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Navigating a complicated relationship: The role of the Solicitor-General

OPINION: Associate Professor Gabrielle Appleby, Law Society Journal, December 2016.

This year marked the celebration of a century since the establishment of the office of the Commonwealth Solicitor-General. It also marked a bitter public feud between the Attorney-General and Solicitor-General, and saw the resignation of the Solicitor-General, Justin Gleeson SC, who cited an ‘irretrievably broken’ relationship between the Law Officers. 

Our nation's rulebook is showing its age: we desperately need a review of the Constitution

OPINION: Professor George Williams AO, The Sydney Morning Herald, 2 January 2017.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of when Australians last voted to change the Constitution. That was on May 21,1977, when the people voted Yes to three proposals, including setting a retirement age of 70 for federal judges. This remains the most successful referendum day in the nation's history.

Indonesian blasphemy saga: Islamic hardliner accused of insulting Christianity

Dr Melissa Crouch speaks to The Age (28 December 2016) regarding Habib Rizieq allegedly insulting Christianity during a sermon on Christmas Day.

"I think it is probably unprecedented for a Catholic group to lodge a complaint against a radical Islamist leader," Dr Crouch said. "I think we are in uncharted waters."

Berlin Attack: Far-Right AFD blames Merkel's Immigration Policy

Associate Professor Christopher Michaelsen speaks to ABC News Radio (21 December 2016) regarding the Berlin Christmas Market attack which resulted in the death of twelve people.

Associate Professor Michaelsen said, "It was within five minutes that representatives from the AFD party, the Populist party in Germany, called for repercussions and called for Merkel to take responsibility for it. I think it's sort of an exaggeration because German policies have been tightened in the past 12 months already, so I think it's a misrepresentation of what's actually happening."

Report urges pragmatism in refugee debate

Madeline Gleeson speaks to Lawyers Weekly (20 December 2016) regarding The Kaldor Centre's push to direct refugee and asylum seeker debate towards finding solutions.

"There are minimum legal standards that govern whether third-country resettlement is appropriate,” Ms Gleeson said, “Because the group of refugees on Manus Island and Nauru has suffered distinctly as a result of Australia’s policies, they require a higher standard of services.

Will treaties with Indigenous Australians overtake constitutional recognition?

OPINION: Harry Hobbs, The Conversation, 20 December 2016.

Discussions have begun between the South Australian government and three Indigenous nations aimed at finalising a treaty.

Australian expats should be allowed to vote here, no matter how long they've been away

OPINION: Professor George Williams AO, The Sydney Morning Herald, 19 December 2016.

The 2016 federal election has given rise to many reform ideas. Electronic voting has been supported by Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten, while others have called for a radical overhaul of political donations. Another persistent idea is that every Australian should be entitled to vote, even if they live overseas. Other countries permit this, and we should follow their lead.

China vows to fight US and EU over anti-dumping measures

Dr Weihuan Zhou speaks to news.com.au (17 December 2016) regarding China’s vow to take action against the west over the scrapping of trade promises it claims were made 15 years ago.

Dr Zhou said, “Firstly, China may not have a measure to argue against until the US and EU actually apply the non-market economy methodology by using surrogate prices/costs in an anti-dumping case.” 

“Secondly, even if they did use surrogate prices/costs in calculating dumping margins, it may find a justification under the WTO Anti-Dumping Agreement," he said.

The process for Australia to become a republic

Associate Professor Gabrielle Appleby appears on Channel Ten's, The Project (16 December 2016), regarding the possibility of Australia becoming a Republic.

Associate Professor Appleby said, "There is a sense that the best way to achieve success, would be to first have some sort of plebiscite before further developing the model and looking towards constitutional change and a referendum."

View the full program here. Associate Professor Appleby appears at 5m 50s.

Law reform report urges greater rights for victims

Dr Tyrone Kirchengast speaks to ABC's The World Today (9 December 2016) regarding a Victorian law reform commission on victim rights during criminal trial.

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