Current Legal Issues Seminars 2021

2021 Seminar Series

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.

  1. Forensic Evidence in Criminal Proceedings
  2. Common Law Relief from Penalties: When Did it All Begin?
  3. Religious Freedom, Religious Discrimination and the Role of Law

Seminar 1: Forensic Evidence in Criminal Proceedings: “The Main Problems with Australian Responses to Forensic Science and Medical Evidence”

Date10th June 2021
SpeakerProfessor Gary Edmond,  UNSW Law
CommentatorMr Saul Holt QC
ChairThe Hon Justice Peter Applegarth AM, Supreme Court of Queensland
AbstractSensitive to enduring legal commitments and values, but drawing directly upon scientific research and advice, this paper will explain what is required to present, contest and evaluate forensic science and medicine evidence in criminal proceedings. It will identify areas of Australian legal practice that are curiously inconsistent with scientific recommendations and discuss these anomalies. Using examples, the paper will explain why some prevailing legal approaches to forensic science and medicine are misguided and suggest ways in which practice might be improved so that legal uses are more consistent with the recommendations of mainstream scientists.
RegisterVia the Queensland Bar Association 


Seminar 2: Common Law Relief from Penalties: When Did it All Begin?

DateThis seminar has been postponed due to restrictions making it difficult for the presenters to travel. It has been rescheduled for the 2022 seminar series.
SpeakerDr Peter Turner
CommentatorProfessor Warren Swain, University of Auckland
ChairThe Hon Justice David Jackson, Supreme Court of Queensland

The beginnings of curial relief from contractual penalties have drawn the attention of counsel and judges in modern litigation on the penalty doctrine. Roots have been traced to the activities of the old Court of Chancery and to the more obscure activities of the common law courts at Westminster - chiefly the King’s Bench. The earliness of common law intervention has influenced how appellate courts in Australia and England have stated the penalty doctrine for current times. This talk will consider when common law relief from penalties began, and the bearing those origins have on the pleading and decision of cases today.

Register Registrations are currently closed due to postponement. 


Seminar 3: Religious Freedom, Religious Discrimination and the Role of Law

DateThis seminar has been postponed. It has been rescheduled for the 2022 seminar series.
SpeakerProfessor Carolyn Evans, Vice-Chancellor and President, Griffith University
CommentatorProfessor Patrick Parkinson, School of Law, The University of Queensland
ChairThe Hon Justice Sarah Derrington, Federal Court of Australia, President of the Australian Law Reform Commission.
AbstractReligious freedom and freedom from discrimination on the basis of religion are well-established rights in international law and many jurisdictions have a substantial case-law that examine both of these rights, including the tensions between them. While some limited forms of these rights are protected in the constitution, to date there has been a relatively limited case law in Australia. With the development of statutory bills of rights and increased social tensions between secular and religious Australians, however, the law is increasingly being asked to step into conflicts that involve religion. What can we learn from the Australian case law to date and from other similar jurisdictions that can help Australian courts and legal policy makers with the complex issues that arise in this realm?
Register Registrations are currently closed due to postponement.