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George Williams is Dean of Law at the University of New South Wales. This is the full text of his address to the National Press Club on 30 August 2017.
The right to petition Parliament for redress of grievances spans many centuries. For much of this time, petitions served a key role in bringing the concerns of the people directly before Parliament for consideration and debate. In the Australian Parliament, petitioning has long been in...
The Australian Constitution lays down a process for creating new states out of the existing states that form the Australian Federation. This article explores that process, in historical and political perspective. It examines the drafting of the relevant provisions of the Constitution,...
Public opinion is now overwhelmingly in favour of the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia’s Constitution. What would be the symbolic and practical implications of such a change – and who is leading the push for a referendum?
This article explores the dynamic by which once exceptional measures become normalised and then extended to new extremes.
Since September 11, Australia’s federal Parliament has enacted a range of exceptional measures aimed at preventing terrorism. These measures include control orders, which...
Australia does need new anti-terror laws, but many of the measures being proposed by the Abbott government go far beyond what is required, according to this speech presented at the Lionel Murphy Memorial Lecture 2014.
My topic today is one of...
Introduction : This article presents statistical information about the High Court’s decision making for 2013 at both an institutional and individual level, with an emphasis on constitutional cases as a subset of the total. The results have been compiled using the same methodology employed...
In this video, a panel debates the need for a treaty – and the way to achieve true reconciliation in Australia with Indigenous Australians.
This article presents statistical information about the High Court’s decision making for 2011 at both an institutional and individual level, with an emphasis on constitutional cases as a subset of the total.
The authors emphasise the importance of acknowledging the limitations that inhere in...
This article catalogues Australia’s record of enacting anti-terror laws since 9/11. With the benefit of perspective that a decade brings, it draws conclusions and identifies lessons about this body of law for the Australian legal system and the ongoing task of protecting the community from...