The Federal Court and the Constitution

Date & time

5.30–6.30pm Thursday 15 March 2018


Common Room

University House, 1 Balmain Crescent, Acton


Professor James Stellios, ANU College of Law
Commentator: Professor William Gummow AC


For interstate visitors, we offer suggestions for accommodation near ANU.


Presented by the Australian Academy of Law, with the support of the Australian Association of Constitutional Law and the Centre for International & Public Law

Public lecture

At its inception, the role of the Federal Court in the development of constitutional law was not entirely clear, nor was its relationship to other courts such as the High Court and the State Supreme Courts.

Forty years on, the Federal Court has come to play a significant role, as explained in a joint paper by Federal Court Justice John Griffiths and ANU Law Professor James Stellios. Justice Griffiths presented the paper at a conference in Sydney last year to mark the 40th anniversary of the Federal Court, and this evening Professor Stellios will present it in Canberra under the auspices of the Australian Academy of Law.

Commenting on the paper will be former High Court and Federal Court Justice Professor William Gummow AC.

Light refreshments will be served from 6.30pm.


  • James Stellios »

    James Stellios is a Professor at the ANU Law School. His primary research interest is constitutional law, and he has published widely in that field, including The Federal Judicature: Chapter III of the Constitution (LexisNexis, 2010) and the sixth edition of Professor Leslie Zines’s classic work, The High Court and the Constitution (The Federation Press, 2015). He is the Director of the ANU Centre for International and Public Law, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law and a Senior Fellow at the Melbourne Law School. He is also a barrister at the NSW Bar and appears as junior counsel in High Court and lower court cases.

  • William Gummow AC »

    William Gummow AC is a Professor of Law at the ANU Law School and Sydney Law School. He is also a Non-Permanent Judge of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal. He is a former Justice of the High Court of Australia, serving from 1995 until his retirement from the Court in 2012. Prior to that, he was a Federal Court Judge from 1986-1995. He graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Laws. After 10 years in practice as a solicitor, he was admitted to the New South Wales Bar in 1976. He was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1986. For 30 years he lectured part-time at the University of Sydney. He is the author and editor of several texts on equity and trusts.

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