Professor Peter Bailey AM OBE

Adjunct Professor
LLM (Melb.), MA (Oxf)

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Biography

Professor Peter Bailey, a former Rhodes Scholar from Victoria, is a distinguished scholar and an expert in human rights law and public law.

His earlier career was in the Commonwealth Public Service, where he served in the Treasury and then in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, becoming a Deputy Secretary in 1972. He was a full time member of the Royal Commission on Australian Government Administration 1974-76. Peter was appointed CEO of the Commonwealth’s Human Rights Commission in 1981.

He joined ANU as a Visiting Fellow in 1987 and became an Adjunct Professor in 1999. Peter’s specific area of research relates to government and its instrumentalities. He is the author of six books, all on the subject of human rights, including Human Rights Law (2012) and The Human Rights Enterprise: In Australia and Internationally (2009). Currently, he is working on legal professional privilege in Australia.

Appointments

  • Board member, Relationships Australia Canberra and Region (1965 - current)
  • Member, Bar Association of the Australian Capital Territory (1992 - current)
  • Chair, Canberra Grammar School Board, (1977 - 1982)

Awards

Year Title
2015 ANU College of Law Dean's Cup for Collegiality
1999 Member of the Order of Australia

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1972 Member of the Order of the British Empire

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Significant research publications

  • ‘Mother Tongue as a legal right for Indigenous Children’, Molly O’Brien and Peter Bailey Ch 14, Applied Linguistics as a Meeting Place, Cambridge Scholarship Publishing (ed Elcke Stracke) (2014)
  • Human Rights Law, Thomson Reuters, Sydney, ‘Nutshell’ series (2012)
  • The Human Rights Enterprise: In Australia and Internationally,LexisNexis/Butterworths, Sydney (2009)
  • ‘Civil and Political Rights’, Halsbury’s Laws of Australia, Butterworths (1998)
  • Human Rights, Title 21, The Laws of Australia: Title Editor, and contributor of several chapters including ‘Freedom of Movement’, ‘Right to Life’, ‘Right to an Adequate Standard of Living’ (1996)
  • ‘ ‘‘Righting’’ the Constitution without a Bill of Rights’, Federal Law Review (1995)
  • Bringing Human Rights to Life, Federation Press, Sydney (1993)
  • Human Rights: Australia in an International Context, Butterworths, Sydney (1990)

Read selected publications in the ANU Digital Collection

Recent news

21
Dec
2016
Peter Bailey

Honorary Professor Peter Bailey AM OBE worked closely with seven prime ministers over four decades and at age 59 he swapped policy for teaching and research at the ANU College of Law. This week, after 30 years at ANU Law, Professor Bailey will finally retire.

In the Media

11
Jan
2017
Peter Bailey interviewed by The Canberra Times
25
Aug
2015
Peter Bailey interviewed by Canberra Times
12
May
2013
Peter Bailey speaks with Canberra Times

Please note, only a small selection of recent publications and activities are listed below.

Read selected publications in the ANU Digital Collection

Research biography

Professor Peter Bailey, a former Rhodes Scholar from Victoria, is a distinguished scholar and an expert in human rights law and public law.

His earlier career was in the Commonwealth Public Service, where he served in the Treasury and then in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, becoming a Deputy Secretary in 1972. He was a full time member of the Royal Commission on Australian Government Administration 1974-76. Peter was appointed CEO of the Commonwealth’s Human Rights Commission in 1981.

He joined ANU as a Visiting Fellow in 1987 and became an Adjunct Professor in 1999. Peter’s specific area of research relates to government and its instrumentalities. He is the author of six books, all on the subject of human rights, including Human Rights Law (2012) and The Human Rights Enterprise: In Australia and Internationally (2009). Currently, he is working on legal professional privilege in Australia.

Research projects & collaborations

  • Oral history of Peter Bailey (with Garry Sturgess, National Library of Australia) - Family history, public service career, Australian Goverment and Public Service in the 1946 - 86s, the Australian National University 1987 - 2016
  • Oral history of Peter Bailey (with Professor Geoffrey Lindell, University of Adelaide) - Early years, experience at Canberra University College 1946, establishment of The Australian National University, reflections on changing staff conditions

Committees

Internal ANU Committees

  • ANU College of Law Visitors Committee

Currently supervising

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
    Topic: A right to fair trial in the context of counter-terrorism: The uses and suppression of sensitive information in Australia and the United Kingdom
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
    Topic: Australia's responses to new international law 1901-1944
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
    Topic: The Argument for Legalisation of Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide in Australia

PhD supervision

I am willing to supervise in the relevant areas.

SJD supervision

I am willing to supervise in the relevant areas.

MPhil supervision

I am willing to supervise in the relevant areas.

LLM Masters thesis supervision

I am willing to supervise in the relevant areas.

Honours thesis supervision

I am willing to supervise in the relevant areas.

Past courses

  • Discrimination Law (1995 - 2005) 
  • International Law of Human Rights (1989)
  • Principles of Constitutional Law (1988)
  • Human Rights Law in Australia (1988)
  • Human Rights and Civil Liberties (1987)

Books

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