1 March 2012

Senator George Brandis SC and Graham Perrett MP are among the distinguished panel of speakers appearing at the forthcoming Rule of Law: Contemporary Issues Conference taking place in Brisbane on 20 April at the Hilton Hotel.

The Shadow Federal Attorney-General and the Chair of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs, will present a session on the Australian Parliament and the Rule of Law in the first of three lively discussions on important issues arising in areas of contemporary legal development.

Co-hosted by the Rule of Law Institute of Australia and the Centre for Public, International and Comparative Law at The University of Queensland’s T C Beirne School of Law, the conference will also focus on rule of law developments in land management law and professional ethics.

Conference organiser Professor Suri Ratnapala of UQ’s Centre for Public, International and Comparative Law, says he is delighted to have the opportunity to work with the Rule of Law Institute of Australia to bring this high profile event to Brisbane.

While he expects the conference to attract a large number of delegates from the legal profession and academia, Professor Ratnapala says the program is designed to appeal to anyone with an interest in the rule of law which underpins Australia’s Constitution and its legal system.

“It’s the idea that all power must be subject to the governance of established law,” Professor Ratnapala said.

“The rule of law not only prevents arbitrariness of government but is also essential to secure democracy and civil liberties. Maintenance of the rule of law requires eternal vigilance, sound scholarship and the continuing scrutiny of legal and political developments by both those working in the legal system and the public at large.”

Professor Doug Fisher of Queensland University of Technology and Professor Ratnapala will explore issues of law relating to land management during the conference’s second session, chaired by Justice The Hon. Catherine E Holmes of Queensland’s Court of Appeal.

Session three will be dedicated to recent developments in legal ethics, with presentations by keynote speakers The Hon. Justice James Douglas of the Supreme Court of Queensland and Professor Reid Mortensen of the University of Southern Queensland.

Among the conference highlights is a lunchtime keynote address by the eminent jurist, Queen’s Counsel and former Judge of the Federal Court of Australia, The Hon. David F Jackson AM.

The Rule of Law Institute of Australia is an independent not-for-profit body formed to uphold the rule of law in Australia by promoting discussion on the importance of the principles, which underpin it. The Centre for Public, International and Comparative Law is a research centre of the T C Beirne School of Law, The University of Queensland, dedicated to the advancement of legal scholarship in Australia and the Asia-Pacific Region.

Media: Professor Suri Ratnapala at (07 336 52460 or s.ratnapala@law.uq.edu.au) or Melissa Reynolds (07 3365 2523 or m.reynolds@law.uq.edu.au).