About the Conference

Constitutional Law Conference 2021

23 July 2021
Melbourne Law School

Conference Convenors Professor Adrienne Stone and Professor Jason Varuhas.

Dr Jason Varuhas

We warmly invite you to the Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies Constitutional Law Conference, to be held via Zoom on Friday 23 July 2021.


The Conference will commence with a keynote address by the Hon. Justice Michelle Gordon AC, who will consider the themes and legacy of Australian Communist Party v Commonwealth (1951).

Confirmed speakers include the Hon. Justice Andrew Bell (President, NSW Court of Appeal), Hon. Justice Melinda Richards (Supreme Court of Victoria), Dr Ruth Higgins SC (Banco Chambers), Timothy Goodwin (List A Barristers), Laureate Professor Emeritus Cheryl Saunders AO (Melbourne), Professor Rosalind Dixon (UNSW), Professor Kristen Rundle (Melbourne), and Professor Jason Varuhas (Melbourne).

These speakers will address two key themes. The first theme is the rule of law. Speakers will consider its place in the High Court's constitutional case law, Indigenous perspectives on the rule of law following Love v Commonwealth, and comparative lessons. The second theme is government, courts and the law after COVID-19. Speakers will consider legal issues arising from hotel quarantine, legal regulation of the use of soft law, emergency powers, and the use of technology in court proceedings.

A final panel will mark the career of the Hon. Justice Geoffrey Nettle AC with a panel featuring the Hon. Justice Kenneth Hayne AC (formerly High Court of Australia), Julian Murphy (Melbourne), Julia Wang (Dever's List) and Dr Scott Stephenson (Melbourne).


Registrations close Monday 19 July 2021. Early Bird registration closes Friday 25 June 2021. Follow these links for further details about the conference programme and how to register. Information on registration pricing can be found here. Zoom links will be sent to registrants closer to the time of the conference.