George Williams (lawyer)
Williams pictured in 2005
|Fields||Australian Constitutional Law|
|Institutions||University of New South Wales|
|Education||BEc/LLB (Hons); LLM; PhD|
|Alma mater||Macquarie University;
University of New South Wales;
Australian National University
Early life and education
Williams was born in Queenstown, a mining town in Tasmania, to father John Williams, an economic historian and unionist, and mother Shirley Murphy, an academic specialising in tax law at Macquarie University.
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 in 2000 he completed a Doctor of Philosophy in law from the Australian National University.
In 2000, Williams was admitted to practice as a barrister in New South Wales.
The legal database AustLII records 11 appearances by Williams in Australian courts, none of which involved a speaking role:
|Case name||Court||Year||Led or unled||Party represented||Issue|
|Alqudsi v The Queen||High Court of Australia||2016||Led||Applicant||Trial by jury|
|APLA Limited v Legal Services Commissioner (NSW)||High Court of Australia||2005||Led||Amicus curiae||Freedom of communication; section 92|
|Kartinyeri v Commonwealth||High Court of Australia||1998||Led||Plaintiffs||Races power|
|Lange v Australian Broadcasting Corporation||High Court of Australia||1997||Led||Amicus curiae||Freedom of communication|
|Levy v Victoria||High Court of Australia||1997||Led||Amicus curiae||Freedom of communication|
|Re Minister IMIA; Ex Parte Ame||High Court of Australia||2005||Led||Prosecutor||Migration / aliens power|
|Plaintiff S157/2002 v Commonwealth||High Court of Australia||2003||Led||Plaintiff||Jurisdictional error|
|Plaintiff S156-2013 v Minister for Immigration||High Court of Australia||2014||Led||Plaintiff||Migration / aliens power|
|Purvis v New South Wales||High Court of Australia||2003||Unled||Amicus curiae||Disability discrimination|
|The Queen v McKay||ACT Supreme Court||1998||Led||Accused||Separation of powers and detention|
|Truth About Motorways v Macquarie||High Court of Australia||2000||Led||Applicant||Legislative power regarding federal jurisdiction|
In 1995 Williams began his academic career as a Lecturer at the Australian National University. He was appointed to Senior Lecturer in 1996. His first book was Australian Constitutional Law and Theory: Commentary and Materials, co-authored in 1996 with Tony Blackshield and Brian Fitzgerald, now in its sixth edition.
In 2000, Williams took up a position at the Faculty of Law at the University of New South Wales as Anthony Mason Professor of Law. In 2001, Williams helped found the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law at UNSW, and was its Foundation Director until 2008.
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.
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.
In 2012, Williams said he would be "very interested" in being appointed as a judge of the High Court of Australia. News magazine Crikey reported that Williams had published a favourable opinion piece commending then Attorney-General Nicola Roxon, who would later that year need to recommend appointment of a new High Court judge.
From October to December 2015, Williams was a fellow at the Institute of Advanced Study at Durham University. Williams has also held visiting positions at Osgoode Hall Law School and University College London at some point.
Williams was appointed Dean of the UNSW Faculty of Law in 2016.
Politics and views
In 2006, Williams was elected head of the Australia Labor Party's legal and constitutional committee. In 2007, Williams unsuccessfully sought pre-selection as the Labor candidate for the Sydney electorate of Blaxland. In 2009, while on sabbatical from UNSW, Williams unsuccessfully sought pre-selection as the Labor candidate for the Canberra electorate of Fraser.
Policy and legal views
Williams has been a proponent of a national statutory bill of rights.
Williams is married to Emma, a UNSW academic working in the field of corporate law, with whom he has two children: Edward and Ellie.
Williams has published extensively and his notable works include:
- Williams, George; Brennan, Sean; Lynch, Andrew (2014). Blackshield and Williams: Australian Constitutional Law and Theory: Commentary and Materials (6 ed.). The Federation Press. ISBN 978-186287-918-8.
- 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.
- "George Williams". UNSW Law. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
- "Comment, Opinion, Writers". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
- z3515117 (2016-09-27). "Fighting for our Rule Book". UNSW Law. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
- "Find a Barrister - NSW Bar Association". find-a-barrister.nswbar.asn.au. Retrieved 2017-01-28.
- Coper, Michael; Williams, George (1997-01-01). Power, Parliament and the People. Federation Press. ISBN 9781862872479.
- Alqudsi v The Queen (24), 15 June 2016, retrieved 28 January 2017
- APLA Limited v Legal Services Commissioner (NSW) (44), 1 September 2005, retrieved 28 January 2017
- Kartinyeri v Commonwealth (22), 1 April 1998, retrieved 28 January 2017
- Levy v Victoria ("Duck shooting case") (31), 31 July 1997, retrieved 28 January 2017
- Re Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs; Ex Parte Ame (36), 4 August 2005, retrieved 28 January 2017
- Plaintiff S156-2013 v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection (22), 18 June 2014, retrieved 28 January 2017
- Purvis v New South Wales (62), 11 November 2003, retrieved 28 January 2017
- The Queen v Garry Kenneth McKay and The Queen v Darren John West (128), 2 December 1998, retrieved 28 January 2017
- Truth About Motorways v Macquarie (11), 9 March 2000, retrieved 28 January 2017
- "Fiji Court of Appeal Ruling - Chandrika Prasad". www.fijihosting.com. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
- "UT College of Liberal Arts:". liberalarts.utexas.edu. Retrieved 2017-01-31.
- z3264452 (2016-03-14). "UNSW appoints new Dean of Law". UNSW Newsroom. Retrieved 2017-01-28.
- "About Us | Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law". www.gtcentre.unsw.edu.au. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
- "George Williams". Faculty of Law. University of New South Wales. 2014. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
- "George Williams AO". It's an Honour. Australian Government. 13 June 2011. Retrieved 13 June 2011.
- "High Court horse race hots up as George Williams throws wig in the ring". Crikey. 26 April 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
- Williams, George. "Judge her on merits: Roxon's proposed reforms well constructed". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
- "Institute of Advanced Study : Professor George Williams - Durham University". www.dur.ac.uk. Retrieved 2017-01-31.
- "Constitution expert wants Labor seat". Retrieved 28 January 2017.
- Peatling, Stephanie. "Lawyer eyes McMullan's seat". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
- "Blow to factions in Labor preselection". 25 April 2010. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
- "Lateline - ABC". www.abc.net.au. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
- Williams, George. "The laws that erode who we are". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
- Williams, George. "Wisdom of politicians is frail shield for our rights". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 29 January 2017.