ANU Law Conference: Public Law and Inequality

Date & time
8.30am Wednesday 16 February – 3pm Friday 18 February 2022

The ANU College of Law, The Australian National University, Canberra.

+61 2 6125 5375
Annual event

ANU Law Conference: Public Law and Inequality

As part of The Australian National University's 75th anniversary and to belatedly celebrate the 60th anniversary of ANU Law and the 30th anniversary of the Centre for International and Public Law (CIPL), a major public law conference will be held at the ANU College of Law in Canberra on 16-18 February 2022.

The conference will be a face-to-face event for Australian-based speakers and attendees, with international speakers and attendees able to participate through a webinar format, which will include a live audience in Canberra. We understand that much of Australia is currently subject to travel restrictions, but are hopeful that domestic borders will reopen in advance of our conference in December. If domestic travel is not possible, the entire conference will be available as an online event for affected participants within Australia. There are approximately 40 speakers on the program, about half of whom are based in Australia.

Registration will be available by the end of September. There are modest registration fees for Australian-based participants. Registration for international participants is free, recognising that many will not be able to attend all sessions of the conference.

The 2022 Program will be made available soon.

Conference theme

Growing inequality is a defining challenge of our times, domestically and globally. Yet the role of inequality in social, political and economic life is often muted (sometimes, invisible) in much public law scholarship. Notably, public law’s foundational concepts were forged in a social world where the inevitability of inequality was often taken for granted. The stuttering processes of democratisation have rendered that assumption untenable. 

However, although public law scholarship has considered how the field can contribute to political equality, there has been less focus, particularly in recent decades, on the relationship between public law and material equality. The question of whether equality is achievable in a world of yawning disparities in wealth can no longer be brushed aside.

How do public law concepts, institutions and norms frame or contribute to political and material inequality?

How can public law and public law scholarship contribute to clear thinking about the set of problems associated with pervasive inequity in contemporary society?

Plenary speakers

We are delighted to introduce our plenary speakers who will be presenting during this three-day conference. 

Professor Farrah Ahmed
The University of Melbourne

Associate Professor Will Bateman
The Australian National University

Professor Asmi Wood
The Australian National University 

Professor Rosalind Dixon
The University of New South Wales

Professor Tarunabh Khaitan
The University of Oxford
The University of Melbourne

Professor Jeff King
University College London

Professor Samuel Moyn
Yale University

Professor Adrienne Stone
The University of Melbourne

Professor Julie Suk
Fordham University School of Law





Related activities

Annual Geoffrey Sawer Lecture

In conjunction with the conference, Professor Megan Davis (UNSW) will now deliver the Annual Geoffrey Sawer Lecture on 16 February 2022 at 5.30pm. This is a free public lecture hosted by the Centre for International and Public Law (CIPL). Registration for this lecture is separate from the conference registration.

Federal Law Review special issue on equality and public law: Call for submissions

In 2023, Federal Law Review - the flagship journal of the ANU College of Law at The Australian National University - will publish a special issue on equality and public law based on themes underlying the conference. This call for submission is open to all, including but not only participants in the December 2021 conference on equality to organised by the Centre for International and Public Law on behalf of the ANU College of Law in commemoration of the university’s 75th anniversary. It is expected that the issue will include national or comparative perspectives on equality spanning several countries. Paper submissions for this special issue are due 15 February 2022. For details about the call and for the review’s general submission requirements, please visit here. For information specific to the equality issue, please contact


Updated:  10 August 2015/Responsible Officer:  College General Manager, ANU College of Law/Page Contact:  Law Marketing Team