Keynote Speakers

The 2024 Public Law Conference boasts over 90 speakers and presenters. Some of the most notable include high-court judges from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, as well as internationally renowned scholars.


    • The Honourable Sheilah L. Martin, Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada
    • The Honourable Michelle Gordon AC, Justice of the High Court of Australia
    • Justice Steven Majiedt, Constitutional Court of the Republic of South Africa
    • The Honourable Lorne Sossin, Justice of the Court of Appeal for Ontario
    • The Honourable Glenn Joyal, Chief Justice of the Court of the King’s Bench of Manitoba
    • The Honourable Christian Whata, Justice of the High Court of New Zealand
    • Timothy Endicott, Vinerian Professor of English Law, All Souls College, University of Oxford
    • Janet McLean, Professor of Law at the University of Auckland
    • David Dyzenhaus, Professor of Law and Philosophy at the University of Toronto and holder of the Albert Abel Chair of Law
    • Sarah Morales, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Victoria
    • Maitre Audrey Boctor, Partner at IMK LLP/ s.e.n.c.r.l.

Panels & Speakers


Unwritten Principles & Constitutional Conventions 

  • Conor Crummey, Maynooth University & George Letsas, University College London, “A Moral Theory of Constitutional Conventions”  
  • Mary Liston, University of British Colombia, “A Revitalized Conception of the Canadian Separation of Powers Doctrine”  
  • Nick Kilford, Durham University, “The Contribution of Unwritten Principles to the UK’s Territorial Constitution” 
  • Leonid Sirota, University of Reading, “What Can be Done to Counter the Decay of Constitutional Conventions?”  


Environmental Constitutionalism and the Anthropocene: Powers, Duties or Rights? 


  • Sam Bookman, Harvard Law School, “Environmental Constitutionalism: Powers as Well as Rights!”
  • Stéphanie Roy, Université de Sherbrooke, « Les pouvoirs publics en matière environnementale au Québec et au Canada : vers une gouvernance décentralisée? » 
  • Lovleen Bhullar, Birmingham Law School, “Environmental Constitutionalism in South Asia and the Duties of Natural Persons” 
  • Lael Weis, University of Melbourne & Robert Mullins, University of Queensland, “Does Nature Need Rights?” 


Colonialism, Pluralism & State Institutions 




  • Abigail Miller, University for Peace, “In Opposition to Divide and Conquer: Mapping the Realization of Human Rights for the Indigenous Peoples of Canada”
  • Narelle Bedford, Bond University, “Australian Public Law and First Nations Peoples: The Aftermath of The Voice Referendum” 
  • Dwight Newman, University of Saskatchewan, Emerging Constitutional Doctrine on the Place of Indigenous Law Within the Common Law in Canada and Aotearea/New Zealand” 
  • Sushant Chandra, Jindal Global Law School, Plural Legal Order during the 18th century India: The Jurisprudential Underpinnings” 


Constitutional Interpretation & Interpreting Rights Instruments 



  • Vanessa MacDonnell & Carissima Mathen, University of Ottawa, “Systemic Constitutional Interpretation”
  • Andy Yu, University of Western Ontario, Doré and Section 33 of the Charter” 
  • Akis Psygkas, Western University, “The Pluralistic Constitution in Comparative Perspective” 
  • François Côté, Université de Sherbrooke, « Code civil, chartes des droits et traditions juridiques : jurisprudence fracturée et conflits de visions entre droit civil et common law à la Cour suprême du Canada lorsqu’il est question de droits fondamentaux au Québec » 


Emergencies & National Security 


  • Jessie Blackbourn, Durham University, “Implementing Statutory Duties: an Analysis of the Implementation by Local Authorities of the UK’s Prevent and Channel Duties”
  • Érik Labelle Eastaugh, Université de Moncton, “Is the Precautionary Principle Compatible with the Proportionality Analysis Required to Justify Limits to Constitutional Rights?” 
  • Jeff King, University College London, “Emergency Powers, Pandemic Law-Making, and the Legislative Measures Approach: A Critical Global Overview”  
  • Nusra Khan, Kapoor Barristers, “National Security Law-Making at the Center” 


New & Emerging Duties & Rights 


  • Peter Oliver & Céline Castets-Renard, University of Ottawa, “Public Law Perspectives on the Proposed Artificial Intelligence and Data Act: The Challenge of Agile Law-Making in a Fast-Moving Sector”
  • Alexandra Flynn, University of British Columbia, “Residuary or Bust: Exploring the Scope of Federal Constitutional Responsibility for Housing in Canada” 
  • Charles-Maxime Panaccio, University of Ottawa, “Wokes and Fascists… ‘Tis Hard to Passe Between the Points of Both Unwounded’: Discrimination, Substantive Equality and Constitutional Rights” 
  • Marika Giles-Samson, Court Challenges Program, “The Case for Access to Constitutional Justice in Canada as a Public Law Duty” 


Digital Constitutionalism, Hate Speech & Freedom of Expression 


  • Anna Luisia Walter de Santana, Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná & Justice Jorge Ernesto Roa Roa, Constitutional Court of Colombia, “The Role of Courts in Digital Constitutionalism: The Challenges of the Business and Human Rights Agenda
  • Gavin Phillipson, University of Bristol & Robert Simpson, University College London, “Tackling Extreme Speech on Social Media Platforms: a Normative Taxonomy of Regulatory Approaches” 
  • Joel Bakan, University of British Colombia & Sujit Choudhury, Haki Chambers, “Indirect Horizontal Effect, Constitutional Rights, and Social Media Platforms” 
  • Emmett Macfarlane, University of Waterloo & Rachel Johnston, Dalhousie University, “Rights Deliberations, Hate Speech, and the Commonwealth Model of Judicial Review” 



Theoretical Approaches to Powers & Rights 


  • Jacob Weinrib, Queen’s University, “The Crises of Constitutional Rights Theory” 
  • Joanne Murray, University of Ottawa, “The Power of Redress: Legal Subjects Quasi-Public Officials”  
  • Mujib Jimoh, Duke University, “The (Ir)relevance of the Traditional African Human Rights Values Theory in Contemporary Times” 
  • Christian Neumeier, Humboldt University, “The Power to Speak: The Regulation of Government Speech” 


Institutions & The Fourth Branch 


  • Eoin Carolan, University College Dublin, “A Duty to Obey or a Power to Disagree?: An Examination of Inter-Institutional Disagreement”
  • Kate Berger, York University, “Structural Administrative Constitutionalism” 
  • Michael Pal, University of Ottawa, “Fourth Branch Constitutionalism” 
  • Hanna Wilberg, University of Auckland, “Watching over the Watchdog: Do We Need Judicial Review of the Ombudsman” 


Legislating Rights & Constitutions 


  • Bruce Chen, Deakin Law School, “Australian Formalism and Reluctance: Reflections on 20 Years of State and Territory Human Rights Acts”


  • Marion Sandilands & Mohammed Elshafie, Conway Litigation, “Looking for Rights in all the Wrong Places


  • Matilda Gillis, University of Cambridge, “Using Dialogue Theory to Defend Rights”
  • Guillaume Rousseau, Université de Sherbrooke, «Le devoir de préserver le caractère national de l’État et les droits de la personne en Israël et au Québec: historique, développements récents, comparaisons et perspectives d’avenir» 


Public Trust & Representative Standing 


  • Kathryn Chan, University of Victoria, “Organizational Litigants and the Representative Claim”
  • Alexandre Marcotte, Department of Justice, Canada, “The Role and Duties of the Attorney General as Constitutional Interlocutor”
  • David Vitale, University of Warwick, “Trust and Legitimate Expectations”
  • James Maurici, Landmark Chambers, “The Case for Fiduciary Duties in Public Law or when Public Law Duties are not Enough…” 


Administrative Powers & Judicial Oversight 


  • Geneviève Cartier, Université de Sherbrooke, “Discretionary Decision-Making in Administrative Law – Between Power, Duty and Dialogue”
  • Keith Brown, Gowling WLG, "Charter Values in Judicial Review"
  • Edward Willis, University of Otago, The Judicial power (and Duty) to Review Administrative Expertise
  • Robert Thomas, University of Manchester, “Administrative Law, Non-Judicial Systemic Scrutiny and Institutional Cultures 


Remedies & Ouster Clauses 


  • Vladislava Stoyanova, Lund University, “Omissions and Remedies for Breach of Positive Obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights”
  • Dean Knight, Victoria University of Wellington, “Declaratory Remedies in Judicial Review and the Prudential Exercise of Administrative Power” 
  • Robert Craig, University of Bristol, “’Third-generation’ ouster clauses: Anisminic, Privacy International and the Illegal Migration Act 2023” 


Proportionality & Justification 


  • Juha Tuovinen, Durham University, “Proportionality in the Case Law of the South African Constitutional Court”
  • Jennifer Raso, McGill University, “To Explain or to Justify? Computer Science and Public Law Approaches to Evaluating Algorithmic Decisions” 
  • Terry Skolnik, University of Ottawa, “Proportionality & State Wrongdoing” 


Parliamentary Privilege & Parliamentary Sovereignty 


  • Jelena Gligorijevic, Australian National University, “Parliamentary Privilege: Right, Duty or Power?”
  • Paolo Sandro, University of Leeds, “Legally unlimited after all? Revaluating the scope of the legislative power of the UK Parliament in light of the ouster clauses saga 
  • Tom Hickman, University College London, “Expanding of restricting rights? Judicial Activism under the Human Rights Act Reassessed” 


The Powers & Duties of Executive Law-Making 


  • Abiodun Odusote, University of Lagos, “Evaluating the Law and Practice of Rule-Making Powers and Duties in Nigeria: A Call for Urgent Reforms.”
  • Adelyn Wilson, University of Aberdeen & Robert Taylor, University of Strathclyde,Executive Law-Making and the Territorial Constitution: The Nature, Scope and Regulation of Delegated Legislation in the UK” 
  • Adam Tucker, University of Liverpool, “Judicial Review of Delegated Legislative Power (and its limits)” 


Judicial Powers, Methods & Constructions 


  • Gerard Kennedy, University of Alberta, “Chief Justices’ Powers and Appellate Panels: Canadian Approach(es)”
  • Jason Varuhas, University of Melbourne, “Between Formalism and Normativism: A View of Judicial Method in Public Law” 
  • Eddie Clark, Victoria University of Wellington, “Rights, Remedies and Justiciability in Judicial Review 
  • Jean-Christophe Bedard-Rubin, University of Toronto, “Constitutional Rights, Responsible Government, and the Judicial Construction of the Unity of the State” 


Citizenship & Equality 


  • Jamie Liew, University of Ottawa, “Accessing Public Law Rights at the Government Counter: The Case Study of Citizenship Applications”
  • Marc Loureiro, University of Leicester, “Recalibrating Citizenship: Making Sense of Subjective Public Rights, Coloniality and Race 
  • Anja Bossow, New York University, “(De)-Legitimizing Citizenship Deprivation” 
  • Sarah Burton, University of Ottawa, “Schrödinger’s Citizen: A path to the democratically legitimate inclusion of non-resident citizens” 


Criministrative Law & Criminal Theory 


  • Yael Cohen-Rimer, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, “Child Protection Law as Criministrative law and the Need to View Poverty as Human Rights Violation”
  • Janina Boughey, University of New South Wales & Anita MacKay, La Trobe, “Administrative Justice in Public and Private Prisons” 
  • Benjamin Berger, York University,Jury Nullification, Pluralism, and the Structure of Public Law” 


Influencing Public Law: The Role of Citizens, Academics & Private Law 


  • Preston Jordan Lim, Villanova University, “Interpreting Rights, Duties, and Powers: Vincent Macdonald and the Growth of Living Tree Constitutionalism”
  • Rishika Sahgal, University of Birmingham, “The Peoples’ Interpretation” 
  • Marie Padilla, Université de Bordeaux, Public Law and Legal Scholars: What Powers, Duties, and Rights in the Construction of Public Law Knowledge?” 
  • Errol Mendes, University of Ottawa, “The Supreme Court of Canada Triggers Internal and External Debate on the Rights, Duties and Powers of the Court Itself and its Ability to Extend the Reach of Public Law” 


Amending Constitutions & Participatory Rights 


  • Ron Levy, Australian National University, “Should Secessionist Groups be Entitled to a Referendum?”
  • Scott Stephenson, University of Melbourne, “Doctrinal Uncertainty and Constitutional Amendment” 
  • Paul Kildea, University of New South Wales, “Ceding Power to the People: The Emergence of the Referendum Idea in Australia” 
  • Seána Glennon, University of Ottawa, “Measuring the Influence of Minipublics in the Public Law System: An Empirical Study of the Impact of the Citizens’ Assembly on Constitutional and Legislative Reform in Ireland” 



Commemorate the event with friends and colleagues.

Canapes, a three-course dinner, and a spectacular view, all in one memorable evening.

dinner gala (1)

Doctoral Panels & Speakers


Who Gets to Decide: Courts, Communities, Officials? 


  • Capucine Colin, Université Toulouse Capitole, The Role of Fourth-Branch institutions in Human Rights Protection : Insights from Canadian and Australian Experiences” 
  • Wandile Zondo, University of Cape Town, “Public Participation in Land, Mineral and Other Natural Resources-Related Matters: Does the concept of Representative Democracy Trumps Participatory Democracy within Rural Communities in South Africa?” 
  • James Gaetani, The Australian National University, “Engaging with Multiplicity: State Judicial Review Approaches to Indigenous legal orders in Australia and Canada” 


Defining Rights, Duties & Powers 


  • Mathilde Ambrosi, Université de Bordeaux, The Oath of Office in the United States of America: Real Duty or Simple Formality?” 
  • Megan Pfiffer, University of Toronto, “Toward a Rights-Based Theory of Substantive Review” 
  • Karolina Szopa, University of Reading, “Between Duties and Powers: The Core Approach to Rights-Adjudication of The European Court of Human Rights.” 


Minority Perspectives & Justice 


  • Sonia Knowlton, Yale University, “Preserving Confidence in the Administration of Justice: An Unspoken Trade-off” 
  • Almas Saikh, University of Oxford,Reservations: Treading the line between Right and Duty” 
  • Natalia Morales-Cerda, University College London, “Political Representation in Crisis in Contemporary Constitutional Democracies: What Can We Learn From Women's Experience?” 
  • Sangh Rakshita, University of Oxford, “Combatting Algorithmic Discrimination using Anti Discrimination Law” 


Testing the Boundaries of Law & Constitutionalism 


  • Anurag Deb, Queen’s University Belfast, “Zombie Law: Reflections on Latent Ontological Anxieties in the Windsor Framework” 
  • Pravar Petkar, University of Edinburgh, “Territorial Division of Authority in the UK Constitution” 
  • Atagün Mert Kejanlıoğlu, McGill University, “State’s Duty to Protect International Human Rights Against the Constituent Power: A New Path for Constitutionalism?” 
  • Shreeya Smith, University of New South Wales,Australian Executive Power: Can we use it? Proportionality as a Tool in Determining the Scope of Commonwealth Executive Power 


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Don't forget about accommodations!

We have arranged preferential rates with three of the city’s most ideally located hotels to take full advantage of what Ottawa has to offer and still be a short walk from the conference.

An International Collaboration


University of Melbourne Law School

Melbourne Law School's vibrant and active community comprises expert and award-winning teaching staff, a strong alumni network, dedicated mentors, visiting scholars from across the globe, leading research centres and institutions, as well as our partner international organisations.


University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, Common Law Section

As a global and national leader in a variety of fields, the Common Law Section offers specializations in Dispute Resolution, Environmental Law, International Trade, Business and Human Rights Law, Social Justice, Technology Law, Public Law and Aboriginal Law.


The University of Ottawa Public Law Centre

The uOttawa Public Law Centre at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law is Canada’s leading centre for public law research, debate and engagement. The Centre is home to the largest number of public academics in the country.

Ready to register?

The University of Ottawa will co-host the fifth
instalment of this series for the first time on Canadian soil, marking the Conference’s tenth anniversary.
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