Honorary Professor (Dr) James Renwick CSC FRSN FAAL SC is a member of the NSW Bar, and was the third Independent National Security Legislation Monitor of Australia.
He has interests in constitutional, administrative, regulatory, national security and cyber law.
- Fellow, Australian Academy of Law 2022
- Elected Fellow Royal Society NSW 2022
- Fellow, Royal Society of NSW 2021
- Deputy Judge Advocate General (Navy) 2021
- Senior Fellow, University of Melbourne Law School, 2005
- Associate, Sydney Centre for International Law since 2009
- Senior Counsel, NSW, 2011
- Captain, RAN, former Head, NSW Naval Reserve Legal Panel
- Member, NSW Bar Council, 1999, 2000
|2019||2019 Conspicuous Service Cross|
|2007||Fulbright Scholar, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, Washington DC|
Significant research publications
In the Media
Guest Editor, Australian Law Journal, Special Edition ‘National Security and the Law’ October 2021
Philosophy & approach
Where has the study of law taken me in my career? In places I could never have imagined: I have been fortunate to live and practice law for extended periods in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Darwin, and even, for a short time in 2004, at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba. After over 25 years in practice, comparisons become difficult, but some things stand out: witnessing the wonderful spectacle of group evidence by traditional Aboriginal people in remote parts of the Northern Territory; appearing now and then in the High Court, particularly in hard cases concerning detention without trial; trying to work out and then explain why my client, the highly respected Captain Burnett, ordered HMAS Sydney to close on what turned out to be a Nazi raider which surprised and sunk the Sydney and killed all of her crew, including him; trying to understand and then write about de-radicalisation.
How my works connects with public policy
I try to remember the wisdom of Chief Justice Gleeson in his Boyer Lectures ‘The law restrains and civilises power…whether the power in question is that of other individuals or corporations, or whether it is the power of governments…Law is not the enemy of liberty; it is its partner.’ It is the lawyer’s privilege to play a part, whether it is large or small, in this high expression of our civilisation, and in the 21st century there are so many ways to do so: including private and government practice and academia.