Q&A Panel: The High Court and the Asylum Case

The High Court of Australia is poised to hear arguments about whether it is legal for the Australian government to intercept, detain and remove asylum seekers on boats outside Australia’s territorial waters.

What are the legal questions before the High Court? What are the government’s international law obligations? What avenues are open to the High Court? What might this mean for the future of Australian asylum policy?

In this Q&A panel, four legal experts will consider these and other issues:
Professor Jane McAdam (UNSW), expert on international refugee law
Professor George Williams (UNSW), expert on constitutional law
Associate Professor Tim Stephens (Sydney University), expert on the law of the sea
Edward Santow (Public Interest Advocacy Centre), expert on administrative law and co-author of Island of Impunity? Investigation into international crimes in the final stages of the Sri Lankan Civil War

The panel will be chaired by Steven Glass, partner at Gilbert + Tobin. The Kaldor Centre is grateful to Gilbert + Tobin for kindly hosting the event.

Statutory Interpretation in Australian Administrative Law

In an effort to protect parliamentary sovereignty, the Australian legislature has increasingly made new laws in areas that were once covered by the common law. Indeed, almost all aspects of law are now regulated by legislation.[1] Statutory interpretation has thus become an essential role of the courts in every aspect of the law. As Chief Justice Gleeson noted, applying legislation is now the largest part of the work of modern judges:

One of the changes making the work of modern judges different from that of their predecessors is that most of the law to be applied is now found in Acts of Parliament rather than judge-made principles of common law (in which I include equity).[2]

Continue reading “Statutory Interpretation in Australian Administrative Law”