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Fighting for our Rule Book

This article first appeared in LSJ September 2016, Issue 26, pp. 38-41. Written by Julie McCrossin.

George Williams lives a stone’s throw from UNSW. When I arrive at his house, I am struck by its appearance. I’ve never seen a home with children that’s so clean. Williams and his wife, Emma, a UNSW academic in the field of corporate law, have two children, Edward, 10, and Ellie, 6. The couple met in 1987 while studying first-year law at Macquarie University and have been together ever since.

Is a Royal Commission the best response to the juvenile justice crisis?

OPINION: Melanie Schwartz and Chris Cunneen, The Law Society Journal, September 2016.

It is tempting to back the Prime Minister’s call for a Royal Commission into juvenile justice in the Northern Territory. The impulse that urgent action must be taken is the correct one, and a Royal Commission seems to carry the clout and gravity that reflects the public outrage with the abuse of power leading to the traumatisation and, arguably, torture of children in detention.

Australia’s commitments at refugee summit fall short

OPINON: Professor Jane McAdam, Kaldor Centre, 21 September 2016.

The pledges made by Australia at yesterday's refugee summit in New York are welcome, but fall far short of what is required to make any significant difference to global protection needs. 

Australia has committed to increase its annual refugee intake to 18,750; to give $130 million new funding over three years to support peace-building and provide assistance to refugees in host States; and to help resettle Central American refugees (thereby assisting the US with its own domestic political 'problem').

Greyhound Ban: Constitutional challenge unlikely to be successful

Professor George Williams AO speaks to ABC NewsRadio (20 September 2016) regarding NSW Premier Mike Baird's ban on greyhound racing and a possible constitutional challenge.

What Australia Needs To Bring To The UN Refugees Summit

OPINION: Frances Voon, The Huffington post, 16 September 2016.

Displacement is a global challenge requiring collective international action. This is the imperative driving two historic international summits taking place this week in New York, which Australia will attend.

Australia can buck the trend of female incarceration, UK expert says

Australia could end its decade-long trend of incarcerating more women by copying initiatives adopted in the United Kingdom, a former British politician suggests.  

Australia can address its troubling increase in female incarceration by adopting community-based alternatives built on successful models from the United Kingdom, a leading expert has told an audience at UNSW.

Baroness Jean Corston spoke at UNSW Law yesterday about the need to address the rising number of women in Australia’s prison systems.

Corston served as a British Labour MP for 13 years and was the former chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party, the first woman to hold the position.

Professor Megan Davis appointed to Queensland Youth Justice Review

Professor Megan Davis has been appointed to a Queensland Youth Justice Review.

Professor Davis is one of two independant experts to review the practices, operation and oversight of Queensland's Youth Detention Centres.

Malcolm Turnbull's same-sex marriage bill may hit a High Court hitch

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

Malcolm Turnbull has introduced the Plebiscite (Same-Sex Marriage) Bill 2016 into the federal Parliament. The bill has been overshadowed by the debate over whether a plebiscite is desirable in the first place. Unfortunately for the Prime Minister, his bill strengthens the case of those who reject the national vote. It is flawed in key respects, and could be challenged in the High Court.