Current Legal Issues Seminars 2019

Seminar programme:

The seminar series seeks to bring together leading scholars, practitioners and members of the judiciary in Queensland and from abroad to discuss key issues of contemporary significance.

Seminar 1: Social Justice - "Corporate Commitment to Human Rights in Australia"

Date 9 May 2019
Speaker Professor Sally Wheeler, Australian National University
Commentator Tim L’Estrange, Partner, Jones Day
Chair The Honorable Justice Sue Brown, Supreme Court of Queensland

This paper draws on data collected from the ASX 50 with a focus on policy commitment to human rights. As the UNGP makes clear a policy commitment is the most basic form of recognition that corporations should afford to human rights. It is particularly important to look at this now as Australian corporations prepare to submit their first reports for the rather less ambitious requirements of the Modern Slavery Act 2018. The data reveals that there is generally a low compliance with policy commitment and that several factors revealed by the data can be identified as key to predicting whether compliance will occur or not. 

The ASX is an interesting exchange to study because it contains listed companies in key areas for human rights; agriculture and extractive industries. However it also reflects all 11 sectors of the Global Industry Classification Standard. Australia is a G20 economy with 28 years of continuous economic growth. We might expect rather stronger support for human rights respect in line with Australia’s position on other ESG standards. The paper suggests reasons why, culturally, following Charlesworth’s ‘Australian reluctance about rights’ this is not the case.

Seminar 2: Equity/Restitution - "Unjust Enrichment and Equity"

Date 13 June 2019
Speaker The Honorable Justice Julie Ward, Chief Judge in Equity, Supreme Court of New South Wales
Commentator Professor Kit Barker, UQ Law School
Chair The Honorable Justice Catherine Holmes, Chief Justice of Queensland

Seminar 3: Criminal Law

Date 22 August 2019
Speaker Professor David Hamer, University of Sydney
Commentator Benedict Power, Barrister- at-Law
Chair The Honorable Justice Soraya Ryan, Supreme Court of Queensland

Seminar 4: International Law - "The Prospects for Reform of Investor-State Dispute Settlement"

Date 17 October 2019
Speaker Professor Chester Brown, University of Sydney
Commentator Professor Anthony Cassimatis, UQ Law School
Chair The Honorable Justice James Douglas, Supreme Court of Queensland