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Strengthening our commitment to China and the region

UNSW Law’s China International Business & Economic Law (CIBEL) Initiative travelled to Beijing last month to further drive collaboration and strengthen the Faculty’s commitment to China and the region.

The UNSW Law delegation was headed up by Law Dean, Professor George Williams, and included Associate Dean (International & External Engagement) Associate Professor Gabrielle Appleby, CIBEL Co-directors, Professor Deborah Healey and Associate Professor Heng Wang, CIBEL members Associate Professor Charlie Weng and Dr Weihuan Zhou, and Dr Alexandra George.

UNSW features in AFR's annual power list

Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous and Professor of Law, Megan Davis has been named alongside UNSW Chancellor David Gonski and UNSW quantum physicist Professor Michelle Simmons, in Australia's 30 most powerful people list, in the Australian Financial Review Magazine's annual Power issue. 

Professor Megan Davis and the Referendum Council are ranked at number 7 on the Australian Financial Review’s Cultural Power List. The Cultural Power list, measures a person's ability to define what it means to be Australian.

Professor Davis, delivered a Statement from the Heart at Uluru, which set out the need for Australia's First Nations to have their own voice in Parliament and a "Makarrata Commission" to promote truth and reconciliation.

UNSW Law student awarded Student Leader of the Year

UNSW Law is proud to congratulate Arts/Law student and 2017 Law Society Co-President Khushaal Vyas, who has taken home the Student Leader of the Year award at Australian Leadership Excellence awards held on 5 October 2017.

Shortlisted from a pool of 22 students nationwide, Khushaal underwent a rigorous selection process that involved two rounds of interviews and a written submission before taking home the national award.

UNSW Law academics help launch million-dollar grant on the oceans

Our oceans are a global matter of concern.  Established protocols of governance are inadequate to deal with the complex set of challenges we are facing today, from habitat devastation to the multitude of effects attributable to climate change. UNSW Law’s Scientia Professor Rosemary Rayfuse and Associate Professor Lucas Lixinski are the only law partners involved in a multidisciplinary three-year project investigating themes around ocean governance - Representations, Resources and Regulatory Governance of the Oceans or ‘3ROceans’.

Research to ease fears and encourage patient-centered responses to medical injuries

UNSW Law’s Dr Jennifer Moore, who earlier this month was the runner-up for the KPMG Inspiring Teacher in a First Year Undergraduate Program Award, has collaborated with Dr Marie Bismark (University of Melbourne) and Professor Michelle Mello (Stanford), on a paper exploring the opportunities that exist for healthcare institutions and policymakers to develop and improve on patient-centered responses to medical injuries, as an alternative to medical malpractice litigation.

Out on a limb: Australia’s troubling exceptionalism on human rights


Australia is the only democratic country without a comprehensive national human rights law. Even non-democratic nations have a charter or bill of rights, excepting only Vatican City (a theocratic monarchy) and Brunei (an authoritarian sultanate with a record of human rights abuses).

George Brandis' submission to High Court in MP citizenship case is 'a stretch'

OPINION: Professor George Williams AO, the Sydney Morning Herald, 9 October 2017.

The High Court will begin hearing the cases of seven federal parliamentarians who are citizens of other nations on Tuesday. If it was only a matter of applying the letter of the law, their fates would be clear. This is because section 44 of the Constitution states that a person cannot sit in Parliament if they are a "subject or a citizen … of a foreign power".

Parliamentary prayers should be consigned to history

OPINION: Professor George Williams AO, the Sydney Morning Herald, 25 September 2017.

Whenever Parliament sits, the House of Representatives begins with two prayers. For the first, Speaker Tony Smith says: "Almighty God, we humbly beseech thee to vouchsafe thy blessing upon this Parliament. Direct and prosper our deliberations to the advancement of thy glory, and the true welfare of the people of Australia."

The Lionel Murphy papers shed more light on a controversial life

OPINION: Professor Andrew Lynch, The Conversation, 14 September 2017.

Today sees the release of thousands of pages from the parliamentary archives concerning allegations of improper conduct made against High Court judge Lionel Murphy. They shed alarming new light on an affair that gripped the political and legal class in Australia in the mid-1980s.

Indonesia challenges Australia’s anti-dumping measures at the WTO

OPINION: Dr Weihuan Zhou, The Conversation, 15 September 2017.

In the midst of sensitive trade negotiations between Australia and Indonesia, a dispute has broken out between the two countries over Australia imposing protectionist trade tariffs on Indonesian paper imports. But now other WTO countries are looking to emulate Australia’s “anti-dumping” policies in order to gain an economic edge.