2016 Postgraduate Workshop in Public Law

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Law Faculty, UNSW
Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law
Thu, 2016-07-14 - Fri, 2016-07-15


On 14-15 July the Centre hosted its 4th biennial Postgraduate Workshop in Public Law. As in previous years, the workshop provided postgraduate researchers with the opportunity to share their work, offer each other constructive feedback and ideas, and form new collegial relationships to carry into their future careers. This year’s workshop was distinguished by an unprecedented number of applications to participate, making for a very competitive selection process. In total, 22 students delivered presentations, representing 14 different institutions in Australia, South Africa and the United Kingdom. Presentations ranged from deep engagement with recent jurisprudence on core principles of public law, to proposals for the creation of new representative and deliberative institutions, to the study of government lawyers’ involvement in controversial public policy and political decision-making.

Dean George Williams opened the conference by sharing valuable advice on how postgraduate researchers can approach their work to establish expertise, pursue publication, and set the foundation for academic careers. Professor Janet McLean of the University of Auckland then delivered a keynote address exploring the intersection of public law, ideology, and politics. Reflecting on personal experiences, she noted the influence of early career exposure to public law issues that became lasting sources of research interest, assuming new significance over time. Several participants remarked on Professor McLean’s generosity in participating in all student panels, and on her genuine interest to speak with students individually throughout the workshop.

Participant feedback reinforced the exceptional quality of presentations and the workshop’s value in supporting students’ research pursuits. The workshop remains one of the highlights of the Centre’s calendar.

The Program and Abstract document for the 2016 Workshop available.