George Williams (lawyer)

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George Williams
Chair of the Victorian Human Rights Consultation Committee.jpg
Williams pictured in 2005
Born 1969
Residence Sydney
Nationality Australian
Fields Australian Constitutional Law
Institutions Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law at the University of New South Wales
Education BEc/LLB (Hons); LLM; PhD
Alma mater Macquarie University;
University of New South Wales;
Australian National University

George John Williams AO is an Australian constitutional lawyer and public commentator.

Williams 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 first-class 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).[1]

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.[1] He also writes for The National Times.[2]

On 13 June 2011, Williams was appointed 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.[3]

Published works[edit]

Williams has published extensively and his notable works include:

  • Blackshield, A. R. (Anthony Roland); Fitzgerald, Brian F.; Williams, George, 1969- (1996). Australian constitutional law and theory: commentary and materials. The Federation Press. ISBN 978-1-86287-191-5. 
  • Williams, George (1998). Labour law and the Constitution. Federation Press. ISBN 978-1-86287-308-7. 
  • Williams, George (1999). Human rights under the Australian Constitution (1st pbk. ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-554111-3. 
  • Williams, George (1999). A bill of rights for Australia. UNSW Press. ISBN 978-0-86840-610-7. 


  1. ^ a b c "George Williams". Faculty of Law. University of New South Wales. 2014. Retrieved 6 January 2015. 
  2. ^ "Opinion by George Williams". The National Times. Fairfax Media. 
  3. ^ "George Williams AO". It's an Honour. Australian Government. 13 June 2011. Retrieved 13 June 2011.