The UQLS is proud to announce that Professor Graeme Orr will deliver the 2017 MinterEllison Sir Harry Gibbs Lecture.

Should electors be able to elect any fellow elector? Or should there be constitutional barriers to potential MPs? Are such barriers workable, and what are their impacts on minor party candidates especially?

In the past year, 10 members of the national parliament – at last count - have been the subject of expensive court action. Over issues like ‘dual citizenship’ and ‘pecuniary interest in an agreement with the public service’. Rules which in the main do not apply to State elections. Rules which have 18th and 19th-century roots, in a Constitution that is fairly thin on political values. It does not guarantee a right to vote, for example.

The talk will explore the history and rationales behind the thicket of rules in the Australian Constitution about who can be an MP. It will also explore the arguments behind, and legal and political consequences of, the High Court cases involving Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and six others, which are being heard in October.

About the speaker

Graeme Orr is a professor at the University of Queensland Law School, specialising in the law of politics. His books include The Law of Politics, Ritual and Rhythm in Electoral Systems and The Law of Deliberative Democracy and his PhD explored the history and regulation of electoral bribery. Graeme regularly comments publicly on the rules and norms of politics, with over 100 op-ed pieces in major newspapers and online outlets. He was formerly international editor of the Election Law Journal and in 2014 was elected to the Australian Academy of Law.

About UQLS Sir Harry Gibbs Lecture

The Sir Harry Gibbs lecture is organised by the University of Queensland Law Society and the TC Beirne School of Law.  It is delivered to UQ students and staff by a prominent legal, political or community figure speaking on important contemporary issues.

The Society, the largest independent student organisation in Queensland, was founded in 1937 by Sir Harry Gibbs. The Society aims to enrich the law school experience for our members, many of which have gone on to achieve great success as community leaders, legal practitioners, political figures and members of the judiciary.

In keeping with that mission, the annual Sir Harry Gibbs Lecture was established in 2012 to engage prominent legal and political figures to address students and staff of the UQ Law School on important contemporary issues. Past speakers include Mr Julian Burnside AO QC, Professor Graeme Orr, the Honourable Justice Patrick Keane and the Honourable George Brandis QC, Attorney General for Australia. The popularity of the lecture has grown since its creation, with approximately 400 attendees at the 2016 lecture given by the Honourable Michael Kirby AC CMG.


St Lucia
Room 358 - Physiology Lecture Theatres (Building 63)