Commemorative Public Lecture
Professor George Williams AO
'Bryan Pape and his Legacy to the Law'
Apart from being a well-regarded legal academic at the University of New England, Bryan Pape was one of the most successful self-represented litigants in the history of the High Court. Against the odds, he convinced the Court to reshape the way that the Constitution regulates how the Commonwealth is to spend taxpayers' money. This decision has had enormous impact on Australian law, such as through subsequent decisions that have struck down federal funding for chaplains in schools. This lecture will explore Bryan Pape's contribution to the law through this case. It will explain how he was able to convince the High Court, and how the Pape Case is continuing to affect how Australia is governed.
George Williams AO is one of Australia's leading constitutional lawyers and public commentators. He is the Anthony Mason Professor at the University of New South Wales, and has held visiting positions in Toronto, New York and London. George has written and edited 31 books, including Australian Constitutional Law and Theory and The Oxford Companion to the High Court of Australia, and has appeared as a barrister in the High Court in a number of cases over the past two decades, including on freedom of speech, freedom from racial discrimination and the rule of law. He has served on a number of public inquiries, and as chair of a community consultation committee helped to bring about Australia's first State bill of rights, the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities. George is also a columnist for the Sydney Morning Herald.