ACPL launches illuminating collection of essays

26 Feb 2014
The Hon Justice Peter Applegarth, Dr Darryn Jensen and ACPL Director Professor Ross Grantham
The Hon Justice Peter Applegarth, Dr Darryn Jensen and ACPL Director Professor Ross Grantham

The Australian Centre for Private Law (ACPL) hosted the official launch of ‘Private Law: Key Encounters with Public Law' (Cambridge University Press) at an event in Brisbane on 13 February.

The edited collection of essays by UQ private law experts and ACPL Fellows Professor Kit Barker and Dr Darryn Jensen re-examines the increasingly complex relationship between private and public law and includes contributions from leading private law scholars in Australia, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Ireland.

These contributions trace a number of encounters between private law and 'public' law and public values in key areas of private law doctrine, such as charity law, commercial law, tort law and class actions, across several jurisdictions. It examines the influence within these fields of public law concepts and goals, such as behavioural modification, accountability and anti-discrimination norms, as well as the (reverse) influence that private law has upon ('public') human rights jurisprudence.

In his closing remarks special guest speaker The Hon. Justice Peter D Applegarth, Judge of the Supreme Court of Queensland, congratulated the book’s contributors and editors for their ‘fine’ work.

“Some days I sit in the criminal jurisdiction, unmistakeably dealing with public law. But other days, when I sit in the civil jurisdiction or in applications I am dealing with both public law and private law,” Justice Applegarth said.

“This book has made me think about what we mean when we deploy those terms. How does one influence the other? This book has made me appreciate that in applying what most of us would describe as private law I am working in a twilight zone; the place where night meets day; the zone where private law encounters public law. I am very grateful for the illumination which this work provides.”

The Australian Centre for Private Law was established in 2012 to build on the expertise and enthusiasm of the large group of private law scholars in the TC Beirne School of Law and to assist in the systematic study of the private law, both in Australia and internationally. In doing so, the research undertaken by the Fellows of the ACPL seeks to incrementally clarify and simplify the private law and, through law reform proposals, better adapt it to the social and economic needs of Australia.