“As organisers, Associate Professor Greg Weeks and I are delighted with the program and the contribution that the conference will make to the intellectual engagement of the College with the judiciary, government and legal practice,” says Professor James Stellios, CIPL Director.
“We’re also looking forward to celebrating the achievements of Emeritus Professors Creyke AO and McMillan AO and the role they have played in administrative law and public administration in Australia.
“Robin has been a member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, Integrity Advisor at the Australian Taxation Office, Commissioner of the ACT Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission and member of the Administrative Review Council.
“Continuing an ANU tradition, John was appointed Commonwealth Ombudsman in 2003. He has since performed the roles of Australian Information Commissioner, Integrity Commissioner (Acting) for the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity and Acting NSW Ombudsman. Like Robin, he served on the Administrative Review Council.”
Many of the speakers have connections to ANU, including alumni such as the High Court’s Justice Stephen Gageler AC ((BEc ’80, LLB (Hons) ’82, HonLLD ‘15) who will explore the role of integrity agencies.
The Weekend will be preceded on 1 November by the prestigious Geoffrey Sawer Lecture, delivered this year by alumna the Hon Margaret Stone FAAL (LLB (Hons) '76). Ms Stone, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security since 2015, will discuss the legal and ethical framework in which the Australian intelligence community operates.
The College’s administrative law specialists, Professor Kim Rubenstein, Associate Professor Greg Weeks, Associate Professor Leighton McDonald, Daniel Stewart and Dr Will Bateman will be presenting papers. For example, Professor Rubenstein will discuss citizenship, statelessness and administrative law, while Associate Professor McDonald will tackle the conceptual minefield of jurisdictional error. Daniel Stewart and Dr Bateman will consider the administrative law implications of AI decision-making.
Associate Professor Weeks will outline attacks on integrity offices including the Commonwealth Ombudsman and Administrative Appeals Tribunal, and the difficulties faced in trying to amend the Australian Constitution under which such offices operate.
“The value and importance of integrity bodies is widely accepted outside the executive, a conclusion which argues strongly for offering them greater security than the current separation of powers model is able to do,” Greg Weeks will tell the conference.
“The internal balance of the separation of powers doctrine is beguiling. The fact that it is central to the drafting of the Australian Constitution creates disquiet when change is suggested.”
The Australian Government Solicitor is the weekend’s major sponsor, with the Australian Institute of Administrative Law also providing support. Registrations for the conference can be made until close of business on Tuesday, 30 October.