Constitution experts to gather in Adelaide

Tuesday, 23 July 2002

Australia's leading constitutional experts will gather in Adelaide next month for a major conference examining the State Constitution.

Hosted by the University of Adelaide, the Constitutional & Parliamentary Reform for South Australia conference is a precursor to the State Constitutional Convention brokered between the Labor Party and Independent MP Peter Lewis, to be held later this year.

The University of Adelaide conference will feature a host of high- profile politicians, legal figures and academics from Australia and overseas speaking on a variety of constitutional topics. Among those speaking will be Attorney-General Mr Michael Atkinson, Mr Peter Lewis, Chief Justice of South Australia John Doyle, Federal Parliament Speaker Mr Neil Andrew and No Pokies MP Mr Nick Xenophon.

Overseas speakers include Professor Hugh Corder and Professor Christina Murray talking on the South African constitutional experience, and New Zealand High Court Justice Ellan France. University of Adelaide academics speaking at the conference include constitutional law expert Dr John Williams, and Politics lecturers Dr Clem Macintyre and Dr Greg McCarthy.

Topics to be covered include the size and function of State Parliament, a bill of rights for South Australia, ministerial responsibility and citizen-initiated referenda.

Conference co-organiser Dr Clem Macintyre says it will be an important forerunner to the State Convention.

"The best constitutional minds in the country will be here, and we expect that the outcomes of this conference will have a major influence on the issues that will be examined at the State Convention," Dr Macintyre says.

Co-organiser Dr John Williams says: "Many of the ideas being proposed by the speakers at our conference relating to the State Constitution and Parliamentary reform are interesting and thought-provoking, and this will provide a stimulus for some engaging debate and discussion."

The Constitutional & Parliamentary Reform for South Australia conference will be held at the Art Gallery Auditorium on August 17 and 18, and has been organised through the Australian Association of Constitutional Law. It is sponsored by the University of Adelaide, Johnson Winter & Slattery (Barristers and Solicitors) and the Attorney-General's Department.

The public is welcome to attend both days of the conference (although registration fees apply): for more information, visit the Conference website on


Contact Details

Professor Clem Macintyre
Head, School of History & Politics
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5601
Mobile: 0432 977 055

Professor John Williams
Dean of Law School
Director, South Australian Law Reform Institute
The University of Adelaide