On the 11th September, the Australian Centre of Private Law, in association with the Bar Association of Queensland, hosted a one-day symposium on the topic of private law and power. The event brought together an impressive line-up of national and international experts to discuss the ways in which the power of the State, institutions and private individuals is regulated in the modern day by the rules of private law and processes of civil courts. Distinguished speakers included Professor Peter Cane (Australian National University), Professor Sarah Worthington (Cambridge University); the Honourable Justice PD McMurdo (Supreme Court of Queensland), Professor Donal Nolan (Oxford University) , Professor Matthew Harding (Melbourne University) and Professor Paul Finn (Melbourne University, former Justice of the Federal Court of Australia). The event is the second in an annual series of symposia run by the Centre and was attended by thirty judges, academic experts and legal practitioners. Participants discussed the modern remedies available to private citizens flowing from abuses of state power, or from excesses of authority committed by trustees and commercial agents. They also debated the proper use of class action procedures (which are designed to increase the power of individuals to access civil justice), litigation funding and potential abuses of court process.
The papers delivered at the event and associated proceedings will be published as an edited volume. Last year’s symposium on remedies for Misstatements has recently been published by Hart Publishing: http://www.hartpub.co.uk/BookDetails.aspx?ISBN=9781849468633.
The Centre’s next event on 14th-15th December is an international conference addressing the challenges facing private law in both Australia and other Commonwealth Countries in the 21st Century. For further details and registration, see: http://www.law.uq.edu.au/pl-21-century