Call for papers

The call for papers for the 2018 Public Law Conference is open and will close on Friday 25 August 2017.

Conference theme: The Frontiers of Public Law

The conference convenors invite abstracts which engage with the conference theme: ‘The Frontiers of Public Law’. The convenors’ intention is that this theme will facilitate a number of streams of inquiry while setting parameters that will enable meaningful dialogue both within and across those streams. In particular, the ‘Frontiers’ theme is intended to invite engagement with a range of questions concerning both boundaries within public law and the boundaries of public law.  Such issues include:

  • the relationship between and the respective boundaries of public and private law;
  • lines of constitutional demarcation found within federal systems and the role played by public law in relation to such demarcation issues;
  • the distinction between domestic and international law, and public law’s response to it;
  • the notions of global administrative and constitutional law and their relationship with domestic systems of public  law;
  • the proper extent of public law as a system of accountability or control viewed in the light of political and other non-legal mechanisms;
  • the boundary between law and politics viewed from a public law perspective;
  • the relationship between public law and indigenous law, rights and culture;
  • sources of public law norms beyond legislation and common law, such as administrative policies and guidance, and application of public law norms by actors other than courts, such as public officials;
  • the role played by institutional and constitutional factors in shaping the boundaries of the judicial role in public law adjudication and the role of public law in determining the boundaries of other constitutional actors’ powers;
  • the scope of application of public law norms.

The foregoing is intended to be illustrative of the issues raised by the conference theme, rather than prescriptive or exhaustive.

Please note that one of the aims of the Public Law series is to enable dialogue to take place between participants from different legal systems. In order to allow this to happen within manageable parameters the focus of the conference is on common law jurisdictions.

Submission of abstracts

Prospective speakers are invited to submit abstracts of no more than 500 words addressing any aspect of the conference theme. Abstracts must be submitted by 25 August 2017 using this application form. The completed form should be emailed to the conference convenors at publiclawconference-2018@unimelb.edu.au Abstracts are invited from those at any career stage. Up to 60 papers may be accepted and papers will be selected on the basis of merit and fit with the conference theme. Those who have their abstracts accepted will be required to submit a full written paper by 14 May 2018 for distribution to conference delegates. Please note that speakers will have to meet their own expenses and pay the conference fee in the ordinary way. In common with previous conferences it is intended that an edited collection will be published by Hart Publishing, the conference sponsor, of a small selection of the papers given at the 2018 conference.

Doctoral Students

The 2018 conference, like the 2016 conference, will include dedicated panels for doctoral students, and a fee-waiver programme has been established for doctoral candidates whose papers are accepted.

Richard Hart Prize

The Richard Hart Prize for the best paper by an early career scholar will be awarded at the 2018 conference. Those who are eligible and wish to be considered for the Prize should indicate this on their application form. The eligibility criteria are as follows:

Anyone who (a) is studying for, but who has not yet been awarded, a doctoral degree in Law; or (b) was awarded a doctoral degree in Law on or after 1 July 2015; or (c) was appointed to their first full-time academic position on or after 1 July 2015. No person who has held a full-time academic position for more than three years as of 1 July 2018 shall be eligible for the prize. The conference convenors’ decisions as to eligibility shall be final.

Please note that the Prize will be awarded on the basis of the full written papers submitted in advance of the conference. The winner of the prize will receive an award of AUS$400.

Further details concerning the Melbourne conference — including information about the conference theme, booking, accommodation and the call for papers — can be found on the dedicated 2018 conference website