George Williams (lawyer)

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George Williams

Chair of the Victorian Human Rights Consultation Committee.jpg
Personal details
Born 1969
Nationality Australian
Residence Sydney
Alma mater Macquarie University
University of New South Wales
Australian National University
Profession Lawyer

George John Williams AO is the Anthony Mason Professor of Law and Foundation Director of the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law at the Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales, and is also a Scientia Professor and Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow.[1]

Williams was educated at Macquarie University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Economics and a Bachelor of Laws with Honours. He also holds a Master of Laws from the University of New South Wales and a Doctor of Philosophy from the Australian National University.

He appeared in the High Court of Australia as counsel in Lange v Australian Broadcasting Corporation (on freedom of speech), the Hindmarsh Island Bridge Case (on freedom from racial discrimination) and Plaintiff S157/2002 v Cth (on review of government action and the rule of law) and in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal of Fiji, including in Republic of Fiji v Prasad (on the legality of the 2000 coup).[2]

In 2008, Williams was a delegate in the governance stream at the Australia 2020 Summit. In 2005, he chaired the Victorian Human Rights Consultation Committee that led to the enactment of the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities.[3] He also writes for The Sydney Morning Herald online vehicle, the National Times.

His books include: Australian Constitutional Law and Theory: Commentary and Materials (1996, 5th edn 2010), with Tony Blackshield; Labour Law and the Constitution (1998); Human Rights under the Australian Constitution (1999).

On 13 June 2011, Williams was named an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to the law in the fields of anti-terrorism, human rights and constitutional law as an academic, author, adviser and public commentator.[4]`