guidelines and ethical obligations to people and communities? What are the best ways to handle these situations? This is an opportunity to discuss ethical issues that you may have faced and to learn from others in the field.


Gilbert + Tobin has generously agreed to fund the workshop and funding is available to assist participant's travel and accommodation.

Call for Applications

To apply to participate in this workshop, please submit the following information via our online application form by Friday 26 April 2019:

- A brief statement explaining your ongoing research project and the question your research addresses (about one page)

- A brief CV.

Call for applications online form

Successful applicants will be notified by Wednesday 8 May 2019.

The workshop will be held at the University of Sydney Law School.

If you'd like other information, please do not hesitate to contact,, or


Book Launch: Sir Owen Dixon's Legacy   View Summary
16 July 2019



BOOK LAUNCH: Sir Owen Dixon's Legacy

Dr John Eldridge, Sydney Law School

Tim Pilkington, Associate Lecturer, Sydney Law School

Key address: Bret Walker SC

Sir Owen Dixon is the most renowned jurist Australia has ever produced. His lasting significance stems not only from a mastery of the technique of the common law, but from his involvement in many of the most important decisions in Australia's legal history. During the course of his long tenure on the High Court of Australia, Dixon oversaw the development of virtually every branch of the law. This volume contributes to the understanding of Dixon's jurisprudence, his judicial method and present-day significance. It ranges widely over the various branches of the law which were enriched by his contributions. The contributors include leading scholars and jurists from across Australia.

About the authors

Dr John Eldridge is a Lecturer at Sydney Law School. His research is principally concerned with the law of obligations. His research has been published in leading journals in Australia and abroad. He is a graduate of the University of Adelaide and the University of Cambridge.

Tim Pilkington is an Associate Lecturer at Sydney Law School. His research is principally concerned with the law of obligations and the philosophy of law. He is a graduate of the University of Auckland and the University of New South Wales.

Information about the book


CALL FOR PAPERS: Australasian Society of Legal Philosophy annual conference   View Summary
18 July 2019 to 19 July 2019


Registration is not yet open for the conference on 18-19 July. To be kept up to date with conference information, including when conference registration opens, please email

Australasian Society of Legal Philosophy annual conference

The annual conference of the Australasian Society of Legal Philosophy will be hosted by the Julius Stone Institute of Jurisprudence at the University of Sydney on 18-19 July 2019.

Keynotes will be delivered by Professor Connie Rosati (University of Arizona) and Professor Ngaire Naffine (University of Adelaide).

The annual book symposium will focus on Natural Law and the Nature of Law by Professor Jonathan Crowe (Bond University), which is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press. Commentary will be provided by Professor Margaret Davies (Flinders University), Dr Matthew Lister (Deakin University) and Dr Joshua Neoh (Australian National University).

Call for Papers

The ASLP welcomes philosophical or theoretically-oriented papers from any field of legal inquiry. The aim of the ASLP Conference is to provide a forum for the discussion and debate of a range of issues in legal theory, broadly defined. It is by no means restricted to analytic legal philosophy, and we strongly encourage the involvement of participants from other disciplines and the inclusion of topics from outside mainstream legal theory.

Postgraduate Workshop

A Postgraduate Workshop for PhD students will be held before the conference. The workshop provides PhD students with the opportunity to receive feedback on works-in-progress on any topic in legal theory in a supportive and collaborative environment.

Abstract Submission

Abstracts for both the ASLP Conference and the Postgraduate Workshop should be emailed to the ASLP President, Dr Kevin Walton (, by Wednesday 1 May 2019. Abstracts should be 100-200 words in length.

More information about the Australasian Society of Legal Philosophy and the conference