Annual Geoffrey Sawer Lecture

Geoffrey Sawer hero image

Named after the first Professor of Law at the ANU College of Law, Geoffrey Sawer, this annual lecture is presented by noted national and international legal luminaries.

Anne Twomey
6.00PM to 7.00PM Public lecture
  • Professor Anne Twomey

Join Professor Anne Twomey as she discusses how Brexit and the Turnbull/Dutton leadership challenge have given rise to serious consideration about how a Prime Minister might advise the Queen or Governor-General in this year's Geoffrey Sawer Lecture.

Past events

The Hon Dr Annabelle Bennett, AO SC
6.00PM to 7.30PM
  • The Hon Dr Annabelle Bennett, AO SC

What do appellate courts do when faced with an argument or an issue not raised below? What do appellate courts do when they want to, or are asked to, come to a conclusion as to which there is no evidence?  

Daphne Barak Erez
6.00PM to 7.30PM
  • Justice Daphne Barak Erez, Supreme Court of Israel
5.30PM to 7.00PM
  • Professor Michael Coper, ANU College of Law The Australian National University

On the occasion of the 16th annual lecture, Professor Michael Coper takes a look at the man himself and his contribution to Australian legal and political life. How does his scholarship stand up today, when so much has changed in the legal and political landscape?

Adrienne Stone
5.30PM to 7.00PM
  • Professor Adrienne Stone, The University of Melbourne

The tension between law and democracy is most vividly illustrated by constitutional law: courts exercise their powers to over-turn the work of the democratically elected arms of government. 

Beverley McLachlin
6.15PM to 7.30PM
  • The Right Honourable Madam Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, PC, Canadian Chief Justice

The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin was appointed Chief Justice of Canada on January 7, 2000. She had been appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of Canada in 1989. Prior to that, she was Chief Justice of the British Columbia Supreme Court from 1988 to 1989, a judge of the British Columbia Court of Appeal from 1985 to 1988, a judge of the British Columbia Supreme Court from 1981 to 1985, and a judge of the Vancouver County Court from April 1981 to September 1981.

Jeffrey Bleich
6.00PM to 7.00PM
  • His Excellency Mr Jeffrey Bleich, US Ambassador to Australia

Jeffrey Bleich presented his credentials to Governor General Quentin Bryce on 26 November 2009, as the 24th American ambassador to the Commonwealth of Australia. On 11 September 2009, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Jeffrey Bleich to be the next US Ambassador to Australia.

Hugh Corder
6.00PM to 7.00PM
  • Professor Hugh Corder, University of Cape Town

The formal provisions of the South African Constitution have, over the past fifteen years, shifted from a racist variation of parliamentary sovereignty to a constitutional democracy based on limited government under law, striving for dignity, equality and freedom.

6.00PM to 7.15PM
  • Emeritus Professor Leslie Zines AO FASSA

The lecture will deal with Murray Gleeson’s method of constitutional interpretation, which will cover both matters in ‘The Constitution’ and broader constitutional principles. It will contrast his early statements emphasising ‘strict and complete legalism’ with many of his decisions. 

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