Topic: In June 2014 the High Court handed down its decision in Williams v Commonwealth of Australia [2014] HCA 23 (19 June 2014) ('Williams (No 2)'). The Court unanimously struck down the funding agreement between the Commonwealth Government and Scripture Union Queensland (SU QLD), which allowed SU QLD to provide chaplaincy services in public schools. The decision revisited the High Court's previous findings in Williams (No 1), a decision that dramatically evolved legal principles relating to Commonwealth spending capacities, and touched on core issues of federal-state relations. The High Court’s decision in Williams (No 2) also involves important interpretations of the federal power to make laws with respect to 'benefits to students' under section 51 (xxiiiA) of the Constitution.

Speakers: Professor Andrew Lynch - University of New South Wales, Peter Dunning QC - Solicitor General, Peter James - CEO of Scripture Union Queensland and former Partner at Allens Linklaters

Registration Fees: Registration is free for members of the Australian Association of Constitutional Law (AACL). Registration is $20 for non members. No refunds will be issued for cancellations after Friday, 15 August 2014.

The Australian Association of Constitutional Law welcomes new members. A person may become an ordinary member by applying for membership, subscribing to the objects of AACL and paying the annual subscription. Completed application forms obtained from the AACL website can be sent to Dr Rebecca Ananian-Welsh, TC Beirne School of Law, The University of Queensland, St Lucia Qld 4072, for nomination, seconding and processing in accordance with the rules of the AACL.

CPD Points: The series has been accredited for CPD purposes by the Queensland Bar Association Code: CCCCS0819. Participants will accrue 1 CPD point per hour of attendance and 3 CPD points per hour of presentation in the non-allocated strand.

About Current Constitutional Controversies - Occasional Colloquium Series

This series is a joint initiative of:


Current Constitutional Controversies is a high-profile colloquium series dedicated to timely and incisive discussion of the most important constitutional cases decided by the High Court each year, and other topical questions of constitutional law.

The series, presented by the UQ Law School and the Queensland Chapter of the Australian Association of Constitutional Law, provides a forum for leading scholars, practitioners and members of the judiciary to analyse and discuss current constitutional issues.


Attendance is on a RSVP basis and restricted to numbers appropriate to a colloquium format. 


Due to the informal nature of the event, speakers will not necessarily prepare written papers. If a paper is written for distribution it will be made available through this website. A hard copy will not be provided at the colloquium itself.


Queen Elizabeth II Courts of Law,
415 George Street, Brisbane
The Conference Centre, Level 12