2021 Fellow Spotlight

Mr Geoffrey Robertson AO QC is an overseas fellow of the Academy based in London.  Two of his recent publications are Who Owns History, and Bad People and How to be Rid of Them, both published by Penguin Random House.  

  In Who Owns History - Elgin's Loot and the Case for Returning Plundered TreasureRobertson argues that cultural property wrongfully taken by colonising armies should be returned and he devises an international convention for this purpose. Part of the book sets out the case against the British Museum, "the world's greatest receiver of stolen property", which he says should not only return the Parthenon Marbles but also the Gweagal shield dropped by an indigenous warrior at whom Captain Cook shot - and may have killed - when he landed at Botany Bay.

  In his most recent book, Bad People - and How to be Rid of Them - A Plan B for Human Rights, Robertson argues that "Plan A" for dealing with murderous despots - the International Criminal Court - has not worked because of a “pole-axed” United Nations Security Council. Instead, Robertson recommends a targeted sanctions regime which will name, blame and shame human rights violators, freeze their assets and stop them - and their parents and children- from accessing schools and hospitals in the West. Thirty one countries have these so called “Magnitsky laws”. His book explains their origin and purpose and why Australia should have one.


22 July 2021


The Vetting of Wisdom: Joan Montgomery & The Fight for PLC  by Kim Rubenstein; and 

Traversing the Divide:  Honouring Deborah Cass’s Contributions to Public and International Law - Kim Rubenstein (ed)


Kim Rubenstein who is a Professor in the Faculty of Business, Government and Law and Co Director of the 50/50 by 2030 Foundation at the University of Canberra.  A graduate of the University of Melbourne and Harvard University, she is Australia’s leading expert on citizenship, both around its formal legal status and in law’s intersection with broader normative notions of citizenship as membership and participation.  This has led to her scholarship around gender and public law, which includes her legal work and her oral history work around women lawyers’ contributions in the public sphere.  She was the Director of the Centre for International and Public law at the ANU from 2006-2015 and the Inaugural Convener of the ANU Gender Institute from 2011-2012.  She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law and the Australia Academy of Social Sciences.

The Vetting of Wisdom can be found here and Traversing the Divide can be found here.


Professor K Rubenstein, FAAL, FASSA, University of Canberra


13 July 2021


The Constitution of the Australian Capital Territory

The Constitution of the Australian Capital Territory is a book by Justice David Mossop that provides a detailed reference work for the understanding of the constitutional arrangements that exist for the government of the Australian Capital Territory. It provides an outline and explanation of the Commonwealth laws which make up the constitution of the Australian Capital Territory, most importantly the Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Act 1988 (Cth).

This book is to be published by The Federation Press on 27 July 2021.  The link can be found here.

Justice Mossop, Judge of the ACT Supreme Court

6 July 2021


Making Law in Papua New Guinea
The Colonial Origins of a Postcolonial Legal System

In the waning days of colonialism in Papua New Guinea, much of the rhetoric from local leaders pushing for self-determination focused on replacing the imposed colonial legal system with one that reflected local customs, understandings, relationships, and dispute settlement techniques—in other words, a "uniquely Melanesian jurisprudence." After independence in 1975, however, that aim faded or began to be seen as an impossible objective, and PNG is left with a largely Western legal system.

In this book, the authors—who were all directly involved in law teaching, law reform, and judging during that period—explore the potent and enduring grip of colonialism on law and politics long after the colonial regime has been formally disbanded. Combining original historical and legal research, engagement with the scholarly literature of dependency theory and postcolonial studies, and personal observation, interviews, and experience, Making Law in Papua New Guinea offers compelling insights into the many reasons why postcolonial nations remain imprisoned in colonial laws, institutions, and attitudes.

This book is published by Carolina Academic Press.  The link can be found here.


Emeritus Professor David Weisbrot AM, Professor of Law, University of Sydney

2 July 2021


Judges, Technology and Artificial Intelligence

The book is published by Edward Elgar Publishing, the link can be found here

As technological developments reshape how society functions, courts and judges are grappling with how technology will change how justice takes place within the judicial system. From exploring how supportive technologies have shifted in the COVID era, to examining how replacement technologies are leading to online court reforms, there are questions about how judges are engaged in technological reforms that impact on the judicial role and function. Newer technologies can require judges to consider how algorithms and other material generated by technologies can have an impact in individual cases. By exploring international commentary by judges and scholars as well as material on ethics and justice system design, this new book also explores how artificial intelligence (AI) will impact on judicial systems of the future and the changing role of judges in democratic societies as ‘guardians of justice’.

Notably, there is discussion about judicial creativity and novelty as well as the desirability of ‘radical’ or ‘incremental’ reform in courts.  The cover of the book features an artwork created by AI which is linked to an in depth discussion about judicial creativity, the value of dissent, as well as some proposals about the future limits of Judge AI.

Professor Tania Sourdin

Dean and Head of School, Newcastle Law School, Newcastle, Australia

2 June 2021


The Judge, the Judiciary and the Court

Individual, Collegial and Institutional Judicial Dynamics in Australia


Edited by Gabrielle Appleby, University of New South Wales, Andrew Lynch, University of News South Wales, Sydney


The Judge, the Judiciary and the Court is aimed at anyone interested in the Australian judiciary today. It examines the impact of the individual on the judicial role, while exploring the collegiate environment in which judges must operate. This professional community can provide support but may also present its own challenges within the context of a particular court's relational dynamic and culture. The judge and the judiciary form the 'court', an institution grounded in a set of constitutional values that will influence how judges and the judiciary perform their functions. This collection brings together analysis of the judicial role that highlights these unique aspects, particularly in the Australian setting. Through the lenses of judicial leadership, diversity, collegiality, dissent, style, technology, the media and popular culture, it analyses how judges work individually and as a collective to protect and promote the institutional values of the court


The book is published through Cambridge University Press here

Professor Gabrielle Appleby

Professor Andrew Lynch

25 May 2021


Punishment and Private Law

The role of punishment in private law is controversial, and the dominance of the compensatory paradigm has tended to deflect attention away from difficult questions that arise in this regard. This volume aims to redress this imbalance. It examines instances or potential instances of punishment in private law. In doing so, it engages with complex debates such as whether private law ought to be an engine of punishment and, if so, how and when punishment should be dispensed. The chapters span the full width of private law, and are written by leading scholars drawn from a range of jurisdictions.

Misleading Silence

This collection brings together a team of outstanding scholars from across the common law world to explore the treatment of misleading silence in private law doctrine and theory. Whereas previous studies have been contractual in focus, here the topic is explored from across the full spectrum of private law. Its approach encompasses equitable and common law principles, as well as taking an integrated approach to key statutory regimes. The highly original contributions draw on rich theoretical, historical, comparative, cross-disciplinary and doctrinal perspectives. This is truly a landmark publication in private law, with no counterpart in the common law world.


Dr Elise  Bant







Elise Bant is Professor of Private Law and Commercial Regulation at The University of Western Australia and Professorial Fellow at Melbourne Law School, The University of Melbourne


14 May 2021


Criminal Laws Northern Territory


3rd Edition

By Stephen Gray, Jenny Blokland, Ben Grimes and Julian R Murphy

Publisher The Federation Press

This is the third edition of a unique Australian criminal law textbook. The book is unusual among criminal law textbooks because of its attention to the history of the criminal law, and to Indigenous legal issues, to which it devotes specific chapters. It also pays significant attention to criminal procedure, as well as sentencing – both areas not generally dealt with in standard texts, but of great use particularly to practitioners.

More information can be found here

The Hon. Justice Jenny Blokland


14 April 2021


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