ANU Law 60th Anniversary Conference: Public Law and Inequality

To mark the 60th anniversary of ANU Law and the 30th anniversary of the Centre for International and Public Law (CIPL), a major public law conference will be held at the Australian National University in Canberra, on 8-9 December 2020. Full details can be accessed here.

Conference theme: Public Law and Inequality

Growing inequality is a defining challenge of our times, domestically and globally. Yet the role of inequality in social, political and economic life is often muted (sometimes, invisible) in much public law scholarship. Notably, public law’s foundational concepts were forged in a social world where the inevitability of inequality was often taken for granted. The stuttering processes of democratization have rendered that assumption untenable. 

However, although public law scholarship has considered how the field can contribute to political equality, there has been less focus, particularly in recent decades, on the relationship between public law and material equality. The question of whether equality is achievable in a world of yawning disparities in wealth can no longer be brushed aside.

How do public law concepts, institutions and norms frame or contribute to political and material inequality? How can public law and public law scholarship contribute to clear thinking about the set of problems associated with pervasive inequity in contemporary society?

Call for abstracts

We invite papers addressing these and similar themes along a variety of dimensions (e.g. gender), from a number of perspectives (e.g. the experience of Indigenous Peoples) and across multiple disciplines. The conference will be of broad interest to constitutional and administrative law scholars, including those whose work focuses on history and theory of public law or its broader role in social, political, economic and cultural life. 

We encourage abstracts from researchers at all stages of their career. Conference speakers receive a 20% discount on their conference registration fee. 

Plenary Speakers

Peter Cane (University of Cambridge), Rosalind Dixon (UNSW), Tarunabh Kaitan (University of Melbourne/Oxford), Jeff King (University College London), Samuel Moyn (Yale University), Amelia Simpson (ANU), Adrienne Stone (University of Melbourne), Julie Suk (City University of New York), and Asmi Wood (ANU). On the evening preceding the conference, Professor Philip Alston (NYU), will deliver the Professor Geoffrey Sawer annual public lecture.

Related Event – 2020 Geoffrey Sawer Lecture

As a precursor to the conference, the inaugural director of CIPL, Professor Philip Alston, NYU Law and United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, will deliver the annual Geoffrey Sawer Lecture at 6pm on 7 December 2020. This is a free public lecture. Registration for this lecture is separate from the Conference registration and will open in early 2020.

This content has been updated on December 10, 2019 at 17:16.