The advisory board of the Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies consists of leading Australian and international public lawyers.
Ian Cunliffe has had a long career as a solicitor in private practice and a senior federal public servant. He has been a partner of some of Australia's largest legal partnerships, and also practised under his own name. Earlier, Ian was successively head of the Legal Section of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Secretary and Director of Research of the Australian Law Reform Commission and chief executive of the Australian Constitutional Commission. At the beginning of his career, Ian was Associate to Sir Cyril Walsh at the High Court of Australia. He holds degrees in Arts and Law from the Australian National University. His constitutional interests focus on the role of the Constitution as a brake on government and as a guarantor of freedom of interference by government. He was the unsuccessful litigant (3:4) in the implied rights case Cunliffe v.The Commonwealth (1994) 182 CLR 272.
Dr Stephen Donaghue QC
Dr Stephen Donaghue QC was appointed Solicitor-General on 14 December 2016 and commenced in the role on 16 January 2017. He holds degrees in Arts and Law from the University of Melbourne, and received the Supreme Court Prize as the top graduate in law at the University of Melbourne in 1995. He also holds a DPhil from Oxford University (Magdalen College), where he studied after receiving Menzies and Commonwealth scholarships. Prior to commencing at the Bar, Dr Donaghue was an Associate to Justice Hayne at the High Court of Australia.
Dr Donaghue joined the Victorian Bar in 2001, and took silk in 2011. He appeared regularly before the Full Court of the High Court, principally in matters involving constitutional and administrative law, and he also appeared in many complex appellate and trial matters in the Federal Court of Australia.
He is a Senior Fellow at the University of Melbourne Law School. Prior to his appointment, he was also the Chair of the Public Law Section of the Commercial Bar Association and a member of the Constitutional Law Committee of the Law Council of Australia.
Dr Gavan Griffith AO QC
Gavan Griffith AO, QC., was Solicitor-General of Australia from 1984 to 1997 and practices as counsel and as an international arbitrator from chambers in Melbourne and at Essex Court Chambers, London.
Peter Hanks QC
Peter Hanks practices predominantly in public law; administrative law and constitutional law. He appears regularly for Commonwealth and State government agencies, and against those agencies, in the Federal Court, High Court, State and Territory Supreme Courts, Commonwealth AAT and VCAT. He has published several books on constitutional law and administrative law. He is a consultant to Butterworths' 'High Court and Federal Court Practice'.
Wendy Harris QC
Wendy Harris is a Melbourne barrister, specialising in constitutional and commercial law, with a particular interest in free expression. She has been involved in a number of leading constitutional cases, including Theophanous v Herald & Weekly Times; Kruger v Commonwealth; Kartinyeri v Commonwealth and Grain Pool of WA v Commonwealth. She has an active public law practice, and has spoken and written in national and international fora on free expression and other constitutional issues.
Justice Christopher Maxwell AC
Justice Maxwell is currrently the President of the Victorian Court of Appeal. As a barrister his interests lie in the field of public law - administrative law, constitutional law, FOI and related areas such as taxation and customs. He has appeared in a number of constitutional and other cases in the High Court, dealing with issues ranging from environmental law and copyright to taxation and industrial law. Chris has had a range of experience with boards and Commissions of Inquiry as: Counsel assisting the Mental Health Review Board in the Garry David case (1990); Junior Counsel for the State Bank of Victoria in the Tricontinental Royal Commission (1990-92); Counsel assisting the Judicial Inquiry into the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (1994-5). He has also had a variety of commercial experience, including as junior counsel for the State of Victoria in its negligence action against the former auditors of Tricontinental.
Justice Debra Mortimer
Justice Mortimer was appointed to the Federal Court in July 2013, based in Melbourne. Prior to her appointment, she was a member of the Victorian Bar and was appointed Senior Counsel in 2003. She remains a Senior Fellow at Melbourne Law School and a member of the Advisory Board of the Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies.
Justice Mortimer's practice was principally in public law, together with anti discrimination and extradition law, and in all areas she acted for both applicants and respondents, and for and against government, in state and federal jurisdictions including in the High Court.
Justice Mortimer has had a substantial public interest practice, particularly in migration law, environmental law and anti-discrimination law, and was involved in many ground-breaking cases over the last 20 years. She has received a number of awards in respect of this work, including the 2011 Law Council of Australia President's Medal, the Victorian Bar's Pro Bono Perpetual Trophy and the Australian Human Rights Commission Law Award.
Justice Mark Kranz Moshinsky
Justice Stephen McLeish
Stephen McLeish is a Judge of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Victoria. He was the Solicitor-General for Victoria from 2011 until 2015, having been a member of the Victorian Bar since 1993. He practised primarily in the areas of commercial and public law and was appointed as Senior Counsel in 2007. Before going to the Bar he was a solicitor with Arthur Robinson & Hedderwicks (now Allens), practising in banking and finance and corporate law. He holds a Masters Degree in Law from Harvard University where he studied on a Frank Knox Memorial Fellowship and Bachelor’s Degrees in Arts and with Honours in Law from the University of Melbourne, where he was awarded the Supreme Court Prize in 1986.
Professor Brian Opeskin
Brian Opeskin is the Professor of Legal Governance at Macquarie Law School, Sydney. Prior to joining Macquarie University, he held positions as Head of the Law School at the University of the South Pacific in Vanuatu (2006-2008); Commissioner and then Deputy President of the Australian Law Reform Commission (2000-2006); academic at Sydney University Law School (1989-2000) where he was Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Postgraduate Studies; and as Associate to Justice Mason at the High Court of Australia (1985-1986). He undertook his undergraduate degrees in economics and law at the University of New South Wales and then pursued postgraduate study at Oxford University on a Shell Australia scholarship. Brian researches and teaches in the broad field of public law, and has written widely on constitutional law; courts, judges and jurisdiction; international law; and conflict of laws. While at the Australian Law Reform Commission, he was Commissioner in charge of five public inquiries, including inquires into federal judicial power, the protection of human genetic information, gene patenting and human health, sentencing of federal offenders, and sedition laws.
Jason Pizer QC
Jason Pizer is a Victorian barrister who practises mainly in administrative law. He won the Melbourne University Supreme Court prize and was an associate to Sir Anthony Mason. He is the author of Pizer's Annotated VCAT Act and the editor of Pizer, Victorian Administrative Law.
Justice Richard R S Tracey
Justice Tracey was appointed to the Federal Court of Australia in July 2006. A former student and senior lecturer at the University of Melbourne, Richard Tracey was Queen's Counsel in Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales. His civil practice concentrated on administrative law and industrial law. He also had a long and distinguished military practise including as Judge Advocate and Reviewing Judge Advocate (Defence Force Magistrate). Since 2007 he has been the Judge Advocate General of the Australian Defence Force. He is also President of the Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal.
He was a member of various Commonwealth tribunals and was senior counsel assisting the Royal Commission into the Building and Construction Industry.