The Public Law Conference series is the pre-eminent regular forum for the discussion of public law matters in the common law world. The first two conferences in the Public Law series were held in Cambridge in 2014 and 2016. From 11 to 13 July 2018, Melbourne Law School will host the Third Biennial Public Law Conference, co-organised by the University of Melbourne and the University of Cambridge.
The 2018 conference, co-convened by Mark Elliott (Cambridge) and Jason Varuhas (Melbourne), will feature approximately 70 speakers from across the common law world, and bring together over 300 delegates to discuss the most important issues in public law today. The convenors have confirmed the participation of a number of leading judges and scholars from common law jurisdictions. The full list of confirmed speakers can be found on the conference website.
The theme of the conference is “The Frontiers of Public Law”. The theme is intended to invite engagement with a range of questions concerning both boundaries within public law and the boundaries of public law. Among the questions that fall within the theme are ones concerning the relationship between and the respective boundaries of public and private law; the distinction between domestic and international law, and public law’s response to it; the notions of global administrative and constitutional law and their relationship with domestic systems of public law; the boundary between law and politics viewed from a public law perspective; and the scope of application of public law norms. A fuller description of the conference theme can be found here.
The call for papers is now open, and the conference website gives details about how to submit an abstract. The convenors invite contributions by those at all career stages. The 2018 conference, like the 2016 conference, will include dedicated panel sessions for doctoral students and a fee-waiver programme for doctoral candidates participating in those panels; and the second Richard Hart Prize will be awarded to the best paper by an early career scholar.
An edited collection arising from the first conference, Public Law Adjudication in Common Law Systems: Process and Substance, was published by the principal sponsor of the Public Law series, Hart Publishing, in 2016; and a volume arising from the second conference, The Unity of Public Law? Doctrinal, Theoretical and Comparative Perspectives, will be published later this year by Hart. Similarly, it is intended that there will be an edited collection of a small selection of the papers given at the 2018 conference.
In the week following the 2018 Public Law Conference Melbourne Law School will also host the Ninth Biennial Obligations Conference, the pre-eminent regular forum in the common law world for the discussion of private law matters.
The dedicated website for the 2018 Public Law Conference can be found here. The website of the conference series can be found here; it features information about previous conferences, including videos of all of the plenary sessions that took place at the 2014 and 2016 conferences.